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HomeLatest NewsThe author of "The Moscow Courtyard", the artist Vasily Polenov, was born...

The author of “The Moscow Courtyard”, the artist Vasily Polenov, was born 180 years ago – Motherland

Date: July 15, 2024 Time: 18:54:58

Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov is an outstanding painter of the post-reform era, professor, teacher of historical, landscape and genre painting, member of the Association of Itinerants, one of the first to receive the title of People’s Artist of the RSFSR.


I. Repin, portrait of VD Polenova. 1877

He was born on June 1 (May 20, old style), 1844 in St. Petersburg into a noble family. His father, Dmitry Vasilyevich, was a diplomat, secretary of the Russian Archaeological Society, studied history and was fond of art. And her mother Maria Alekseevna, née Voeykova, granddaughter of the outstanding architect Nikolai Alexandrovich Lvov, a student of Karl Bryullov, was an artist and children’s writer. Thanks to the portraits of him we know what Vasily Polenov was like as a child. It was she who gave the first drawing and painting lessons to Vasily and his younger sister Elena. Her family had five children. Two of whom, Vasily and Elena, became famous artists.

Vasily wanted to enter the Academy of Arts. But my parents insisted on a classical university education. Therefore, in the 1860s, Polenov studied simultaneously at two educational institutions in St. Petersburg: the University and the Academy of Arts. In the spring of 1871 he graduated from the University with the title of candidate of rights and in the autumn of the same year he received a large gold medal from the Academy of Arts for the painting “The Resurrection of the Daughter of Jairus.” His fellow student Ilya Repin prepared the same topic and also became a medalist. Both artists received the right to a retirement trip abroad for six years at the expense of the Academy.

Vasily Polenov was already 27 years old at that time, but he had not yet decided on his artistic specialization. It was during his internship abroad that the artist found his creative path. While in Germany, he studied the art of German artists and visited knights’ castles. By the way, based on the sketches made, he later painted the painting “The Right of the Master” (1874), which Pavel Tretyakov bought for a lot of money.

After Germany, Polenov traveled to Italy, where he visited Naples, Venice and Florence. He conveyed his impressions of this country in the painting “Italian Landscape with a Peasant” (1874). It was in Italy that Polenov became friends with the philanthropist Savva Mamontov and members of the Abramtsevo circle.

A trip to France had a great influence on Polenov’s work. Parisian art schools and painting styles delighted the painter. Following Ilya Repin, in 1874 Vasily Polenov went to Normandy, to the small town of Veul. Here he painted many landscapes. Among them are “White Horse”, “Normandy”, “Old Gate. Völ”.

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Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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