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Argunov Ivan Petrovich

Argun Ivan, 1729 - early 1802, Moscow ...
The fate of this remarkable painter dramatic. The serf of Count PB Sheremeteva - one of the richest men of his time, the owner of the famous Fountain House (St. Petersburg) and Kuskovo near Moscow - I.P.Argunov belonged to the family of serfs talented intellectuals - artists and architects.

All my life Argunov had to perform many household duties. Was the ruler of the house (actually palaces) PB Sheremeteva first in St. Petersburg, then in Moscow.
course, unlike many Russian artists, Argun never known want, but if it could be replaced free? All his life he felt the duality of his position: on the one hand - a recognized artist, on the other - disenfranchised slave.
But already in the 1750s. Argunova authority was so great that it was to his studio sent his disciples "who slept with the voice" of the court chapel choir AP Losenko , K.I.Golovachevsky and I.S.Sablukov, future academics painting.

Apparently, in the years 1746-47. Argunov studied with G.H.Groota , court painter to the Empress Elizabeth. In any case, in 1747, together with the Groote young artist performs icons for Church of the Great Palace at Tsarskoye Selo.

Icons Argunov wrote later. But his main vocation was the portrait.

  In 1750, the artist completes the front "Portrait of Prince Ivan Lobanov-Rostov" in the 1754th pair to him, "Portrait of Princess E. Lobanov-Rostov." Especially good portrait of the princess. He is somewhat harsh on execution, which, however, it is quite natural for a young artist, when the desire for thoroughness and completeness of execution is not connected with freedom and ease. However, it is this rigidity, combined with built for coloring shades of cool colors (blue with silver patterned dress, powdered hair, ermine mantle) gives a portrait of a kind of fragile beauty.

In the future Argunov become softer and write "technically perfect, but remain committed to an accurate and clear picture, exquisitely restrained color and calm, attentive, friendly attitude to their models.
So calm and friendly before us Argunov himself on a self-portrait (c. 1760 ), the exhibition belt he billed as "Portrait of an unknown sculptor."

  The portraits of spouses KA and H.M.Hripunovyh (1757), people close to the family Sheremetyevy and probably good friends of the artist, he created a new type of Russian intimate (chamber) of the portrait. The husband is pictured with the newspaper, the wife of the book. And it says right on the education of a married couple: a woman reading in the middle of the XVIII century Russia. still rare.

 Naturally, Argun repeatedly painted portraits Sheremetyevy ("Portrait of Count P.B.Sheremeteva" and paired him "Portrait of Countess V.A.Sheremetevoy", etc.). Among them is the "Portrait V.P.Sheremetevoy", which shows the youngest daughter of Peter B., a charming round-faced girl in a dress embroidered with flowers.

 The artist wrote and "historical" portraits of ancestors of the owners - B.P.Sheremeteva Field Marshal, Prince A.M.Cherkasskogo. Written and empresses - Elizabeth and Catherine II.

But the more famous "Portrait of Kalmyk Annushki" (1767). My favorite pupil V.A.Sheremetevoy, sweet girl, holding an engraved portrait of the deceased already mistress. In the middle of the XVIII century. among the Russian aristocracy was kalmychat fashion as before - on arapchat.

  In 1768 the town of Argun creates one of his best works - "Portrait of Tolstoy." An elderly woman with an intelligent calm face is depicted with her knitting in her hands, which makes surprisingly intimate note to the front by the type of portrait.

1760s. - The heyday of creativity Argunova. But at the end of their P.B.Sheremetev moved to Moscow, and the artist appoints the manager of the million homes in St. Petersburg, which imposes on Argunova a lot of new responsibilities.

 In 1770 - 80 rr. He writes a little, but at this time it appears perhaps the most famous work - "Portrait of an Unknown Woman in Russian Costume Peasant" (1784) - the first of its kind in Russian art. Probably really shows a woman of the common people, maybe a nurse, in the ethnographic exact outfit peasant Moscow province (not an actress in theater, "ceremonial" suit, as some researchers).

In 1788 the town of Argun appointed ruler of the Moscow House of Sheremetyevy. In Moscow, he does not work as an artist. Engaged in economic affairs. Teaching his sons (Paul - the architect, Nicholas - a painter, Jacob - a painter and graphic artist). Takes part in the construction of the famous Palace Theatre Ostankino (architect P.I.Argunov - son).

The artist's works

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