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Pavel Fedotov


Highly talented artist, founder of critical realism in Russian painting Pavel Fedotov was born June 22, 1815 in Moscow, in a large family is very poor clerk, a retired soldier of Catherine's time. His childhood was spent in poverty and persistent poverty. From an early age he indulged in contemplation. He was well aware of the residents of Moscow life, he watched the neighboring yards and streets, "all the scenes they occurred, were going to have the eyes of the observer, as on a silver platter." Early childhood experiences have played a major role in the artist's creative practice, helped implement many of his ideas. Fedotov wrote later: "The stock of the observations made by me at the very beginning of my life is ... basic foundation of my talent. "

At eleven years old, in 1826, there is almost no scientific training, Fedotov was identified pupils of the 1st Moscow Cadet Corps, which distinguished his great talent, success in learning and exemplary behavior. He surpassed all his comrades and drew the attention of the authorities. Then the boy appeared artistic inclinations. Dragged years monotonous and tiring exercise (1834 - 1844). Painting is still the main hobby, and every free minute he spends drawing. His first experience was great paintings, portraits and caricatures of friends, all sorts of drawings, which he dotting their learning journal .. The themes of his drawings and watercolors of scenes become meaningless and grueling drills, exercises and regimental camp office.

In 1830 he became a non-commissioned officer in 1833, promoted to sergeant-major, and in 1833 finished first disciple. His name, the routine custom, made to the honorable marble plaque in the hall of the case. Released as an ensign in the Guards Finland Regiment, Fedotov moved to St. Petersburg. Life was hard in the regiment, and health - weak. But despite the strict requirements of the then front-line services and the barracks, he found time for his favorite activities - painting. In three or four services a young officer in the regiment began attending evening drawing classes at the Academy of Fine Arts. Fedotov has studied the human form and coached his hand, trying to make her more relaxed and obedient. In the off-duty hours, he painted genre scenes invented them and noted by the street type, painted portraits of his colleagues and friends in pencil and watercolor. These portraits were always very similar. Particularly successful Fedotov facial features and a figure of Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich, whose image and getting out of the artist's brush, eagerly bought by sellers of paintings and prints.

In the summer of 1837, Grand Duke, returning to St. Petersburg from traveling abroad for treatment, Krasnoselskiy visited the camp, where adoring guards greeted with a loud ovation. Struck by this picturesque scene Fedotov started and just three months ended large watercolor painting "The Grand Duke", in which, besides the portrait of His Highness, the portraits of many of the participants of the ceremony. The painting was presented to the Grand Duke, who granted the artist for her diamond ring. Etoyu award, according to Fedotov, "finally nails it in his soul artistic ambition." Following this, he took up a different picture, "Consecration of the banners at the Winter Palace, renovated after a fire." Feeling the great need, the artist decided to present this still unfinished picture of the Grand Duke, who showed it to his august brother. The result was an imperial command, "the officer voluntarily provide risuyuschemu right to leave the service, and to devote himself to painting with the contents of 100 rubles a month."

Fedotov wanted to do battle painting, which has already been successfully tried his hand, and that in the era of the Nicholas promised honor and material support. Indulging in the slightest comfort and sometimes suffering hunger and cold, the artist settled in a poor apartment in one of the long lines of Vasilievsky Island. It was even harder to deal with the former drawing and writing sketches from life, both at home and in academic classrooms. To extend the range of its battle scenes, the artist began to study the skeleton and muscles of the horse under the guidance of Professor A. Zaurveyda. On withdrawal of his friends from the works conceived by then Fedotov, but left only sketches were remarkable "French marauders in the Russian village in 1812," "Go rangers to wade across the river on maneuvers," "Evening entertainment in the barracks, on the occasion regimental holiday "and a few songs on the theme of" barracks life ", composed under the influence of Gogarty.

However, painting scenes of war was not true vocation of the artist. He was characterized by: wit, subtle observation, the ability to notice the typical features of people of different classes, knowledge of the conditions of their lives, the ability to grasp the nature of man. Fedotov drawings are a kind of diary of the artist. Credibility and ease of composite solutions distinguished figure "Sea of ​​Vasilevsky Island in the winter." A satirical sharpness in pictures, "Quarterly official", "boss and employee", "chilled and shivering," "How do people sit down" and others. From the album disparate sketches and drawings Fedotov moved to create major works. Thus was born a series of "moral-critical scenes of everyday life" (1840s.), Which was made in the technique sepia tone: "Illness and death Fidelki", "Life at the expense of others," "Baptism," "Fashion Store" "The Mousetrap", "The first morning deluded young", "Old age is an artist who married without dowry in the hope of his talent." This series on a variety of topics on the breadth of the reality on the severity of critical thought and craftsmanship is considered one of the most important in the creative development of the artist. Working on sepia, the artist has enriched my life and work experience accumulated material for the creation of new works.

Features of artistic talent, pronounced in pictures Fedotov pointed out that it should not be battle scenes, and genre painter. But the artist was not aware of this and painted domestic scenes for his own amusement and, in order to amuse his friends.

This went on for as long as an famous fabulist Ivan Krylov, affected the talent of the young officer, has not opened his eyes. Genial old man, who had seen some of the works Fedotov urged him to quit the military service, throw "of soldiers and horses" and "surrender to his true calling - the image of national life." Fedotov before thinking about retirement, but after Krylov words, the idea is not haunted. Having decided to refuse military career, from the secured position, he doomed himself to semi-starvation. He made a risky move, which required a lot of courage and self-confidence.

Fedotov long pondered whether to take advantage of the royal mercy or not, but finally submitted his resignation in 1844 and was discharged with the rank of captain and the right to wear a military uniform. After parting with epaulettes, he found himself in the difficult living conditions - even worse than those in which he, the son of parents of modest means, had to exist, serving in the Guard. Fedotov staked his fate and the fate of their loved ones. On the meager pension, granted sovereign, it was necessary to contain himself, to help the family of his father, who had fallen in great need, hire sitters, to acquire materials and allowances for artwork, but the love of the arts in support Fedotov courage and helped him deal with difficult circumstances and strongly go to the target - to become a true artist.

Fedotov locked himself in his studio, has doubled its work to study the techniques of painting with oil paints, and mastering them sufficiently, by the spring of 1846 on which has already written in his sketch books two paintings: "The fresh cavalier" or "Morning official who has received the first to cross. " In this painting, the artist has reflected the phenomena characteristic of Nicholas I of Russia. The famous Russian critic Vladimir Stasov wrote about a character picture: "It is fierce and ruthless, he will drown whom and what he wants, and not a single wrinkle on his face did not falter. Anger, arrogance, completely vulgarized all life - are all present in this face, the pose and figure hardened officer in a bathrobe and bare feet, curlers and with a medal on his chest. "


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