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Losenko Anton Chekhov (1737-1773)

Anton Losenko was born to Ukrainian Cossack. Orphaned early and seven-year child was sent to St. Petersburg in the Imperial Chapel Choir. However, in 1753, as "slept with the vote," but shows the ability of the arts, was given to the artist I. Argunov to teach painting. Five and a half years spent in the studio Argunova served as a very thorough preparation.

Pupil enrolled in the Academy of Arts (Fine Arts) (1758), Losenko soon became assistant to the academic faculty and was promoted to apprentice. Assessing the talent of the young artist, in 1760 he was sent to Paris to improve the knowledge and skill. Catching up under the leadership of J. Retu, Losenko created a great historical picture on the Gospel story "Miraculous Catch of Fish" (1762). In it, he managed to combine the demands of classicism with a relaxed, human interpretation of the image of Christ.

In the years 1766-1769 the artist lived in Italy, where he studied antiquity, copying the works of Raphael, painted on an antique story "Zeus and Thetis" (1769). During this period he devoted much attention to the picturesque sketches naked body and as a result there were well-known paintings, "Abel" and "Cain" (both 1768). They affected not only the ability to accurately convey the anatomical features of the human body, but also the ability to communicate them to the wealth of beautiful colors inherent in the living nature.

In 1769, Losenko returned to St. Petersburg, where he was asked to paint a picture for the title of academician of historical painting. The artist creates a work on the theme of Russian history - "Vladimir and Rogneda" (1770). According to ancient chronicles, Prince of Novgorod, Vladimir asked the daughter of the Prince of Polotsk hands Rogvolda, but refused, attacked Polotsk, killed his father and brothers Rogneda and strength took her as his wife.
At the climax of the film presented "prezhalostnoy fate" Rogneda when Vladimir invaded her apartment and her "unwillingly combined." However Losenko not depicted Vladimir treacherous conqueror, but a man repent of their deeds, - that expressed high ideals of morality and humanism of the Enlightenment. Was new and content: the national past became subject of historical paintings, equating to a common ancient and biblical subjects on the status hierarchy of the genre.

The success of the paintings brought to its creator not only the title of academician, but also the appointment of Associate Professor (since 1770), and soon a professor and director of the Arts (from 1772). The end of life Losenko remained in office. In addition, he conducted workshops and created training and theoretical training, "a brief exposition of the proportions of man ...", which became the textbook for several generations of artists.

In 1773 Losenko started but did not finish his second historical picture - "Farewell of Hector and Andromache", this is partly due to some sketchy in the beautiful interpretation of images. Antique plot of "The Iliad" by Homer sang of heroes, their patriotism, willingness to sacrifice himself for the service of his homeland. These ideals of the Enlightenment classicism, which the artist was faithful throughout his creative life, symbolized by a "farewell Gektorovom" (as they called the picture contemporaries). Son of the Trojan king Priam says goodbye before the battle with his faithful wife Andromache, holding a baby in her arms. Premonition tragic outcome permeates the pathetic scene, presented by the artist. However, the only truly pathetic main character - Hector, in the images of the other characters Losenko connects discreetly majestic and natural harsh beginning, harmoniously arranging the composition of the picture and hot.

In addition to historical paintings the artist created a gallery of portraits of contemporaries images: Count II Shuvalov, AP Sumarokova poet, actor J. D. Shumsky (all in 1760) and FG Volkov (1763). Spirituality and human warmth permeated the images portrayed.

The position of Director of Arts, which is conferred on an artist of great talent, a professor, taught every day for long hours in the classroom has been a burden for Losenko that unwittingly draws him into a tangle of academic and court intrigues that were alien to him by nature. No wonder the sculptor E. M. Falcone, interceding for him, wrote to Catherine II: "Pursued, exhausted, grieving, exhausted darkness academic trivia Losenko not able to touch the brush, it will destroy doubt. Skillful He was the first artist of the nation, remain insensitive to this, they sacrifice ... " The Empress had promised to transfer Losenko of Arts in Hermitage, but did not. The forces have been undermined by the artist, he could not cope with befallen him a serious illness, which carried him to the grave.

The artist's works

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