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Nikitin Ivan Nikititch (1680-1742)


Ivan Nikitich Nikitin - "Person of the master of" favorite artist of Peter I, the subject of his patriotic pride to foreigners, "in order to know that there are good people out of our masters." And Peter was not mistaken, "painter Ivan" was the first Russian portraitist European level and in the European sense of the word.

 I.N.Nikitin Moscow came from a family of priests. Original art education, probably in Moscow Armoury and engraving workshop at her under the guidance of Dutch engraver A. Shhonebek. In 1711, together with the engraving workshop was transferred to St. Petersburg. Paint portraits, apparently, learned on their own, studying and copying the works existed in the Russian foreign masters. Thanks to his talent (and perhaps relatives who served in the court of the church), Nikitin quickly took a strong position in the court. Peter the Great noticed his ability and apprenticed to the IG Dangaueru

In the early (before 1716), the artist's works is palpable connection with Parsuna - Russian portraits of the late XVII century, with their rigid and fractional letter deaf dark backgrounds, the flatness of the image, the lack of spatial depth and conventionality in the distribution of light and shadow. However, they have the unquestionable and compositional skills, and the ability to effectively drape shape, to convey the texture of different materials, harmoniously reconcile saturated color patches. But the main thing - from these portraits is a feeling of some special credibility and realistic psychological authenticity. Nikitin is completely alien to flattery, plain for formal portraits.

In the years 1716-20. I.N.Nikitin with his younger brother Roman, also a painter, is in Italy. They visited Florence, where he studied under Tommaso Redi, Venice and Rome. Roman Nikitin, moreover, worked in Paris in N. Larzhilera. From Italy I.N.Nikitin really back master. He got rid of the disadvantages of the figure and the conventions of the early work, but has kept its main characteristics: total realism painting and psychological characteristics of honesty, rather dark and full-bodied flavor, which is dominated by warm colors. Unfortunately, this can be judged by very few extant works.

He painted portraits of the emperor (a few times), his wife, the Grand Duchesses Anna, Elizabeth and Natalie, and many other dignitaries. The artist was familiar with the methods of overriding style of the era - rococo, light and playful, but use them only when it is really lived up to the character of the model, as in the portrait of the young Baron S.G.Stroganova (1726). But perhaps the best work of Nikitin's the beauty of art, the depth and complexity of the psychological characteristics of a "Portrait of Hetman" (1720s).
Nikitin In 1725, the last time the king wrote from life. "Peter 1 on his death bed" (in the museum of the Academy of Fine Arts) - in essence, a large study, full of loose, but solid, thoughtful and monumental.
During the reign of Catherine I, he moved to Moscow, where his brother, who had returned from abroad later , studied mainly church painting. In 1732, Ivan Nikitin with his brothers Roman and Herodium (archpriest of the cathedral in Moscow) was arrested on charges of spreading libel to the Vice-President of the Holy Synod of Theophanes Prokopovich, by the way, is also an associate and protege Petra. Perhaps this has indirectly contributed to a failed marriage to the artist and the subsequent divorce: ex-wife's family did their best to hurt Nikitin. Yes, and it did not like so many of the direct and independent attitude. After five years of casemates and Paul Fortress, interrogation and torture brothers sent into exile. Ivan and Roman were in Tobolsk. They waited for rehabilitation after the death of Empress Anna Ivanovna in 1741 but the elderly and the sick painter did not return him to his native Moscow. He probably died somewhere on the way to it. Roman Nikitin died in late 1753 or early 1754.

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