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Kissing Ritual.1895

Makovsky Konstantin,
Oil on canvas
330 x 500

State Russian Museum


This large, multi-figured canvas belongs to Kon¬stantin Makovsky s Boyar cycle of works, in which he resurrected the Rus of the 17th-century boyars, mainly turning his attention to the ritual side of life at the time. The subject of the canvas was inspired by Alexei Tolstoy s novel Prince Serebryany. The artist was attracted to the scene of the jealousy of the old boyar, who is vigilantly following the hospitality ritual of the young guest, watching to see if his young, beautiful wife will somehow reveal to whom she not long ago said by the fence at night, I love you more than life, more than the red sun. The subject served as a way for the artist to demonstrate his virtuosity in conveying the textures and colours of the objects of wealth and the beauty of old Russian everyday life. The canvas was first exhibited at the All-Russian Exhibition in Nizhny Novgorod in 1896, and then in 1897 in St Petersburg at the artist s personal exhibition, after which it became a part of the Russian Museum s collection.

Author's Biography

Makovsky Konstantin

Makovsky, Konstantin Egórovich
1839, Moscow — 1915, Petrograd
Painter, draughtsman, watercolourist; portraitist, genre artist, author of painting on historical themes. Studied under Mikhail Scotti, Sergei Zaryanko at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1851–1858), under Alexei Markov at the Imperial Academy of Arts
(1858–1863). Minor gold medal (1862) for Agents of the False Dmitry Kill the Son of Boris Godunov. Contributed to exhibitions (from 1860). One of “the rebellious fourteen” (1863). Academician (1867), professor (1869). Member of the St Petersburg Artel of Artists (1863). Founding member of the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1870) and the St Petersburg Society of Artists (1898).

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