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Retired Butler. 1888

Vereshchagin Vasily,
Oil on canvas
47 х 32

State Russian Museum


From 1887–1888, Vasily Vereshchagin traveled around the cities of Russia. He visited Yaroslavl, Rostov, and Kostroma. The artist studied old Russian architecture and collected antique artefacts of everyday life. Observing the slow life of provincial cities, Vereshchagin was especially interested in the fates of people whom he met during his travels, and created a series of portraits of several of them. In 1895, the artist published the book Illustrated Autobiographies of Several Insignificant Russian Persons, the main characters of which were the models for his paintings, including an old house butler.

Author's Biography

Vereshchagin Vasily

VERESHCHAGIN, Vasily Vasilievich
1842, Cherepovets, Novgorod Gubernia - 1904, near Port Arthur
Painter. Studied at the School of Drawing of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1858-1860), under Alexei Markov and Fyodor Moller at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1860–1863), Atelier de Jean Louis Gérôme and Alexandre Bida, National School of Fine Arts in Paris (1864–1866). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Paris Salon (1866), the Imperial Academy of Arts (1867 and 1873), the Society of Traveling Art Exhibitions (1874 and 1875), the Moscow Society of Lovers of Arts (1881), All-Russian Exhibition in Moscow (1882), International Exhibitions in London (1872) and Vienna (1873). Contributed to over 30 personal exhibitions in Russia and abroad.

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