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At the Doors of a School. 1897

Bogdanov-Belsky Nikolai,
Oil on сanvas
127,5 х 72

State Russian Museum


Descending from peasant class, Nikolai Bogdanov-Belsky dedicated a significant portion of his work to rural schoolchildren. His heroes hover indecisively at the classroom door, solve problems at the blackboard, read books or converse with the teacher. The master''''s idealistic paintings upheld the notion that education was capable of improving public morality and overcoming the backwardness of the Russian countryside. This lovingly painted and slightly sentimental canvas was possibly inspired by the personal memories of the artist, who attended Sergei Rachinsky''''s village school in Tatevo, Smolensk Province.

Author's Biography

Bogdanov-Belsky Nikolai

Bogdanov-Belsky, Nikolai Petrovich (1868, Shitiki (Smolensk Province) - 1945, Berlin)
Painter, portraitist, genre artist. Studied icon painting at the St Sergius Trinity Monastery (before 1884), at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1884–1889), Higher School of Art, Imperial Academy of Arts (1894–1895), Fernand Cormon''''s studio and Académiede Filippo Colarossi in Paris (late 1890s). Academician (1903), full member of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1914). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1890–1892,1895–1918; member from 1895), Moscow Society of Lovers of the Arts (1893–1994, 1897), Petersburg Society of Artists (1894), Exhibitions of Modern Trends in Russian Art (1908), Contemporary Russian Art (Kazan, 1909), the Arkhip Kuindzhi Society (1909–1921, chairman), the 1st State Free Exhibition of Works of Art (1919), All-Russian Exhibition in Nizhny Novgorod (1896), World Exhibition in Paris (1900) and the Exhibition of Russian Art in New York (1924). Lived in Riga (from 1921).

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