Oil on canvas
56,5 x 45
State Russian Museum
Ivan Kramskoi regarded the creation of collective images of the common people as one of the most important tasks of modern art. He wrote to Ilya Repin: “And what the people have to offer! My God, what an enormous source!” This painting reflects the artist’s ability to concentrate on the most essential things in a portrait. The peasant’s outer appearance and free and relaxed pose evoke a sense of inner calm and independence. The old, wrinkled face radiates warmth and kindness, reflecting the sitter’s great age and wisdom. This portrait was painted in Siverskaya near St Petersburg.
Kramskoi, Ivan Nikolaevich
1837, Ostrogozhsk (Voronezh Province) - 1887 St Petersburg
Painter, draughtsman, engraver, portraitist, history painter. Worked as a retoucher with a travelling photographer (1853-57). Studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1857-63). Initiator of the rebellion of the fourteen (1863). Headed the St Petersburg Artel of Artists (1863-70). One of the founders and the ideological head of the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1870-87). Academician (1869). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Imperial Academy of Arts, World Exhibition in Paris (1878) and the All-Russian Exhibition in Moscow (1882). Taught at the School of Drawing, Society for the Encouragement of Artists (1863- 69, with interval). Member of the Society for the Encouragement of Artists (1863-69, with intervals).