Alexey Venetsianov Meeting at the Well (1843)

Alexey Venetsianov – the founder of Russian genre painting

Alexey Venetsianov Cartomancy (1842)
Cartomancy (1842)

Alexey Venetsianov is considered the founder of the national art school. Before him, painters imitated Western traditions, even if figures in national dress appeared in their paintings.

Aleksey Venetsianov is interesting even to those who have little interest in art. The paintings of this master give an opportunity to see the daily life of Russia more than two centuries ago. His works capture the simple faces of peasants, rural work, the life of landowners and portraits of famous people of that time, for example, Nikolai Karamzin and Vasily Gogol.

Alexey Venetsianov Communion of Dying (1839)
Communion of Dying (1839)

Biography of Alexey Venetsianov

Alexey from an early age showed an interest in drawing and found the opportunity to learn from someone. The pictures that he painted in his youth already testify to his serious preparation. It is possible that Fedor Rokotov, who lived on the same street, gave lessons to the talented boy.

After the war, the artist married an impoverished noblewoman. And in 1819, leaving the service, he moved to the village and devoted himself entirely to art. It was from that moment that he moved away from the Academy of Arts and became the Venetsianov whom we remember in the 21st century.

Alexey Venetsianov Meeting at the Well (1843)
Meeting at the Well (1843)

Pictures about Russian life

After the war with Napoleon, Russian art draws attention to the common people who managed to defeat the invaders. This interest eventually develops into sentimentalism, glorifying and poetizing the simple joys of rural life. The theme of the peasantry became one of the main ones in the work of Venetsianov.

He not only painted peasant girls and children, but also opened an art school for gifted boys. Instead of copying samples, as at the Academy, the children learned to draw from life and even work in the open air, which was an unprecedented innovation for that time.

Alexey Venetsianov Peasant Children in the Field
Peasant Children in the Field
Peter the Great. Founding of St. Petersburg (1838)
Peter the Great. Founding of St. Petersburg (1838)
Portrait of Panaev's Children (1841)
Portrait of Panaev’s Children (1841)
Portrait of the State Chancellor of the Internal Affairs
Portrait of the State Chancellor of the Internal Affairs
Sleeping Herd-Boy (1824)
Sleeping Herd-Boy (1824)