Konstantin Makovsky is a master of portrait and genre scenes, who was a member of the Association of the Wanderers. Journalists and art critics admired his work. Paintings by Konstantin Makovsky were gladly acquired in their collections not only by St. Petersburg aristocrats, but also by the royal family.
Biography of Konstantin Makovsky
Konstantin Makovsky was born on July 2, 1839. Parents belonged to the creative Moscow elite. Mom professionally studied music, taught vocals at the conservatory. The father was an avid collector.
Konstantin Makovsky spoke with great trepidation about his father, appreciated his opinion. Once he said in an interview that he became a famous artist only thanks to the priest. All children were taught to draw from an early age. The Makovsky House has always been open to famous artists of the 19th century.
At the age of 12, Kostya successfully passed exams at the Moscow School of Painting. In 1858 he moved to the capital of the Russian Empire. The young man decides to continue his education at the Academy of Arts. Immediately begins to actively participate in student vernissages. At that time, he was fascinated by historical subjects. In 1863, he joined a group of students who protested against the new rules (the management decided to change the rules for defending a diploma). As a result, 14 young people, including Konstantin Makovsky, interrupted their studies in protest. Subsequently, the student action will become known under the loud name “Riot of the Fourteen”.
In the same 1863, a young talented painter was accepted into the Artel of Artists. Ivan Kramskoy becomes the spiritual leader of the creative company. Makovsky at this time specialized in writing genre paintings. The heroes of his works are Petersburgers. Among them are small street children, artisans, merchants, traders. In the works, the influence of Vasily Tropinin was felt: the choice of sitters with ideal facial proportions, the predominance of dark tones.
In 1870 the painter joins the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions. He takes part in the development of the charter, presents his paintings in the salons together with his Wandering friends.
Konstantin Makovsky travels a lot in Europe and Africa, a visit to Egypt had a special influence on his work. He writes such works as “Dervishes in Cairo”, “Transfer of the sacred carpet”.
In 1879, at the 7th exhibition of works by Wanderers, he presented a new work based on folk tales. She will go down in the history of art under the name “Mermaids”. The Russian emperor Alexander II draws attention to the masterpiece, acquires a painting for the collection in the Hermitage.
Makovsky receives orders to paint portraits of members of the royal family. He has the unofficial status of a court painter. To have a portrait by Konstantin Makovsky among aristocrats began to be considered good form.
In the 1880s, the artist often organizes solo exhibitions. Makovsky has an interest in the history of Russia, so many paintings are stylized antique. He searches for plots for his works in the past, he is especially attracted by the events that took place in the 15th-17th centuries.
In 1901, the opening of the second exhibition of the St. Petersburg Society of Artists took place. On it, Konstantin Makovsky presents to the public his work, which would later bring fame – “Minin on Nizhny Novgorod Square”. Konstantin Makovsky died on September 30, 1915 in St. Petersburg, was buried on the territory of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra.