Vasily Grigorievich Perov great Russian artist of the 19th century

Vasily Grigorievich Perov. An official's matchmaking to a tailor's daughter. 1862
An official’s matchmaking to a tailor’s daughter. 1862

Vasily Grigorevich Perov was a great Russian artist of the 19th century, whose name is forever inscribed in the history of world painting. The work of Vasily Perov opened new horizons for Russian art. Perov was a man with a difficult fate. Perhaps that is why his paintings are so deep and complex, psychological and vital. Their stories are acutely social and demonstrate the whole truth of the hard life of the people. One of the students even once called the master “a true singer of sorrow.”

Vasily Grigorievich Perov. Drowned woman
Drowned woman

Biography of Vasily Grigorievich Perov

Vasily Perov was born on December 21, 1833 in the cold Siberian Tobolsk. The baby was born out of wedlock: his father was the provincial prosecutor, Baron Kridner. Later, the parents of the future master nevertheless got married, but the bastard’s stigma accompanied Perov all his life. Not only the title, but also the father’s surname and all the advantages associated with it remained forever unattainable for the artist.

Vasily Grigorievich Perov. Fisherman

Vasily Grigorievich Perov did not receive his surname immediately. In official papers, he appears as Vasiliev this is the name the godfather of the future painter wore. The artist became Perov much later. The surname owes its origin to the sexton, who taught the boy to write and often celebrated his successes. The sexton gave the student a nickname, which later became the creative pseudonym of the master.

Vasily Grigorievich Perov. Hunters at rest
Hunters at rest

It is difficult to judge when a child’s interest in painting woke up. They talk about a case that could well become decisive for a fateful choice. The baron had a picture that he wanted to change a little. For this, a painter was discharged, who redrew the desired detail. Rubbing paints, writing, techniques of the invited artist all this interested young Vasily so much that after the guest’s departure he plunged headlong into a new hobby.

From 1843 to 1846 Perov attended the Arzamas district school.

The teenager lives in the apartment of the teacher Favorsky. At the school, he does not give up drawing classes and after graduation enters the flourishing school of painting of Academician Stupin, founded in 1802. Education continues until 1849. The young man was one of the first students who began to paint with oil paints, mastering the skill, copying the works of famous painters.

Vasily Grigorievich Perov. Crying Yaroslavna. 1881
Crying Yaroslavna. 1881

In 1860, the canvas “First Rank” was awarded a small gold medal. A large gold medal, which was earned by Sermon in the Village in 1861, gave the master the opportunity to continue his studies abroad at the expense of state funds. In 1862, Perov and his wife Elena left for Europe.

The painter visits Germany, then moves to Paris. He tries to paint, but the work is going badly he is bored abroad, foreign lands do not inspire. The artist asks the Academy to allow him to return to his homeland ahead of schedule. In 1864, Vasily Perov arrived in Moscow. Critics finally notice him, and the paintings become interesting to the public.

Vasily Grigorievich Perov. Janitor renting an apartment to a lady
Janitor renting an apartment to a lady

The master works fruitfully at home.

From under his brush emerge more and more mature works, piercing in their psychological impact, denouncing the attitude of society towards the “rabble”. They reflect the civic position of the painter.

In addition to social works, the artist paints masterpieces, which capture the life of ordinary people, beautiful portraits of the most talented figures in the country.

Parisian festivities. The inside of the booth during the performance
Parisian festivities. The inside of the booth during the performance

The artist organizes a group of Wanderers in Moscow and becomes a member of its board for seven years. He writes a lot and at the same time manages to teach: since 1871 he has been giving painting lessons at the Moscow School. Russian art owes the pedagogical talent of Vasily Grigorievich Perov to the emergence of a whole galaxy of great artists.

In 1881, the artist fell seriously ill. The best doctors try to help him, but the disease progresses. In 1882, on May 29, Vasily Perov quietly fades away from consumption, not having reached his 50th birthday just a year and a half. The last refuge of the painter was the cemetery of the Danilov Monastery.

Rural procession at Easter
Rural procession at Easter
The most famous paintings

Vasily Perov’s paintings are, in a way, the “conscience of the era.” Each piece is a voice of the intercessor for the offended and disadvantaged. Among the most famous masterpieces of the artist:

  • “Tea drinking in Mytishchi” (1862). The painting was commissioned by the city authorities. At the same time, it is distinguished by an acute social theme.
  • “Troika” (1866). The most terrible and poignant picture of the master, testifying to how the poor lived in Russia.
  • “The Arrival of the Governess” (1866). The merchant’s type for this masterpiece was spied on by the artist at the Nizhny Novgorod fair.
  • “The Birdman” (1870). The everyday scene, transferred to the canvas, brought Vasily Grigorievich Perov the title of professor. The picture was written in collaboration with Alexei Savrasov.
  • “Hunters at Rest” (1871). The famous masterpiece was painted by the master for a European exhibition.
  • “Dovecote” (1874). One of the most life-affirming works of the master. The painting depicts a young boy admiringly watching the flight of pigeons.
Seeing the deceased
Seeing the deceased
Tea drinking in Mytishchi, near Moscow.
Tea drinking in Mytishchi, near Moscow.
The arrival of the schoolgirl to the blind father
The arrival of the schoolgirl to the blind father
The table
The table
Troika. Apprentice artisans carry water
Troika. Apprentice artisans carry water
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