Vasily Andreevich Tropinin was a talented Russian painter of the 19th century, who worked in the genre of romantic and realistic portraiture. Tropinin’s paintings embodied the specificity of the social types of his time. The artist stood at the beginning of a special trend in painting, associated with a thorough analysis of the national character.
Biography of Vasily Andreevich Tropinin
Vasily Tropinin was a native of the Novgorod province. He was born on March 19, 1776 in a serf family. The father of the future master, Count Anton Munnich, for good service, was granted freedom. He did not free the peasant’s wife and children, but handed it over to Count Irakli Morkov as a dowry for one of his daughters. So the head of the family was forced to go to serve the new master as a housekeeper.
Soon the serf, on the orders of Morkov, went to Podolia, to the Kukavka estate.
There, Vasily Tropinin, in addition to working as a confectioner and lackey, began to work as a manor painter. He painted the church, created portraits of the count’s family, sketches on the theme of rural life, portrayed ordinary Ukrainian peasants. The painter creates “Ukrainian girl from Podolia”, “Spinner”, “Boy with a pity”. Vasily also copied Rembrandt’s masterpieces.
In the Podolsk estate, the young painter met Anna Katina, a free settler. They got married in 1807, soon the couple had a boy Arseniy. His wife and son became serfs.
In 1823, the artist Tropinin nevertheless gained freedom.
It happened in Moscow, where he moved a couple of years before. In the same year, the master was given the title of “appointed academician”, since his canvases, including “The Beggar Old Man” and “Portrait of the Engraver Yegor Skotnikov”, were highly appreciated. The master also draws images of simple peasant women, who have always been a feminine ideal for him.
In the next twenty years, Vasily Tropinin created portraits of merchants and officials, writers and actors, fellow artists. All of them differed in depth of images. At the same time, the master continues to paint the peasants. The later works of the painter became more realistic, in folk portraits one can feel a deep analysis of the characters.
In recent years, Vasily Tropinin often painted old women.
According to biographers, the heroine of the works was his wife.
May 3, 1857 the painter died. He was buried at the Moscow Vagankovsky cemetery.
Although Vasily Tropinin was born a serf, his unique talent and desire to realize his abilities allowed him to gain freedom with the help of art, eventually becoming a famous and wealthy painter. The recognizable handwriting of the artist made his works famous not only in Russia, but all over the world.