Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov is a Russian artist and architect of the 19th-20th centuries, who was the first to raise the fairy-tale genre to the rank of high art and became a prominent representative of the neo-Russian style. The paintings of Viktor Vasnetsov are a masterfully executed embodiment of folklore images taken from legends, fairy tales and epics.
Biography of Viktor Vasnetsov
He doubted his abilities and did not even begin to find out the results, but instead studied for a year with Ivan Kramskoy at the school of the Society for the Encouragement of Artists. While studying in St. Petersburg, the artist was imbued with the ideas of the Itinerants and painted realistic pictures on social themes. The historical genre, which in the future will become the main one for the master, did not interest him at that time, and he did not receive gold medals at the Academy.
In 1876 Vasnetsov left for Paris and stayed there for a year with the Itinerants. But the work of the Impressionists does not impress the artist much. On the contrary, it is in France that he especially strongly feels his roots and adherence to Russian traditions. The first sketches of “Heroes” and “The Firebird” appeared in Paris. Returning to his homeland, Vasnetsov devoted himself to the genre of history and epics unknown at that time.
In Moscow, the artist entered the Abramtsevo circle of Savva Mamontov. At his suggestion, three paintings were painted for the main department of the Donetsk railway, including “Airplane carpet”. Officials considered the fairy tale theme unsuitable for their serious organization, but Mamontov bought all three works. Alyonushka also wrote in Abramtsevo. At first, critics criticized such works, they were very far from the usual principles of itinerant realists.
An important stage in Vasnetsov’s creative biography is the painting of the Vladimir Cathedral in Kiev. This work took 11 years, and the author considered it the main thing in his life. More than 2000 square meters were painted in total.
During this period, he taught Mikhail Vrubel a lot, who also took part in the design of the cathedral. The artist calmly endured the revolution and under the new government remained to live in Moscow in a house built according to his own sketch, with a large workshop.
The following years were fruitful: the artist created many of the most famous works on a fairy-tale theme. He died on July 23, 1926 at the age of 78. Viktor Vasnetsov was happily married to a girl from a Vyatka merchant family. She became one of the first Russian women to receive medical education. The family had a daughter and four sons. One of them, Andrei, became a famous Soviet artist.