Artist Fedor Vasilyev: biography, creativity, and interesting facts
Being an artist from the circle of Alexey Savrasov, Vasilyev touchingly and lyrically sang the nature of his native land. The paintings of Fyodor Vasilyev preserve for posterity the collective image of the native nature.
Such a short life!
Yes, the life of the artist Fyodor Vasilyev was really very short: he lived only twenty-three years. But even less was devoted to his work - only five years. However, the creative heritage of the artist allows you to admire his penetration and depth.
Vasiliev was born near St. Petersburg, in the small town of Gatchina on February 10, 1850. His father was a minor postal official.
Fedor showed an early ability to draw. This passion later determined his fate. From the age of twelve Fyodor Vasilyev was forced to go to the post office service, to the General Post Office. However, he worked there for a short time, quit his service and began studying at the Drawing School of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts. In the evenings, he still worked in the restoration workshop of P. K. Sokolov.This work provided additional learning opportunities in practice. In addition to Sokolov, such masters of painting as Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy and Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin, who taught at the drawing school, influenced the creative development of the artist. Both of them belonged to the movement of the Wanderers, who left the walls of the Academy of Arts because of disagreement with the traditions and views on art established in the academic school. Due to this, the Drawing School was opened, among whose founders were Kramskoy and Shishkin.
Two landscape painters: the story of friendship
Shishkin was not only a teacher of Vasiliev, but soon after he became acquainted, he became friendly with his family, in which there were two brothers and a sister, Eugeny. Later, I. I. Shishkin became related with Vasilyev: his wife, Fyodor Vasilyev, was a sister.
I. I. Shishkin devoted a lot of time to Fedor, introducing him to landscape painting. One of the important events in the fate of Vasiliev was a trip with Shishkin to Valaam. The trip to the etudes took place in the summer of 1867, and the following year Shishkin spent the summer with the family of Fyodor Vasilyev in Konstantinovka.
It was thanks to Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin that Vasilyev learned to observe nature and to discern the smallest details and nuances in it.Since then, in the soul of the young artist has developed a lyrical perception of the Russian land, a special ability to become one with the world around.
Tribute to the great master
It was Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin with Ivan Nikolaevich Kramsky and the writer Grigorovich after the death of Fyodor Vasilyev who organized his posthumous exhibition. All the paintings from this exhibition were sold out. It is known that Pavel Tretyakov himself, the founder and owner of the painting gallery, now known to us as the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, bought at once eighteen canvases. And later, some of the paintings purchased from the heirs. The money raised for the paintings was given to the Society for the Encouragement of Arts to pay off Vasilyev’s debt, part to Tretyakov also for debts, and all that remained was given to the landscape painter’s mother.
I. I. Shishkin installed a gravestone monument at the grave of Fyodor Alexandrovich Vasilyev at Polikurovsky (Staromasandrovsky) cemetery in Yalta. This monument did not reach our time, because the grave was lost during the Great Patriotic War, and later found, but without a gravestone. A modern monument was installed only in 1963 and did not repeat the previous one.
F. Vasiliev and I.Repin: teacher and student
Another famous painter, Ilya Repin, also played an important role in shaping the personality and mastery of the artist.
He traveled along the Volga lands with Vasiliev. Repin, being a master of the household genre, was also a very good landscape painter. For a whole month, they not only enjoyed the Volga nature, but also painted landscapes of amazing places where they stayed. In landscapes, the young Repin tried to "slavishly imitate" Vasilyev who admired him. Activity and grace, the keen eye of the artist who noticed it, the accuracy of the line and the line, the tremendous efficiency and incredible diligence, the amazing vision of the moment and place — this was what struck Repin in Vasiliev. In his memoirs, he even called him a teacher, whom all the participants of the trip tried to imitate.
The role of Count Stroganov in the fate of Fyodor Alexandrovich Vasiliev
In 1969, Count Stroganov paid special attention to the work of the young artist. Pavel Sergeevich not only acquired his paintings, but also invited him to his estate in Znamenskoye of the Tambov province.
In 1971, when Vasilyev had a bad cold after skating on a skating rink and was tormented by a severe cough, Stroganov was very concerned about his condition.The doctors made a terrible diagnosis - pulmonary tuberculosis. Count Peter Sergeevich invited Fyodor Alexandrovich Vasilyev in the summer to his estate in the Kharkov province, realizing the need for climate change. However, this could not help Vasilyev recover.
Then Stroganov sends Fyodor Vasilyev to Yalta, where the sick artist continues to undermine his health, spending 10-12 hours a day at work. Contributes to such a rich activity and the arrival in Yalta Kramskoy, no less a workaholic than Vasiliev. All this leads to the complete exhaustion of the body of a young painter. The talented and not fully realized artist Fedor Vasilyev dies in the spring in 1873.
Characteristic of creativity
Although the paintings by Fyodor Vasilyev refer to the period of movement in painting, they are very different from the paintings of the artists of the peredvizhniki, above all, the peculiarity of working with color. Instead of a meager and restrained color, the painter experimented with "adjacent tones." That is why Vasiliev’s paintings are characterized by brightness and richness of color solution.
Creativity of the painter can be divided into periods: before the "Thaw" and after the "Thaw" by the nature of the compositional construction.In the early works of Fyodor Vasilyev, a three-plan construction of the picture is used, but in The Thaw he no longer uses it, which achieves a special effect in conveying his new vision of nature and the world. As for the "Crimean" cycle of works, it should be noted that the master did not immediately appreciate the unusual beauty of the southern nature, but went to this for a long time.
The picture that brought the celebrity
Each artist probably has a picture, after writing which "he woke up famous". Such a painting in the works of Fedor Vasiliev was the painting "Thaw", written in 1871, two years before his death. The canvas was already filled with a sense of tragedy and hopelessness.
The picture shows a broken rural road stretching to the horizon like a snake, which was driven by sleds and carts. What time of year is reflected in the canvas? Most likely the winter is in the period of thaw, but, possibly, in early spring. In both cases, the motive of a thaw or the coming spring seems to be the artist’s hope for recovery or a bright path to an unknown distance. a child with his enthusiastic and naive bright world view and an old man, wise by experience,with a philosophical attitude to life - an allegory of the "I" of the artist "before" and "now", which came as a result of a long rethinking of his attitude to the universe.
The picture is now on display in the Tretyakov Gallery. It is made in oil on canvas, and has a small size - 55.5 x 105.5 cm.
Masterpieces: Fyodor Vasilyev's painting "Wet Meadow"
This picture was painted by Vasilyev already in the Crimea, but devoted to the nature of central Russia. The master was very sad for his favorite places and wrote it from memory. To some extent, the image created in this canvas of nature is a collective one, the way it was formed over the years of creativity in the author's view. But the place Vasiliev depicted quite real - he relied on the sketches, preserved in a small notebook, which was always in his pocket.
An amazing color-light solution of the picture: the use of a huge palette of shades of green, a subtle but quite obvious source of light, as if penetrating through a milky-white shade, giving the light a slightly yellowish, almost creamy tone.
Such a landscape for all of us! The sky has not yet cleared from a thunderstorm,but through the clouds a ray of sunshine shines through, flashing flowers in the foreground of the canvas with bright highlights, the green cover of the meadow washed with rain and part of the reservoir on the right side of the picture. Its left part, where a narrow path is shown leading to the coast, islands of weeping trees and a misty forest on the horizon, still remain in the grip of the past bad weather. It is possible that the author, who had left for Crimea to be cured at that time, reflected in his work his hope of recovery, but unequivocally, he poured out his longing for his native land.
This picture was the last in a series of canvases depicting the nature of the central part of the Russian land. "Wet Meadow" Fedor Vasiliev - canvas, which was awarded the prize of the Society for the Encouragement of Artists.
The last picture in life
This picture, which closed the “Crimean” Vasilyev cycle, was the work “In the Crimean Mountains”. And again we see the fine work of the artist with the light decision of the picture: the light gradually condenses in a wave-like manner - from the lower right to the upper left corner of the canvas, snatching the arba behind the left, into which two bulls are hindered. Moreover, in the illuminated area, only the front part of the cart appears with a man in a white robe reclining in it.The other part of the vehicle and the person near its wheels are in a darker zone. Similarly, the upper part of the picture is lightened: the slope covered with grass is well lit in the right part of the picture, but the gorge on the left is in the shade. In this case, the upper part of the canvas - the sky - is lit entirely. But the upper left corner is slightly lighter. The source of light, as it were, from within, through the skies, illuminates the earth, gradually moving the light. It creates a feeling of movement of the light field, and it seems that everything that the author has written will light up on the light.
This work was submitted to the competition of the Society for the Support of Artists, in which she won first place. Written shortly before death, the work seems to be a hymn of ascent to the light of eternal life, to something unknown that Fyodor Vasilyev expected there in heaven.