He was born in 1842 in the family of a shoemaker in Mariupol. Have lost both parents and lived in great poverty. From an early age showed up when he is attracted to painting; he would draw, where they could on the walls, fences and scraps of paper. In 1873 Kuindzhi exhibits in the Society for the encouragement of arts picture "Snow", which in 1874 at the international exhibition in London receives bronze medals 1894 to 1897 Kuindzhi was Professor and head of the higher art school at the Academy of Arts.
Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi was born in 1842 on the outskirts of Mariupol in the family of a Greek shoemaker. Surname Kuindzhi has taken place from a nickname grandfather that in Tatar means "goldsmith". In 1845 unexpectedly dies father, Ivan, soon his mother. Three-year Arkhip brought up alternately brother and sisters of the deceased Ivan. Arkhip Ivanovich began literacy among teachers of Greek, then in a city school. In ten years Kuindzhi stops learning: it is defined by the construction contractor. From the building contractor Kuindzhi goes to a grain of Amoretti room boy.
A passion for painting has led him to Feodosia to I. K. Aivazovsky. Apparently, the initial lessons picturesque ratification Kuindzhi received not Aivazovsky, and Fessler, a young painter, who worked and simultaneously studied Aivazovsky. But soon Arkhip Ivanovich goes back to Mariupol where it gets a job as a Retoucher in the photo Studio of his older brother.
In 1866 Kuindzhi going to Petersburg to enter the Academy of arts. He twice held the exams at the Academy of arts and both times to no avail: weak was artistic training. In 1868 at an academic exhibition Kuindzhi presented a picture of "the Tatar hut", for which he received the title of neklassnogo artist. In the same year he was accepted as a volunteer in the Academy. The Academy Kuinji became friends with I. E. Repin and C. M. Vasnetsov, met I. N. Kramskoy, M. M. Antokolsky, V. E. Makovsky. Future Wanderers largely determined his artistic interests.
Created by Arhip Ivanovich in 1872 painting "Autumn slush" its realistic orientation was close to the paintings of the artists Wanderers. It seems hard to find in this time the work that is so sad, hopeless reflected the darkness of the Russian life. Kuindzhi not simply handed cold autumn day, fuzzy road with dimly gleaming puddles — he entered in landscape lonely figure of a woman with a child who barely goes through the mud. In 1890-s the artist repeated in mirror reflection "Autumn slush". The picture is called "Autumn. Mist, remained unfinished.
The period from 1870 to 1873 Kuindzhi often visited the Valaam island. The result is a picture "lake Ladoga" (1870) and On the island of Valaam" (1873). In the "lake Ladoga" Kuindzhi overcame perenapryazhenie in the transmission of weather conditions, typical of the works of the late romantics. The landscape is filled with elegant: the thin light shades, picturesque integrity tone of the letter off the light contrasts reporting, as a rule, a dramatic sense.
In the painting "On the island of Valaam", the artist gives an account of the nature of the island, with its granite beaches, washed by canals, with dark thick forests, fallen trees. Silvery-blue tone of the picture tells her special emotional elation. In 1873 painting "On the island of Valaam was over and was exhibited at the academic exhibition. After the exhibition on Kuindzhi was reported in the press, noting its unique and great talent. I. E. Repin wrote P. M. Tretyakov about the work Kuindzhi "On the island of Valaam": "All she’s like, and yet we today would come to me Kramskoy he delighted with it".
Also in 1873 Kuindzhi exhibits in the Society for the encouragement of arts picture "Snow", which in 1874 at the international exhibition in London receives bronze medal.
In 1873 Kuindzhi travelling to Germany. He visited Berlin, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Munich. The main purpose of driving abroad — the study of the old masters, especially well represented in the Munich Pinakothek. In addition to Germany, Kuindzhi visited France and London. Then through Switzerland and Vienna returned to Russia.
Upon returning to Russia in 1874 Kuindzhi writes picture "Forgotten village", which at the acuteness of social sound, merciless truth of the show of Russian village resonated with paintings of the Peredvizhniki. The squalor of the Russian village expressed in the painting rusty colours. Nature is seen due to the dark, ruined by the human existence. Abandonment of human life emphasizes the dull gray sky, extended the horizon line and the sad look deserted village. Exhibited the picture is not on academic exhibition, and at the III exhibition of the Association of the Wanderers. About the "Forgotten village" critics wrote: "Sadly so that is enough for the heart".
Topic dark, gloomy reality Kuindzhi continued in the "Milky tract. The artist has depicted an endless stream of vehicles, moving slowly in gloomy autumn day steppe. Feeling cold, damp enhanced colour range of the canvas. C. M. Garshin wrote about the "Milky path": "Dirt neviluna, the rain, the road is wet oxen and not less wet Ukrainians, wet forest, hard howling at the road about bad weather. It aches for the heart".
In 1875 were written quite different in mood "Steppe evening" and "Steppe is in bloom. The artist claimed in them the beauty of nature, admired the life-giving power of the sun’s heat. With these works, in essence, a new stage of creativity is established artists.
In the same year Kuindzhi makes a second trip overseas. On their return home Kuindzhi said that he was not fond of French art. He saw the Fortuny and remained dissatisfied with the emptiness of its colors. The Kuindzhi there is no literal transcriptions of the impressionist method. The attitude towards impressionistic plastic was complex and proceeded waves. Kuindzhi was close to the French masters in plastic search 1890-ies. Upon arrival from France he tried to learn the light and air environment as allowed him a Russian tradition.
In 1876 on the Fifth travelling exhibition Kuindzhi presented the "Ukrainian night". With great poetic force opened the amazing beauty of the Ukrainian night… On the banks of a small river perched moon illuminated by the glow of the Ukrainian house. Up rushed poplar. Blue, like velvet, and the sky twinkle bright stars. In order so natural and expressive send the moonlight, stars twinkling in the picture, all built to consummate the development of tonal relationships, on the variety of color combinations. Later M. Century Nesterov remembered produced painting impression: "It I was confused, was caught up to the rest, up to a certain oblivion just living the famous "Ukrainian night" Kuindzhi. And what was fascinating and how little from this wonderful paintings were left now! Paint changed horribly!". In 1878 "Ukrainian night" was shown at the world exhibition in Paris. "Kuindzhi, " wrote the French critic, is undoubtedly the most interesting among young Russian painters. Original nationality feel it more than others".
In 1879 Kuindzhi writes "North", and in 1881 — "Dnipro in the morning." Painting "North" continued the series of Northern landscapes, launched "lake Ladoga". Impressionistic this picture can not be named. However Kuindzhi still seeking color vibrations of the air environment. This is achieved by semitones, the subtlest nuance pale pink and pearl color, separation color smear. The artist, however, is seeking a panoramic observation of the earth, decreasing in the hazy distance. In the "North" is felt immobility of the earth, statics which is in contact with dynamic twinkling sky. The picture "the North" was the last in the trilogy, conceived in 1872, and was the last of this series. Many years later Kuindzhi sings the nature of southern and Central Russia.
In the film "Dnepr morning" Kuindzhi again showed interest in the transfer of color environment. Air discolor color. Smear artist is not as sensitive as the Impressionists, but choppy and fractional. The fog conceals subject outlines, as in "Autumn impassability of roads, and saturated color, representing a moving mass of thick. Kuindzhi saves panoramic composition, delevoy perspective, which give the image of stability, but it’s written in the air contributes to slow the system senses a slight recovery.
In 1879, at the traveling exhibition Kuindzhi exhibits "Birch grove" and "After the storm". Landscape "After the storm" is full of life, movement, sensation of freshness washed by the rain of nature. But the greatest success at the fair was the picture "birch grove". Working on this painting, Kuindzhi was looking for, first of all, the most expressive compositions. The foreground is immersed in the shadow — it pointed saturation sun green glade. Sunny day is depicted in the picture is clear and bright colors, gloss which is reached by contrast, color matching, treated to white. Extraordinary harmony of color gives green, penetrating blue sky, white birch trunks, into the blue stream on a flat meadow. The effect of light and color contrast, at which the color is not muted, and you will be forced, creates the impression of clarity of the world. Nature seems real, she seemed fascinated by unknown force. Landscape removed from daily life, and tells him that kind of purity.
In the "Birch grove" artist contemplate the beauty. Therefore, the real wealth of nature, its diverse charms are General plan. The generalized image color: glade presents the flat as a table, plane, sky — equally-colored backdrop, the grove is almost silhouette, trunks of birches in the foreground appear flat decorations. In the absence of distractions, petty details born solid impression of the face of nature, the perfect beauty. The nature in the "Birch grove" Kuindzhi real and contingent. "Birch grove" not fit fully in the developed plastic realism: interfere decorative elements. However, the picture is poorly predicted and romantic conversion. The optimism of the picture as if he were expressed that thirst "gratifying", which after some time it was clearly formulated Century A. Serov and other artists Mamontov mug.
In the artist’s color is released from a dark tone. In nature Kuindzhi captures subtle color gradations. In the painting the artist freely varies lighting, tint, brightness. He deliberately activates, loudly maps more colors. Kuindzhi perceive perfectly fine knowledge of harmony of colors, colors, colors. This ability can be fully seen in the paintings of 1879 and the subsequent works.
In the end of 1870-ies relations Kuindzhi with Wanderers deteriorated sharply. In March 1880 he goes out of the Association of traveling art exhibitions.
In 1880 Kuindzhi like the Society for the encouragement of arts the exhibition of his paintings: "moonlight night on the Dnieper", this exhibition was a huge success.
Skill Kuindzhi in the transfer of moonlight is the result of the enormous work of the artist, a long search. He experimented a lot, studied the laws of the additional colors, finding the right tone, check it with the color relationships in nature. "Moonlight night on the Dnieper" was drawn not so much a specific form as vast celestial space, the universe. Picture tuned for philosophical reflections about life, about their existence on earth, the heavenly world, as if calmed down in slow-moving stream. For Kuindzhi characteristic becomes meditative and philosophical perception of the world that fills man’s consciousness greatness of earthly existence.
Plastic novelty artist — in achieving the ultimate illusion of light. The effect of this has been achieved through multi-layered scumbling painting, light and color contrast. Kuindzhi and in this picture took advantage of additional colors. The warm colour of the earth set off a cold, emerald, phosphorescent display moonlight on the surface of the Dnieper.
Art Kuindzhi stood out sharply against the background peredvizhnicheskogo realism and academism, and it was not clear colleagues puzzled. I. N. Kramskoy was discouraged decorative brightness paintings Kuindzhi, giving, as he thought, incorrect reproduction of reality: "something in his principles of color is, for me it is not available; perhaps this is a brand new beautiful principle. […] Even his "Forest" I can understand and even to admire as something feverish, some terrible dream, but the setting sun on the stalls decisively beyond my comprehension. I’m a complete idiot in front of this painting. I see that the color on the white house so true, so true that my eye is as tedious to look at him as a living reality: in five minutes in my eye hurts, I have to look away close your eyes and don’t want to watch. Did this work? Is this artistic experience?.. In short, I don’t quite understand Kuindzhi".
Kuindzhi proposed new principles of romantic art, thus excessively narrowed the gap between the fading academic romanticism and new romantic art.
In 1881, the artist created a picture "Dnipro in the morning." There is no light, bright decoration, it attracts calm Majesty, inner strength, a powerful force of nature. Surprisingly subtle combination of pure Golden-pink, purple, silver and greenish-gray tones you can send the charm of flowering plants, infinite distances, early steppe in the morning.
Exhibition of 1882 was the last for the artist. Director of mobile exhibitions Ya. D. the Minchenkov quotes Kuindzhi: "…the Artist should perform at the shows, while he, as the singer, the voice is. And as soon as the voice will fall should leave, not to seem to not mocked. Now I became Arhip Ivanovich, a well-known, well that’s good, and then saw that great so I will be able to do that voice seemed to subside. Well here and say, was Kuindzhi, and did not Kuindzhi! Now I don’t want so, and to forever remain one Kuindzhi".
A "blackout" period was busy intense creative work. Kuindzhi was looking for new pigments and ground bases that would paint resistant to the effects of air pollution and would have preserved primeval brightness, looking for expressive figurative decision. In this period there were created about five hundred paintings and three hundred graphic, some of which indicate the scope of new creative interests, others continue and deepen old. Plastic search Kuinji developed in parallel: realism coexisted with romanticism, decorativism with real object, impressionism — near expressive plasticity.
Among etudes Kuindzhi, written during this period, there is "Winter" (1885 — 1890, 1890 — 1895, 1898 — 1908), which sensitively transmit weather condition: dampness, melting snow, slush or damp air, dissolving the contours of things. These sketches remarkable ease of execution, amazing accuracy and fidelity experience.
In 1901 Kuindzhi decided to show "a Night in the Ukraine", "Christ in the garden of Gethsemane", "Dnepr" and "birch grove" specially invited D. I. Mendeleev, writer E. P. Ledovoi, architect N. Century Sultanov, writers I. I. Yasinsky and C. S. Krivenko. "A night in the Ukraine" (1901) Kuindzhi showed in some processed form, after exhibited a picture in 1878, called "Night." In the picture 1901 the effect of additional flowers brought to the limit: the dark side of the hut burning turquoise colour contrasting with crimson and amplifying the effect of burning. "A night in the Ukraine" perhaps most indicative of the creative method Kuindzhi work. The system of complementary colors was used in the painting "Christ in Gethsemane. Picturesque phosphorescent effect of burning white robes of Christ, krasivogo turquoise, on the background of dark-brown warm shade of trees informs the way surprisingly bright impression. I. E. Repin in the letter I. S. Ostroukhov writes: "But about the Kuindzhi rumors quite different: people wonder, some even cry in front of his new works — all they touch." But Kuindzhi was unhappy with these works, and the exhibition they are not presented.
"Night" (1905 — 1908) — one of the last works reminiscent of the best pictures Kuindzhi time period of his talent. It also felt a poetic attitude to the nature, the desire to sing its majestic and solemn beauty. In the "Night" embodied childhood memories and addiction to contemplation of the sky. Melancholy, lyrical sadness cause minor to sound pale colours of the horizon, wants to glow surface of the river.
Despite the withdrawal from the Association of traveling art exhibitions, he is still friends with some of the Wanderers, were present at their meetings. Kuindzhi took part in the preparation of the reform of the Academy of arts in 1893. According to the new Statute, he was awarded the title of academician, and in 1895 he became head of landscape workshop.
In 1897 for participation in student performance against the rector of the Academy A. C. Tomishko, Kuindzhi was imprisoned for two days under house arrest and removed from office. But he continued to give private lessons, helped to prepare the contest works.
In 1901 he brought the gift of the Academy of 100,000 rubles for issue 24 annual awards; in 1909 donated art to the society in its own name 150000 rubles and his estate in the Crimea, and the society for the encouragement of arts 11700 rubles for the prize in landscape painting.
Died Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi July 11, 1910 in St. Petersburg from severe heart disease.