He studied in Samara (in the early 1890s) under F.E. Burov, at the Central School of Technical Drawing A. L. Stieglitz (1895) in St. Petersburg, in Riga under D. Clark (1896-1903), in St. Petersburg Academy of Arts (1903-1911) by N.N. Dubovsky, A.A. Kiselev. In 1911 he received the title of artist. Retired Academy of Fine Arts in Italy (1912-1913). Member of the Association of Wanderers (since 1917). Participant of exhibitions: Academic, Society of Russian watercolorists, Association of Wanderers (since 1912). Since 1924 he lived and worked abroad.
The fate of the Russian artist Konstantin Ivanovich Gorbatov (1876-1945) is saturated with contrasts, like his painting.
Gorbatov was born in the town of Stavropol, Samara province. As in any of the district cities of central Russia, there were old temples, houses lopping over wooden sidewalks overgrown with grass, dense silence. And the main thing was the Volga, which Gorbatov later sang in his cycle of paintings with indispensable sailing banners on iridescent water.
The school of the painter Gorbatov began to take place in the early 1890s in Samara with a local artist F.E. Burova, and from 1896 to 1903 he lives in Riga, studies at the Polytechnic and continues his artistic education with D. Clark.
Arriving in St. Petersburg in 1903, Gorbatov first studied at the famous Stieglitz School of Drawing, and then at the Academy of Arts in the architectural department. A year later, he was transferred to the painting department under the direction of A.A. Kiseleva and P.N. Dubovsky. It is no accident that later the artist finds his path precisely in the architectural landscape.
In 1912, the 35-year-old K. Gorbatov went to Rome as a boarder at the Academy of Arts. First he works in the Eternal City, and then, at the invitation of Maxim Gorky, he moves to Capri to him.
A colony of young artists from Russia gathered around Gorky there: Gorelov, Brodsky, Falileev, Veshchilov ... The famous writer distinguishes fellow countryman Volzhanin Gorbatov from her, together they go around the youth workshops twice a week. After Italy, having traveled all over Europe, Gorbatov lives in Russia and tirelessly writes its nature, views of the northern cities: Pskov, Novgorod, Ch, as well as small Volga and the Volga itself, with favorite silhouettes of curved birches in the foreground of the paintings.
At that time I.E. wrote about the working mood of the artist, his sensitive heart. Grabar:
Of the Petersburg artists, hardly anyone knew the life of northern cities so well as Konstantin Ivanovich Gorbatov. From childhood, he was used to joking old fishing boats with patched sails, to heavily loaded barges, to the smell of silty water and fresh fish, to the molten sun, mercilessly pouring its rays onto the green, red roofs of coastal houses. For adults, when he considered everything but painting to be alien to himself, Gorbatov spent weeks on the banks of rivers, listened, looked closely, wrote sketches, wrote a lot, with pleasure. And even more he loved the backyards of the provincial northern cities by the end of winter, when the snow turned gray, nostril, when the first puddles appeared and birches began to come to life.
In St. Petersburg, K. Gorbatov did not join fashion trends and circles. In accordance with his worldview, he became a member of the Society. A.I. Kuindzhi, the late Traveling exhibitions, as if consciously lagging behind the locomotive gaining speed of new Russian art of the early XX century.
At that time, the style and manner of Gorbatov was already finally worked out. His things are immediately recognizable. Their quality factor and picturesque beauty ensured success with the public. All Horbatov paintings were easily sold from exhibitions. But the circle of admirers and buyers of the artist from the middle layers of society, as one would expect, disintegrated immediately after the revolution. In 1922, Gorbatov and his wife left Russia. First, the Gorbatovs live in Italy. The artist now boldly introduces views of the sunny corners of Capri, Venice into his traditional Russian theme, and then will use the motifs inspired by his travels to England, Palestine, Egypt. His multi-colored cities are now flaming against the backdrop of a colorful sea (no longer a river) and the sky, expressively written sometimes by almost a pointelist brushstroke.
In 1926, the Gorbatovs moved to Berlin, where the artist organically entered the group of Russian emigrant painters there: L. Pasternak, V. Falileev, I. Myasoedov, S. Kolesnikov. They communicate with Russian Parisians at international exhibitions. It should be noted that Gorbatov skillfully uses his craft for a good income. Against the background of the general life of the Russian emigration, he looks prosperous, rents a good apartment, elegantly furnished with Empire furniture.
After the exhibition of Russian painting in Cologne in 1929, I. Grabar, who organized it, wrote about Gorbatov: Academician, 55 years old, working with "Russian landscapes", exclusively with churches, a chasm of churches ... He is successful with the German public, has made exhibitions everywhere, a lot (most of all together) sold and continues to sell. F. Gollerbach noted the great sympathy with which the paintings of Gorbatov were met in Germany. Colored postcards with reproductions of these paintings were even issued in Munich.
Since the beginning of the 1930s in Germany, the style of the Third Reich that prevailed in art made the theme of the Russian province completely inappropriate. The painter K. Gorbatov is now living hard. With the advent of Hitler to power, Gorbatov, who was still listed by their Soviet passports as Soviet citizens, had to tighten. When the war began, they as unreliable have to report to the police twice a week, they lose the possibility of leaving the country. The new temporary passports received by the spouses are extended by the Swedish embassy for four months.
And by the end of the war, the Gorbatovs are already truly in poverty. And as if the last joy in this life is for the artist the arrival of our army in conquered Berlin. Just two weeks he survived the end of World War II and died in Berlin on May 24, 1945. The Gorbatovs had no children. Olga Aleksandrovna Gorbatova after the death of her husband literally could not find a place for herself, she constantly complained to her neighbors about a life that was empty without him. June 17, 1945 she in a black silk dress, in dark stockings, so as not to bother anyone with her outfit in the coffin, stood on the windowsill of the kitchen. A rope with a loop was fastened in a hook above the window ...
By a fortunate coincidence, the Gorbatov’s dwelling went to the Soviet tank captain after them. He handed over to the commandant’s paintings and papers left over from the previous owners. They also found the will of Konstantin Ivanovich Gorbatov: I am writing a letter at a tragic moment when death threatens everyone living in Berlin. After the war, I ask you to send all my paintings to the Academy of Arts in Leningrad, let her do as she sees fit.
Partially, the artist’s will was fulfilled. The archive and the remaining works of Gorbatov were taken out to the USSR and in the 1960s were deposited at the Moscow Regional Art Museum in New Jerusalem. His legacy is located within the walls of an ancient stavropegial monastery, stretched under the canopy of a white-stone gold-domed cathedral. And this monastery on the mountain with birches and houses approaching it reminds us of the work of a remarkable artist.