M. P. Botkin, a Russian painter, printmaker, academician of historical painting and an outstanding collector, was born on 7 Aug 1839 in Moscow in a family of well-known tea P. K. Botkin. Brother Basil and Sergei Botkin. From 1856 he studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts under the guidance of Professor Zavyalova and F. Bruni. Then he spent several years in Germany, France and Italy. Here he made friends with many Russian artists and, in particular, with Alexander Ivanov, whose work is revered all life, making it one of the areas of its collecting and research activities. (In 1880 Botkin has published the book «Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov. His life and correspondence»). For the painting «Bacchante with a tambourine» and «Crying at the rivers of Babylon», which he exhibited at the Academy of Arts, returning from abroad, in 1863, received the title of academician. His career was going very well — a young academician quickly moved up the ladder of success, gaining titles, ranks, awards, positions. S. P. Diaghilev jokingly liked to list all the 18 posts of Mikhail Petrovich, held a prominent position in the Academy of arts, member of the Board of the Academy of Arts (since 1879), the Imperial Archaeological Commission, member of the Society for the encouragement of arts, Director of the Museum of the Imperial society for the encouragement of arts (since 1896), the Chairman of the Board of the First Russian insurance society, member of the Board of the St. Petersburg international commercial Bank, etc. His social and artistic activities was reflected in the continuous participation in the Affairs of the society for the encouragement of arts, and commissions established to organize artistic endeavors. M. P. Botkin was one of the most prominent collectors and philanthropists of his time. His house on Vasilyevsky island has become a true Museum. Italian travel 1858−1863 Botkin brought to St. Petersburg valuable monuments of Renaissance and ancient art. Especially outstanding was the collection of vases and terracotta. He owned a unique collection of works of applied art: ancient, Byzantine, old Russian, Gothic and Renaissance. She could compete with the best private collections in Europe. Mikhail Petrovich for about 50 years collecting objects of art of antiquity. For a long time living abroad, especially in Italy, during his many travels in Europe and the world, he has acquired many treasures. Was in the collection of rare paintings of old masters: Pinturicchio, Botticelli, Andrea Mantegna. In 1920 the art collection of M. P. Botkin was admitted to the State Hermitage. M. P. Botkin died in Saint Petersburg on 22 January (4 February) 1914, left in memory of friends professional artist, a knowledgeable collector and an outstanding public figure. The M. P. Botkin grave at Novodevichy cemetery in St. Petersburg is located on the 9th track along with his brother — the famous physician S. P. Botkin (1832−1889).
Brother Basil and Sergei Botkin — academician of historical painting, was born in Moscow in 1839; and the initial education received at home and then in high school. In 1856 he entered the Academy of fine arts and studied painting under the guidance of prof Zavialova and F. Bruni. In 1858 left the Academy and went abroad and lived for several years in Germany, France and mainly Italy. Returning in 1863 from abroad, M. P. Botkin. exhibited at the Academy two paintings «the Bacchante with a tambourine» and «Crying at the rivers of Babylon», for which the Council of the Academy awarded him the title of academician. Among his historical paintings draw attention to themselves: «Wives, looking at Calvary," the «Sorrowful mother of God» (Mater Dolorosa), «a Night in the monastery of St. Francis in Assyria», «the Return from Calvary», «the conversation of the Christ on the mount of Eleonskii," «lady, coming from Calvary," «the Burial of the Martyr.» In addition to the historical paintings of M. P. Botkin. many also engaged in genre. Of his genre paintings we mention: «Pepina," «Father, Aliberti», «Arrived in the monastery» (Noviziata), «the Funeral of the first Christians in Rome," «Evening in Assisi», «Concerto for recovering», «old believers pedant», «Sketch of the island of Ischia», «head Study», «mountain», «Blind», «the old Man» (sketch from nature), «Believer», «the Antiquary», «Ancient pottery," «Portrait of S. P. Postnikova», «Nuns». In addition, M. P. Botkin wrote a lot of character heads and expressive figures. In 1879, M. P. Botkin was elected a member of the Academy of arts; in that position he is today. Devoted to art, by M. P. Botkin devotes a lot of time on social-artistic activity, constantly participating in the Affairs of the society for the encouragement of arts, in various committees and so on. In this respect it deserves special compassion to his work as managing art departments at the all-Russian industrial exhibition in Moscow 1882, and his active part in the construction of the Russian section at the international industrial exhibition in Copenhagen in 1888. In 1882 M. P. Botkin was appointed a member of the special temporary Commission in the Ministry Courtyard on the restoration of the court of the Annunciation Cathedral in Moscow. In 1888 he was elected member of the Imperial. archaeological Commission. In addition, M. P. Botkin since 1869 has been a member of the German archaeological Institute in Rome. In addition to painting, M. P. Botkin does a lot of engraving strong vodka (EAI-forte). During his many years of travel, thanks to the continuous archaeological activities, M. P. Botkin made a very wonderful Museum of works of art and objects of art industry. In its Museum are a wonderful majolica, bronze, carved works from wood of the Italian Renaissance. In addition, he belongs to the most studies and sketches Ivanov. In 1880, M. P. Botkin has published a book: «Alexander A. Ivanov. His life and correspondence» — the work is extremely important for the history of Russian art. Historical paintings of M. P. Botkin draws attention to the beautiful composition and expressive figures and faces. M. Botkin is also considered to be one of our best draftsmen.