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Ivan
Ivanovich Firsov

Russia 
1730−1785
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Biography and information

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Father and his grandfather were artists. Fifteen years, by Imperial decree, he went, together with carpenters, carvers and gold, to St. Petersburg to participate in decorating the city on the occasion of the marriage of the heir to the throne, the future Peter III, a German Princess, the future Catherine II. Firsov performed "solitarie work", but quickly drew the attention of artists.

In 1747, he was already in the "picturesque" Office of the buildings and works under the guidance of I. Ya. Vishnyakov and J. Valeriani.

Firsov in 1759 became court painter to the successor of Peter Fedorovich, goes to Oranienbaum, writes the scenery for Opera productions and draws some Palace interiors.

In 1762 Firsova enrolled in the office of the Directorate of the Imperial theatres, with whom he will be linked to the end of its activities.

His talent was noted, and at the personal order of Catherine II, being one of the famous Russian artists, he was sent "to the wrong edges of the two years for best scenic and theatrical science of learning".

In 1765, the artist was in Paris, struck him in an atmosphere of freedom, independence, respect. There he wrote his only significant work is the famous painting "Young painter" (1760), one of the first in the Russian domestic genre.

Judging by the faces, costumes, setting - shown by the French. Boy-painter in front of a large easel paints a portrait of a little girl who was tired from a long posing. Standing next to her a young woman, probably trying to persuade her to stay a little longer. Firsov great transmits natural postures and movements.

Workshop fills even the sunlight. On the walls - paintings, on the table - female marble bust, a few books and a mannequin made of papier-mache, depicting a human figure.

In Russian painting of the time hard to find such a relaxed, free-handed space. The colour scheme pink and gray, silver. Of course, Firsov was familiar with the painting by J.-B.-S. Chardin, but just was not an imitator. He borrowed the main artistic principle - to see the poetry of everyday life and capture it, stop living in the moment of its greatest spirituality.

Firsov had been in Paris only two years. He often suffered "extreme need", as money from Russia to France, there were long delays.

Hard was the fate of the artist on his return to Russia. The work of theatrical decorator for meager pay, no weekends and holidays, under the supervision of third-rate foreign artists - utterly exhausted his health. In 1784 he contracted a severe mental disorder, and no information about his fate have not survived.

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