Russian painter, portraitist of the eighteenth century. The founder of Russian historical painting.
Born in the town of Glukhov near Chernigov. At the age of seven was brought to St. Petersburg court choir. From 1753 studied painting with Ivan Petrovich Argunov, from 1759 at the St. Petersburg Academy of arts. He continued his studies in Paris and Rome.
A. P. Losenko was born in the family of a Ukrainian Cossack. Orphaned early, and seven-year child was sent to St. Petersburg in the court singing choir. However, in 1753, as "sleeping with the voice", but demonstrated the ability of the arts, was given to the artist I. P. Argunov for learning painting. Five and a half years spent in the Studio Argunova, was a very thorough preparation. Pupil enrolled in the Academy of arts (1758), Losenko soon became assistant to the academic faculty and was promoted to apprentice. Assessing the talent of the young painter, in 1760 he was sent to Paris to improve his knowledge and skill.
Working hard under the leadership of J. retu, Losenko created a great historical picture on the gospel story of the "Miraculous catch of fish" (1762). In it, he managed to combine the demands of classicism with a relaxed, humane interpretation of the image of Christ. In 1766-69. the artist lived in Italy, where he studied the antique, and copied the works of Raphael, painted on an ancient story of "Zeus and Thetis" (1769). During this period much attention he paid to the picturesque sketches of the naked body; the result is a well-known paintings, "Abel" and "Cain" (both 1768). They affected not only the ability to accurately convey the anatomical features of the human body, but also the ability to communicate them to the wealth of beautiful colors inherent in the living nature.
In 1769, Losenko returned to St. Petersburg, where he was asked to paint a picture for the title of academician of historical painting. The artist creates a work on the theme of Russian history - "Vladimir and Rogneda" (1770). According to ancient Chronicles, Prince of Novgorod, Vladimir asked the daughter of Polotsk Prince Rogvolod, but, being refused, attacked Polotsk, killed his father and brothers Rogneda and strength took her to wife. In the picture represented the climax of "pregalactic fate" Rogneda when Vladimir invaded her apartment and her "captivity combined." However, Losenko portrayed Vladimir treacherous conqueror, but a man repent of their deeds, - that expressed high ideals of morality and humanism of the Enlightenment. Was new and content: the national past became a subject of historical paintings, equating to a common ancient and biblical subjects on the status hierarchy of the genre.
The success of the film brought its Creator not only the title of academician, but also the appointment of associate Professor (since 1770), and soon a Professor and Director of AH (1772). Until the end of life Losenko remained in office. Besides, he conducted workshops and created training and theoretical training, "a brief Exposition of the proportions of man...", which became the textbook for several generations of artists.
In 1773 Losenko started but did not finish his second historical picture - "Farewell of Hector with andromaha"; this partly explains some sketch in the picturesque interpretation. Antique plot of "the Iliad" by Homer sang of heroes, their patriotism, willingness to sacrifice himself to serving the Motherland. Those lofty ideals of classicism, which the artist was faithful throughout his creative life received a powerful expression in "Vectorbeam farewell" (as he called the picture his contemporaries). The son of the Trojan king Priam says goodbye before the battle with his faithful wife andromaha holding an infant. A premonition of the tragic outcome permeates the pathetic scene presented by the artist. However, the only truly pathetic main character - Hector, the images of all the other characters Losenko connects discreetly majestic and naturally harsh beginning, harmoniously arranging the composition and warm color of the picture.
In addition to historical paintings the artist created a portrait gallery of his contemporaries: count I. I. Shuvalov, the poet A. P. Sumarokov, J. D. Shumsky (all 1760), and F. G. Volkov (1763). Spirituality and human warmth permeated the images portrayed.
The Director AH, entrusted to the artist of great talent, a Professor, taught every day for many hours in classes, was for Losenko to be burdensome. Besides, it unwittingly involved him in a tangle of academic and court intrigues that were alien to the artist. No wonder the sculptor E. M. Falco-not intercede for him, wrote to Catherine II: "Persecuted, weary, saddened, exhausted darkness... academic trivia Losenko not able to touch the brush; it will ruin undoubtedly. Skillful he was the first artist of the nation, remain insensitive to this, they sacrifice..." the Empress promised to transfer Losenko of
OH to Hermitage, but did not. The power of the artist was undermined, he could not overcome his serious illness, which carried him to the grave.