Studied at St. Petersburg Academy of arts (1880−84) P.P. Chistyakov. From 1889 in Moscow. Closely approached with S.I. Mamontov, artists Mamontov circle, first of all with V.A. Serov and K.A. Korovin, in a workshop which on Dolgorukovskaya street lived in 1890, V.D. Polenov and ED Polenova, I.S. Ostroukhov. In 1891 supervised the construction of the wings «with sumptuous facade in the Roman-Byzantine spirit» on his own project for the house of Mammoths on Sadovaya-Spasskaya street. Periodically lived and worked in Abramtsevo, where he led the ceramic workshop, created majolica works («Head of a lioness», the high-relief-mask for the gate of the Moscow house of Mammoth, 1891, state Tretyakov gallery). Vrubel worked together with FO the Shekhtel over the finish of the «Gothic» interiors, spiritualized-fine line rhythmics of his works closer to the art Nouveau (the majolica of the sculpture designs stairs, 1894−96, and the cycle panel «the seasons», 1899, for the house Morozova on Spiridonovka; cycle panels with scenes from Faust IV Goethe for mansion A.V. Morozov in Vvedenskoye lane, 1896, including «Flight of Faust and Mephistopheles», now in the state Tretyakov gallery). According to the sketch Vrubel and with his participation in 1899−1903 on the facade of the hotel «Metropol» is made of majolica tiles mosaic picture «Princess of Dreams». Vrubel have a deep creative penetration in the element of natural existence, to his mysterious origin, connecting the world of nature and human existence («pan», «the night», «lilac», both in 1900, all in the state Tretyakov gallery). Vrubel worked on the romantic image of the Demon (the Demon, 1890; «Demon defeated», 1902, state Tretyakov gallery), created a series of expressive, psychologically expressive portraits (S.I. Mamontov", 1897, state Tretyakov gallery); he created the sketches of theatrical costumes and decorations for the Private Russian Opera, finding subtle harmony of music and pictorial imagery (Opera «the Tale of Tsar Saltan», 1900). Name Vrubel in 1928 was named lane (formerly part of the Small Sandy lane) in the village of Sokol. (E.M. Ivanovo)
The great Russian artist Mikhail Vrubel was Born on 5 (17) March 1856 in Omsk in the family line combat officer, member of the Crimean campaign, which later became a military lawyer. Ancestors from his father came from the Prussian Poland («Vrubel» Polish — Sparrow.
Mother Vrubel died when the boy was three years old. When Vrubel was seven, his father remarried. In the second marriage the father had three children, one of whom died in childhood. The attitude to the boy in the newly formed family was wonderful. The stepmother of the artist, Elizabeth Christianovna (nee Wessel), was a serious pianist, and her music contributed to the spiritual development of small Vrubel. According to the memoirs older sister anjuta which Vrubel linked cordial relations: «the elements of painting, music and theatre began with the early years of his life nature».
The duty of the father demanded frequent movements. Vrubel experienced childhood lot of new impressions, moving from Omsk and Astrakhan, and then in Petersburg, Saratov, Odessa, and again in St. Petersburg.
To draw Vrubel started early. In eight years during a short stay in St. Petersburg, he, under the guidance of his father, visits drawing classes at the Society for the encouragement of artists. In Saratov Vrubel study painting from life as a private teacher; in Odessa visited by drawing school. The artist had a wonderful visual memory. Nine-year-old Vrubel, according to the memoirs of his sister, after two visits Saratov Church, in which was placed a copy of «the last judgment» by Michelangelo, «by heart, reproduced it in all specific details.
Vrubel received an excellent education. In 1874, he graduated from the Richelieu Classical gymnasium with a gold medal and entered the faculty of St. Petersburg University. In the summer of 1875 Vrubel made my first trip to Switzerland, Germany and France with family, where he worked as a tutor and a home teacher.
At the end of the law faculty of St. Petersburg University in the fall of 1880, Vrubel entered the Academy of Arts. Here a great influence on him had a Professor P. Chistyakov Century and Serov. At an early stage of his creative work Vrubel paid much attention watercolors, simultaneously trying forces in easel painting.
In the class of p.p. Chistyakov Vrubel engaged in 1882. Chistyakov recommends it as an able wizard songs Adrian Prakhov, head of the restoration of old churches and frescoes in Kiev, which subsequently supervised the execution of the frescoes in the Cathedral of Vladimir. Vrubel was invited to paint the iconostasis of the Church of St. Cyril in Kyiv (1884−85). It became his first major monumental work. He created the «descent of the Holy spirit on the apostles» in the gallery of this Church and sketches unrealized painting the Vladimir Cathedral (four versions of the song «Grave crying»).
A few months in 1884 Vrubel held in Venice, studying the painting of the early Renaissance. After returning to Russia, he continues to work in Kiev. There the artist paints a portrait picture «the Girl on the Persian carpet (1886), the picturesque matter which permeated with sadness.
In 1887 Vrubel entrusted the execution of the frescoes for the Vladimir Cathedral on previous drafts. In the same year, the artist began to study sculpture and created in this field wonderful works.
In autumn of 1889 Vrubel moved to Moscow, where the most prolific period of his work. In Kiev and Moscow early period Vrubel leads Bohemian life: often in the circus, is friends with a circus rider, and together with his friends K. Korovin and B. Serov goes to visit her. In Moscow he met with S. I. Mamontov, who takes part in the artistic endeavours of the artist.
Creative manner of the artist, which finally formed in the early 1890s, typical decorative and fierce expression of Byzantine and old Russian art, color wealth of Venetian painting. Vrubel spiritualizes nature turns it into his teacher and mentor. He said that the basis of all the beauty — «form, which is created by the nature for ever. She is a bearer of the soul… «Decorative and decorative». Vrubel, he said, «talks with the nature», «looking at the endless curves of the form», «immersed in the contemplation of the subtleties and sees the world as «the world of harmony endlessly wonderful details…». The artist to the subtleties studied the structure and the intertwining branches, stems and buds; ice crystals that form patterns on the glass; the play of light and shadow, and reflect their knowledge and feelings in their works: Kyiv flower etudes (1886 and 1887) «White acacia», «White iris», «Orchid»; the panel Bogatyr (1898), «Odile» (1894), «lilac» (1901), «Campanula», «Shell» and «Pearl» (1904) ,"Shadow lagoons» (1905), etc. K. Korovin wrote about the artist: «Vrubel strikingly painted ornament, nowhere never borrow, always his. When he took the paper, then he measured the size, holding a pencil or pen, or brush in his hand kinda sideways, in different places of paper was put firmly features, constantly connecting in different places, then it painted the whole picture». In the natural world the nearest analogy described process of occurrence of the images from the originally separate lines and strokes, which form intricate ornamental script, which suddenly appear appearance of familiar objects represent the crystallization of a frost on a frosty glass».
In Moscow period of the artist paints portraits of S. I. Mamontov and K. D. Artsybushev. The main theme of creativity of the artist at that time was the theme of the Demon, in which he in symbolic form puts «eternal» questions of good and evil, depicts your ideal lone rebel, not acceptor of ordinary and injustice. The idea to create «something demonic», appeared in Kyiv. In the autumn of 1886, Vrubel showing his first sketches to the father, saying that the Demon — spirit «not so much evil as suffering and mourning, but for all that the spirit of power… dignified.»
Mikhail Alexandrovich had a gift graphics features and form, no work could not catch him by surprise. He could learn to cope with any job, considering it as a challenge to their skill: to paint a picture, to paint a dish, to carve sculpture, to come up with various nothing on a similar ornaments and vignettes, compose a stage curtain. Vrubel’s dream was to combine in his work the art life, he is constantly in search of high monumental style and national forms of art and used in his works ornamental-rhythmic solutions. All this brought him to the style «modern», a call which was passed by the artist. Modernism is especially characteristic for certain panels Vrubel (triptych «Faust» for the house Century A. Morozov in Moscow, 1856; «Morning», 1897)». But the artist is beyond the scope of modernism and symbolism. He sought to create complex odusevljen picture of the world, combining in his works the world of human feelings and the natural world («pan», 1899, By night, 1900, «lilac», 1900).
Until 1896 Vrubel was one of prominent figures of the Abramtsevo circle, «court painter S. Mamontov. He was engaged in design of interiors in the mansions of the Moscow art patrons and bourgeois, preferring to use in their design fantasies on the theme of the ancient world and medieval knight legends. Vrubel has served as architect and masters of applied art — created the project of the house facade of S. I. Mamontov, Sadovaya-Spasskaya street in Moscow (1891), and for the gate of the house Mamontov’s Moscow — decorative sculpture Mask of a lion». In the design of the mansions S. I. Morozov on Spiridonovka and Century A. Morozov in Podsosensky pereulok Vrubel works together with the most important architect of Moscow modern FI the Shekhtel («Flight of Faust and Mephistopheles»).
In the 1890s, Vrubel performs decorative panels and easel works «Venice» (1893), Spain (approx. 1894) and «Fortune teller» (1895), «Princess of Dreams» (1896); illustrates the works of M. Lermontov, published by the 50 th anniversary of the poet’s death involved in designing performances in Moscow private Russian Opera of S. I. Mamontov: operas by N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov's «Sadko», 1897, «the Tsar’s bride», 1899, «the Tale of Tsar Saltan», 1900; takes the sculptures for majolica tiles Abramtsevo factory «snow maiden», «LEL», «Sadko», «the Egyptian» and others; the panel «Mikula Selyaninovich and Volga»; «Robert and nuns (bronze, 1896), «Sea king «(ceramics, 1899−1900). Music By N. A. Rimsky — Korsakov, attracting the attention of the artist poetry of water, was one of the incentives in the artist to «fine folklore» (majolica «Kupava» 1898 — 1899, Sea Princess» 1897 -1900, «Farewell of the king of the sea with the Princess Volkovoy» (1899), «Sadko» 1899 — 1900)
During the summer of 1896 in Nizhny Novgorod was held the all-Russia industrial and agricultural exhibition, which Vrubel by the order of S. I. Mamontov, who was in charge of design works at the exhibition, created two panels — «Princess of Dreams» (by E. Rostand) and «Mikula Selyaninovich». Mammoth turned debut Vrubel real benefit; despite the fact that the special Commission of the Petersburg Academy of arts rejected the panel Vrubel «as non-fiction», the patron decided to show them on rented near the entrance to the exhibition ground built a pavilion us the roof of which a huge letters «Panels Vrubel». As instructed on this mammoth were presented at the exhibition eight paintings by Vrubel and his sculpture. At the same time at the municipal theater in Nizhny Novgorod there was a tour of the Mamontov’s private Opera, representing the performance of «Hansel and Gretel» in the decorations of Vrubel, a portal scene was decorated curtain Italy. Neapolitan night"performed by Vrubel for Russian private Opera.
In 1896 Vrubel first heard the voice of one of the most famous Russian singers Nadezhda Ivanovna Zabela, who soon became his wife. She was the favourite singer Rimsky-Korsakov, who wrote for her soprano roles in all his operas, starting with «the Tsar’s bride». Vrubel fell in love with the voice of Hope Ivanovna before knew and loved her, he loved the way the dream she embodied.
Vrubel wrote a lot of portraits of his wife, which became one of the important pages of his work. The artist performed a designer almost all performances wife, he thought of her costumes and make-up, he himself wore her before the show, attended all her speeches and was glad huge success of his wife.
Thanks to the marriage N. I. the Zabiela, Vrubel was in relationship with the family of N. N. GE (sister Nadezhda Ivanovna was married to the son of N. N. CGU). According to the memoirs of memoirists Vrubel, was not fond of painting GE, but in his work, he addressed the problems of human existence, to the moral and philosophical questions about good and evil, involuntarily following the tradition A. A. Ivanov and N. N. GHE. Vrubel happened several times in the summer to work in the workshop GE, on his farm near Chernigov. There was written a number of famous works by Vrubel. Night beautiful colors «Nocturnes» Vrubel «lilacs» (1900) and «pan"related unity mythological story, paints By night» and «the Swan Princess» echoes the late works of GE. But Vrubel, in contrast to the «dead of night» GE, thanks light and color variations, vividly portrays the night is deep and clear, full of magic. «Night open-air» these works Vrubel opposes the ruling at the time daylight.
Return Vrubel to demonic theme in the late 90-s accompanied by the memory of night scenes He — the artist creates his cycle on demonic theme, as though continuing in it the idea of a cycle of paintings GE of the sufferings of Christ.
Vrubel was happy in marriage, his popularity grew in leaps and bounds, but it is, at this time the artist has the first symptoms of mental illness, which worsened and led to the breakdown after the birth of her son, became a sponge. The artist was under constant medical supervision.
In 1900's. in Vrubel’s work arise features painful cracking, increasing the drama attitude and expression forms. At this time Vrubel returns to demonic theme and writes his painting «Demon defeated» (1902), which is considered one of the most striking monuments to his «magic theatre». Working on it, he continued even during the exhibition, changing in the public eye features and facial expression daemon, light and color solutions of the picture. Benois wrote: «Every morning… the audience could see, as Vrubel was finishing his picture. The person has got worse and worse, more and more, his posture, his addition had something torture and turned…» This work the artist brought the glory of decadent.
After a nervous breakdown begin the years Vrubel in a psychiatric hospital, where Nadezhda Ivanovna constantly visited her husband, and even often sang for him. Vrubel was very attached to his wife and could insist disadvantages her appearance. According to the sister Zabela he «is often exaggerated its disadvantages, as they especially liked him.» Vrubel saw his wife something angelic, it is easy to notice it «Portrait on a background of birch trees» (1904).
Sometimes health allowed him to get back to work, but the disease was progressing. At the moments of Vrubel were created his latest graphic masterpieces, which include sketches of scenes in the interiors hospitals and the window: «Considering a move (chess)», «Bed»; the series «Insomnia», «Tree at the fence» (1903−04); graphic portraits: portrait of F. A.'tseva (1904); «After the concert. A Portrait Of N. I. Zabela-Vrubel"(1905); still life «still life. A candlestick, a decanter and glasses. Late-portraits Vrubel characteristic bitter fold lips and proud, a closed expression. One of the latest works by the artist is the portrait Century Bryusov.
Psychiatrist F. A. Usoltsev, the clinic which treated Vrubel, wrote in his memoirs: «we Often hear that the work of Vrubel sick creativity. I had a long and carefully studied Vrubel, and I think that his work is not only quite normal, but so powerful and strong that even a terrible disease could not destroy it… Until Vrubel could hold a pencil and could see he was working, doing no pictures crazy, but works related to the drawing masterpieces of art…»
Four years before his death, Vrubel was blind. The artist spent in a mental hospital from 1902 to 1910, but he never learned that in 1906 Academy of Sciences awarded him the title of academician, didn’t know about the triumphal success in Russia and Europe Association «World of art», in the first exhibitions which he participated. All political and cultural events of the late XIX — early XX centuries were the period of his illness. Vrubel was cut off from the cultural life of his time and already during his lifetime he became a legend. It is thought to be his teacher and artists of the «Blue rose», eksponirovalis in their exhibits works by Vrubel; poets-symbolists Alexander Blok, Andrey Bely.
Part Vrubel exhibition «World of art» and a number of international exhibitions brought the artist European fame. Among the later his masterpieces — paintings of «the Swan Princess», «lilac» (both 1900), Demon defeated «(1902), «six-winged Seraphim» (1904), and other
In the art of the silver age Vrubel played a huge role. In his creativity, he reflected how ideas of modernism and symbolism, and beginnings of new artistic trends. Describing the artist and his work, K. Petrov-Vodkin wrote: «Vrubel was our epoch».
Vrubel was smart and deep man, knew classical art and literature, foreign languages. He was open, and easy in communication, but the whole consisted of paradoxes. But despite frivolous Bohemian existence, Vrubel were very important to their creative work, and at the same time, notwithstanding all the serious and jealous attitude to their works in the process, he easily parted with them when they were ready.
It was laid something mysterious, he loved to intrigue and surprise others. Some oddities reflected in the behavior of the artist long before his illness. A well known case when Vrubel, being in Kiev, disappeared from the city, subsequently informing people that was at the funeral of the father, and after some time the father appears alive and well before the same people.
Death Vrubel has boosted his popularity. He was solemnly buried Academy of arts. Speech by his grave said A. Block. Well-known art historian. A. Benoit in his article, published on the day of the funeral, wrote: «Life Vrubel wonderful … pathetic story, that is a complete form of art life. Future generations … will look back on the last tens of XIX century as the «age of Vrubel».