Firs Zhuravlev was born in Saratov. Painting studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of arts, where he received a gold medal. His family painting — home painting; he is known for several paintings, the plot of which is taken from merchant life. «The merchant’s Wake» — a multi-figure painting, full of subtle observation (1876), «the Blessing of the bride» — the scene of almost dramatic content, with great artistic merit (1878), also from merchant life. Zhuravlev wrote separate figures, right out of reality, for example, «Waiter». Also wrote portraits (such as father John of Kronstadt). Figure Zhuravleva right, painting subtle and the colours are true.
Firs Sergeyevich Zhuravlev was born in Saratov on 10 December 1836 in a family of commoners. His father was a tailor. The parents wanted the son continued the father’s business and up to 19 years of age, the future artist studied the tailor’s craft.
In 1855 Zhuravlev went to Petersburg to enter the Academy of Arts.
In 1858 he got his «first» silver medal. Fiers became friendly with Ivan Kramskoi and other students of the Academy. They gathered at the apartment of archaeology, where someone read aloud any literature, and the rest are either finished academic work, or drawn from nature.
In 1861 Zhuravlev is on the academic exhibition the painting «Dying father». One of the plots, popular in the early 1860s, was dedicated to the poor and unsettled life of the creative person — artist, musician, poet. Zhuravlev is one of the first turned to this subject, which had its development throughout the second half of the 19th century.
The following 1862 Zhuravlev received a small gold medal for the painting «the Creditor describes the property of the widow.» And again he turns to the fate of the artist, rather by the fate of widows and orphans.
In the fall of 1863 Zhuravlev in the number of 14 students headed by Kramskoy filed a petition for «free permission» to write program on a gold medal at the plot of your choice. But the answer was negative, and in protest, the students left the Academy of fine Arts. Released from the Academy, the artists formed the St. Petersburg art Association. Together with the other porters Zhuravlev fulfill orders for the production of portraits from photographs, painted icons, paintings, and the proceeds from the sale of the porters were equally shared.
In 1860−1870-ies the artist has exhibited his work at academic fairs, exhibitions society for the Encouragement of Arts. As before, he remained faithful to genre and the chosen theme of «humiliated and insulted».
In the artisanal period Zhuravlev created the painting «Children poor», which introduced new accents in widely developed in the painting of this time a child theme.
Female theme in the work of Zhuravlev appears most significantly. From the compositional side an interesting picture «Return from the ball». It highlights the theme of unequal marriage. There is no open conflict, the artist no one was charged, he simply stated an ordinary phenomenon of modern life.
Two painting «the Return from the ball» and «Arrival of a cab home," presented at the academic exhibition in 1868, Zhuravlev received the title of class artist of the first degree.
The most famous picture Zhuravleva was the painting «Before the crown», for which he received the title of academician and the first prize «of painting folk scenes» from the society for the Encouragement of Arts. The picture literally made a splash: on her critics raved, the audience for a long time discussed the picture. It was a huge success. Later, the artist had to perform a few repetitions of this painting.
In 1880, he created the painting «the Unequal marriage». In the picture, in a semiconscious state, depicts the bride in the rich interior of an expensive wedding dress.
В1876 year Zhuravlev presented his programmatic work «the Merchant’s Wake».
Painting «Before the crown» and «the Merchant’s Wake» marked a higher stage in the creative biography Zhuravleva. There is a hidden and a new artistic sense. In the paintings there is a depth of penetration into the problems of human life.
In the period from 1880 to 1890, the artist painted portraits. Among them is the artist’s self-portrait in which he appears before the public in a yarmulke, shirt and coat.
In the picture of the «Bachelorette party in the bath», dedicated to the old custom before the wedding, for the first time in art of the second half of the 19th century, appears to be a naked female body.
Zhuravlev also executed orders for paintings in churches in Riga, Saint-Petersburg and in Moscow in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
The artist died 1901. His wife donated Saratov art Museum im. A. N. Radishchev several works by the artist.