Fomich (Trofimovich) Khrutsky

Russia • 1810−1885
Ivan Fomich Khrutsky - (January 27, 1810, Ulla town of the Vitebsk province, - January 13, 1885, the estate of Zakharichi, Vitebsk province, Russian Empire) - Belarusian and Russian artist, master of portrait and still life.

Khrutsky left a significant mark in the history of art thanks to his numerous naturalistic still lifes, which adorned the richest houses of his contemporaries; masters can rightly be considered the founder of the Russian still-life genre. Khrutsky was also an excellent portrait painter, in whose works the principles of the Venetian school clearly show through.

Features of the artist:In the still lifes of Ivan Khrutsky, you can find the influence of both Dutch and Flemish masters, but Khrutsky has developed his own personal, recognizable style: his works are optimistic, they enjoy the joy of life. The smooth, uniqueness of writing fits into the basic principles of academism. The generous gifts of nature depicted by Khrutsky are a symbol of the abundant life for people of that time. These are exotic grapes that have just been grown in the greenhouses of St. Petersburg, as well as lemons, which the artist very often portrayed "in Dutch style" - with a notched skin that falls off the table. Expensive, “heavenly” fruits - one of the iconic features of Khrutsky's still lifes, as well as a realistic, superfine workshop in the depiction of the smallest details of the picture: the structure and texture of vegetables and fruits, glass and ceramics, fabric and metal.

Famous paintings by artist Ivan Khrutsky: "Portrait of an Unknown with Flowers and Fruits", "Flowers and fruits", "The old woman, knitting stocking", "Still Life with Binoculars", "Fruits and Melon", "Still life with a candle".

Youth and first teachers
Ivan Fomich Khrutsky was born into a Polish family of a Uniate priest, in the town of Ulla in the Lepel district of the Vitebsk province. The eldest son in the family, he had to continue the work of his father - at 10 years old the boy was sent to Polotsk, where he entered the lyceum of the monastic order of PR Here Khrutsky received a brilliant education, including learned several languages. However, he did not become a priest: when Ivan was 17 years old, he decided to go to the capital and enter the Academy of Arts. Here, according to the memoirs of the artist’s descendants, he was for some time apprenticed to an English artistGeorge Doe, who worked on hundreds of portraits of Russian commanders for the Military Gallery in the Winter Palace of St. Petersburg.
However, this is controversial information; in fact, the entire biography of Ivan Khrutsky is replete with white spots and is of undoubted interest to art historians: the artist did not leave any letters or diaries. Nevertheless, it is believed that from 1830 to 1833 Khrutsky worked under the leadership of George Doe. At the same time, he received permission to visit the Imperial Hermitage, where he was engaged in copying the works of the greatest masters of Europe. It is known that the Hermitage Khrutsky allowed the patronage of the academicianJozef Oleshkevich (1777 - 1830), an artist of Polish origin, a member of the Academy of Fine Arts, known for his works for the royal family and reputed to be an unusually virtuous person.

Academic Studies
In 1833, Ivan Khrutsky became a visiting ("outsider", as they said then) a student of the Imperial Academy of Arts. He studies in a landscape painter's workshop Maxim Vorobiev, and the basics of portrait painting comprehends in the classroom Alexandra Varneka. Also teachers of Khrutsky were outstanding academics.Karl Brullov and Fedor Bruni. Some art historians believe that at the Academy Khrutsky metAlexey Tyranov - an artist who by that time had already graduated from the school of painter Alexey Venetsianov, a recognized master of landscape painting and peasant household scenes. It is the Venetian style of painting and great attention to the smallest details of the objective world is in many ways inherent in the work of Khrutsky.
Having completed his studies in 1836, Ivan Khrutsky received the title of a classless (free) artist. For the picture"Flowers and fruits" He was awarded a large silver medal. In 1837, Emperor Nicholas I noted the merits of Khrutsky for hours on a gold chain “in encouragement for further work. The popularity of Ivan Khrutsky is growing, and a year later for the painting "Flowers and fruits" and"The old woman, knitting stocking" He was awarded a small gold medal of the Academy of Arts.

A beautiful stranger
In the period from 1835 to 1838, Ivan Khrutsky wrote a series of portraits depicting a young beautiful woman; This series of "Unknowns" - with flowers,with fruits - a great mystery for historians and art historians. The identity of this married woman - and in almost all the portraits we see a wedding ring - is still not known. The version of the portraits of his wife failed the test: at that time, the future wife of Khrutsky, Anna Ksaverievna Bembnovskaya (1822) was only 13-15 years old ... the same woman as in the “Unknown” series of female portraits suggests that there was a mysterious story in the artist’s life, about which nothing is known to contemporaries. Today this picture is called"Portrait of an Unknown with Flowers and Fruits" and is a calling card National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus, as well as the entire collection of works by Ivan Khrutsky, which is stored here. A fragment of this painting is depicted on the modern thousandth banknote of the Republic of Belarus.

Recognized master of still life
Khrutsky was constantly exhibited; his works were exhibited at the exhibitions of the Academy of Arts and have always been popular with the public due to the bright colors and the sense of celebration that they caused the viewer. Due to the huge number of orders, Khrutsky often repeated his works, often only slightly changing the compositional decision. So, "Still Life with Binoculars", written in 1839, the artist repeated eight times. In short, he found his creative niche, becoming the most famous and most sought-after Russian master of the 19th century still life. “For excellent works in portrait, landscape and especially in the painting of fruits and vegetables” Ivan Khrutsky in 1839 received the title of academician of the Imperial Academy of Arts.

Being an excellent portrait painter, Khrutsky in this genre almost always included a still-life in the picture. Many of his works clearly show the Biedermeier style - family scenes, portraits in interiors, written out in great detail ... One feels immersed in the perception of the world as a child, praises the love for the family. Khrutsky is ordered to work by famous personalities - he writes "A Portrait of Iosaphat Bulgak" (1843), the Uniate Metropolitan, and "A Portrait of Ilya Ivanovich Glazunov," the largest publisher in St. Petersburg.

Being the eldest son in the family, after the death of his father in 1839, Ivan Khrutsky decided to leave St. Petersburg, his fans, expensive orders and return to his father's house to become a support for his mother, brothers and sisters. Absorbed by the family troubles, the artist began to write less often - mainly to create portraits. In 1844, he acquired the estate of Zakharichi near Polotsk, where he built a house according to his own project. A year later, Ivan Khrutsky married a young Catholic neighbor, Anna Ksaverievna Odrovonzh-Bembnovskaya (1822 - 18 ...), the daughter of an officer, and finally settled on his native land.

Vilnius period
In 1846, the artist is invited to work by Archbishop Joseph Semashko. Ivan Khrutsky arrives in Vilna, where he is provided with an apartment, table and fee - one thousand silver rubles a year. Alas, the work on Semashko did not bring much pleasure to the artist: the archbishop constantly intervened in the creative process, demanding to copy the classical European masters. For 8 years, Ivan Khrutsky wrote portraits of Semashko's closest associates - 32 portraits of clergymen, of whom only one has survived to this day. "Portrait of Vincent Lisowski". The artist also created icons for the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Kovno (Kaunas), the cave church of the three martyrs in Vilna, the church of St. Joseph the Convict in Trinopol, landscapes, views of Vilna ... Vilchinsky: in the first series of lithographed urban views of Vilna, published in Paris, there is his work "Suburb of Snipishki".

Slow years in Zakharnichi
Finally, Khruktsy leaves the customer and patron Joseph Semashko, who has become a metropolitan by the time, a bit disgusting customer. The artist returns to the family, in his native Zakharnichi. In 1855, he wrote a work not entirely characteristic of him - a portrait of Adam Mitskevich. Created after the death of the poet and one of the leaders of the Polish liberation movement, this portrait by its very existence raises a number of questions to which Khrutsky himself left no answers.

In subsequent years, the life of Ivan Khrutsky and his family flows peacefully and smoothly; the artist leads a modest, almost reclusive life, works little, writes family portraits and home interiors, almost forgetting about his favorite still lifes. One of the last works of Ivan Khrutsky - «Self-portrait», created in 1884, 9 months before death.

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