Russia • 1839−1915
Russian artist Konstantin Makovsky (8 (20) June 1839, Moscow — 17 (30) September 1915, Petrograd) – one of the participants in the "Rebellion of 14" some time cooperated with the Wanderers. Also wrote under academism, art Nouveau, in many works of prominent Baroque elements. He studied at the Moscow School of painting, sculpture and architecture, then at the Academy of arts, which is not graduated. His paintings were valued very expensive. The well-known "knights" works and portraits, including baby portraits.

Features of the artist Konstantin Makovsky: in "knights style", depicting a rich, colorful, idealistic life of past centuries. The idealization inherent in his portraits, especially children and even travelling art paintings of the period, of which more can be read in the future biography of the artist.

The fate of the artist Konstantin Makovsky

Makovsky was the most expensive painter of his time in Russia. And yet – the minion of fortune and a favorite of women. Brush it to glide easily across the canvas, with many portraits by the end of the first session was finished. And the customer did not seem that he for some couple of hours parted with a serious amount Makovsky often said that the posturing is over, but he will now have to carefully work on the portrait. After which he escorted posed, cleaned the finished portrait in the far corner, no longer touching him, and after a month gave the customer, convinced that his appearance artist day and night, worked tirelessly.

It seems that the biography Makovsky is a series of successes. Childhood is very happy. The house of love and Yegor Makovsky was the one that called the cultural center. Later he will say: "All I know, I owe to my father". Mom was one of the most beautiful women of St. Petersburg. She had a magnificent soprano, has performed and taught at the Academy Rubinstein. Father, an accountant by profession, by vocation was a man of art. He was famous for his miniatures on ivory, and as was to Commission the construction of the Temple of Christ the Savior, was familiar with the Palace with paintings, and icons. The artist's father was one of the founders of the Field class, which was created by the Moscow school of painting, sculpture and architecture. There eldest son collected a complete set of awards. However, more correct to speak of "the father of artists." The family had five children. Constantine was the eldest. Vladimirand Nikolayalso became artists, became interested in this path and one of the two daughtersthe second became a singer. An artist's childhood is about Konstantin Makovsky.

A favorite of fortune

The way to the Academy of fine arts was the natural next step, and Makovsky made it. Successful learning and regular rewards too, is quite natural. But the participation of Konstantin Makovsky in an unprecedented performance by students against academic restrictions, dubbed "Riot 14", distracting from the smooth track to its successful destiny. Not over Makovsky and Friendly the famous society of traveling exhibitions. It was written beautiful "Children running from the storm""Seledochnitsy" and other paintings depicting the life of peasants and working poor. That is the call to turn to the people he heard. And what a good the people in his image! "First, it's beautiful"...

But here's a thing: the ideas of the commune and the General case (and budget) did not seem attractive to Konstantin Makovsky, which his own business was going well. Yes and populist motives was clearly not his favourite subject. He began to exhibit separately, increasingly painted portraits of secular persons, for which they were willing to pay very generously. Journey to the East finally clarified for Makovsky the scope of his interests. To write people – Yes, orphaned and needy – no. The case is decent, but for it to someone else. And in fact, "Seledochnitsy"it is easy to imagine in fancy dress in an aristocratic salon. For it he received the title of academician.

Pavel Tretyakov, whose favorable attention was then highly appreciated, rarely acquired a painting by Konstantin Makovsky, considering the prices are too high. A curious case: when Porokhovshchikov ordered the painting "the Slavic composers", Konstantin Makovsky agreed to do it for 25 thousand rubles, Ilya Repin in the end, wroteover 1.5 thousand...

Abroad very cool to the populist motives of Russian painting, but Russia Makovsky, elegant, rich, lordly, idyllic, in the headdress but the wealthy brocade outfits - very appreciated. Makovsky bought like hot cakes in Europe and America. He was particularly close artist Alexander II (he was named Makovsky "my painter"). His work has been compared to the portraits of Renoir (Konstantin - Augusteand a couple more for comparison 1, 2). He himself called the Russian Rubens, Russian Makaremproclaimed the forerunner of Russian impressionism.

He loved life and enjoyed all its benefits. In his house was a luxury never dreamed of Russian artists. Makovsky became interested in collecting Antiques. Experts say that is not always at the same time he showed taste, most often it was just eyes lit up, and he could squander a lot of money to "buy all". However, accusations of omnivorous he deserved as an artist. Were taken for any subjects who were willing to generously pay, and, surprisingly, invested in them with full dedication – Shine, the ease, the brilliance of his brush evident in all the works to which he had a hand. And, of course, easily reaching success, and favored the rich were not the darlings of the Russian public – not the mentality, not the age. So Shine his life haunted contemporaries, who spoke against Makovsky in the surface and idealization. However, admittedly, often these criticisms are valid.

"The best beauties vying posed to me... I was making huge money, lived with Regal luxury and managed to write a myriad of paintings, decorative panels, portraits, sketches and watercolors..."– wrote Konstantin Makovsky about yourself. However, at the end of life, according to the recollections of some of his contemporaries, Makovsky was disappointed in the pleasures of this world, poured him a generous hand. As if everything has lost its meaning and became like a defective Christmas toys that are "not encouraging": and wealth, and inspiration, and children, and money, and loved his beautiful women. By the way, about women.

Favorite women of Konstantin Makovsky

Behind three marriages, and everyone is happy – that's about it. Regarding the third, opinions differ, but start with the first one.

In 27 years, Konstantin Makovsky married the actress Elena Burkova. In addition to the mutual love of their common interests. Elena is good at drawing and loved music. In their house frequented by musicians, especially the young couple helped the participants of the "Mighty handful". Happiness was short-lived: soon he was born and almost immediately died son, a few years from tuberculosis and took a wife. Consolation artist found quickly: in the following, 1874, he met his main Muse – young Julia Letkova. Just after she turns 16, 36-year-old Konstantin Makovsky married the beautiful Julia. With it written by the most famous portraits Makovsky (1, 2). Julia for fifteen years was his main inspiration and model. Their first daughter died of scarlet fever. Later the young wife of the artist gave birth to two more sons and a daughter: Sergei Makovsky – in the future known art critic, editor and publisher of the anthology "Apollo", Elena is an artistthe younger was Vladimir (the godson of the Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich). Children featuredmany of the portraits Makovsky.

Idyll was broken by the world exhibition of 1889 in Paris. There Konstantin Makovsky met a beautiful 20 year old girl. Two years later Maria gave birth to a son Matutina. The artist was forced to confess all to his wife, Julia filed for divorce. Before the official divorce Mary gave birth to two more children, and in 1900-m to year, already married to fourth. Further information biographers differ. For example, the artist's son and his second wife, Sergey, as well as a close family friend, the actress Olga Pyzhova recall that Makovsky was very down in the third marriage were unhappy, complained that his wife brings forth bad and raising children. In other sources we read this as Julia proved too materialistic, and allegedly from-for it he even did not want to return from Paris to Russia. Perhaps the truth is not to dig. It is precisely known only that Makovsky was 76 years old when the crew, in which he was riding, crashed into a tram. The artist threw on the pavement, and from the received traumas he has died. So in 1915, ended the life of a minion of fortune, the favorite of women, a very expensive artist Konstantin Makovsky. All his property was bequeathed to the third wife, who soon announced an auction and sold gathered in a lifetime collection of Russian antiquities. Maria bought the estate, which had planned to arrange the family crypt, and carry the ashes of her husband. But the game entered the other forces, the revolution broke out, those plans never materialized.

Author: Alain Esaulova
Go to biography


View all publications


All exhibitions of the artist
View all artist's artworks
Whole feed