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Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge
 Nikolaevich Ge
Russia 1831−1894
Biography and information
Nikolai Nikolaevich GE (15 (27), 1831, Voronezh — 1 (13) June 1894, farm Ivanovo Chernigov province) — Russian painter and draughtsman who worked in the genre of portraits, historical and religious painting. One of the founders of the Association of traveling art exhibitions.

Features of the artist Nikolai GE. Despite the proximity of GE to the Wanderers of his own creative research far beyond the limits of realist painting. Attempts to classify the works of Nicholas gay and fit it into the framework of a certain direction are doomed to failure: according to the researchers, it is always either late or ahead of mass taste, remaining a lonely figure not only in Russian but also in European art. Often individual expressive style Kyo (especially in the development of gospel themes) seemed to contemporaries inept or negligent, however, from a retrospective point of view, Nikolay GE is perceived as a brilliant innovator. Color dramatic late GE anticipates the work Mikhail Vrubel(the artists were related).

Famous paintings of Nikolai GE: "The last supper", "Peter I interrogating the Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich at Peterhof", "A. S. Pushkin in the village Mikhaylovsky","What is truth? Christ and Pilate"

If ever among the Russian artists of the second half of the nineteenth century held a competition for the title of an incorrigible idealist all the chances to win would be Nikolai GE. And not because there was no competition — far from it. The time in Russia was the era of those who believed that art can transform reality, and their personal efforts to change the lives of others and the whole of Russia for the better. But even against this background, GE stands out for some special internal integrity, kindness without moralism, idealism without hypocrisy, love of neighbor without any preconditions. "I did bake a poor family in the village, and this time it was for me the most joyful in life— admitted Gay. — And who invented that men and women, in General, the common people, rude and ignorant? It is not only a lie, but, I suspect, willful lie. I have not seen such delicacy and subtlety never…".

The roots of the artist Nikolai Nikolaevich GE

Its exotic name, the artist was indebted to great-grandfather, a French nobleman Matieu de Gay, who fled to Russia out of fear of the French revolution. The owner of a quite liberal beliefs, Nikolai GE then it will be a joke: that’s because, they say, stupidity is never a good cause to run.

The father of GE were already quite Russian name and patronymic, Nikolai Osipovich and even fought against Napoleon’s army in 1812 year, and his mother GE didn’t know — she died of cholera, when Nikolai was three months. Then my father married a second time, he was not up sons — he was a busy man, strong-willed, successful and quite hard, and the education of Nicholas and his two older brothers were engaged grandmother and "nanny Natasha." Biographers believe that a compassionate and friendly nature have formed the GE women’s education. And still — acute sense of injustice happening around.

In the memoirs of Nicholas gay is a poignant story about how my favorite babysitter was hiding from him, only just begun to think something terrible bruising: the master was punished. Or how they nurse together staring out the window at Bravo marching on the parade ground of the soldiers, and by the building carrying another soldier — bad to death.

Then Kyo was sent to study at the Kiev gymnasium. But there remember the cruelty and humiliation that children have been the warden. "He beat square ruler— says GE, — and once I broke it on someone’s head. He tore the ears, curl the ear, separated by a crack that was covered with a regular crust…"

Practical father insisted that Nicholas entered the mathematics Department of the University in Kiev. Having studied here for a year And transferred to the same specialty in Saint Petersburg. He was so excited about the move that drew the Kiev apartment all the walls. But not ambition drove him to the capital of the Empire. Reasons to choose Saint Petersburg GE then explain this: "I sought from the province here to see this amazing man — Briullov".

Studies at the Academy. "In the footsteps of Briullov"

It was pure youthful idealism: the student-the mathematician from a wealthy Ukrainian landowners assigns itself an idol artist Bryullov and for this decided to change his fate. "I came to see "Pompey"can’t stop looking!" — gave GE capital their first impressions of the painting. A year later, Nicholas left the math and entered the Academy of fine arts. "The art of drew"— he explained.

But he didn’t have to learn from the "great Karl": the latter died in 1852, then GE was the 21st year. And favorite models of the artist Briullov, Taras from Yaroslavl province Yes Basil from Vologda and continued to pose for the students and entertain them with tales from the life of Karl Pavlovich.

The system of training at the Academy during the GE difficult to call perfect. The first of the professors have been asking me the same story — the deluge. Second, Professor Markov, on a blue eye argued that the main advantage of historical painting in that it’s boring. Third, Professor Utkin, on purpose rules of student drawings of the French pencil that would not yield to abrasion, and it completely ruined not only the image (good in General, though inaccurate in details), but any creative enthusiasm.

But GE had a happy and a rare ability to see the good side. Even the walls of the Academy at first caused him a rush of delight: "An expensive building! How much of joy, of truth, of simplicity, of mind, of genius lived here!" What can we say about the paintings Briullov, which N. N. GE idolized: "The months, almost a year, nothing I could see: all were overshadowed by "Pompey"!"

All early GE era Academy is a lovingly covered by Bryullov (1, 2, 3, 4).

Life, poverty and love

Idealist Gyo living in poverty. To write to order, he can not — I am sure that it hurts the art. And spend on the crumbs sent by the father, is immoral, because there are so many in need.

The critic Stasov says: there was a time when GE is so obnosis that of decent clothes in his wardrobe left "only evening dress -- pair Yes the top dress"and in this attire he went not only to study, but in the shop, and bath. Apartment Nikolay Nikolaevich GHE was sharing with a friend-the sculptor Barmenom Zabelloand two student-artists. All four of them could not boast of financial prosperity. It turns out that the owner of the coat was only Gay, and without a coat in those days was not allowed into the Hermitage — a place where a student of the Academy received the most important lessons and skills. Of all the guests of the apartment to the Museum, only one — the one who first time to wear coat. And since he was the only decent clothes Kyo, is, according to Stasov, "put Nicholas to the position of the arrested".

Oppressed whether it is GE? Oh no! In fact care about personal comfort — it’s petty selfishness, and GE devours beloved Herzen and Belinsky and dreams of a more just social order.

Around the same time Nikolai GE fell in love, and fell in love in absentia. Parmenu regularly received letters from his sister Anna, and GE addicted to read them — secrets between friends was not. Unknown girlfriend shocked the imagination of GE sublime system of thought and judgment. GE and soon he joined her in conversation and after a few months decided not to marry anybody except her. She turns 24, and n 25 years old when they were married in the Chernihiv village of Monastyryshche, to have a life together. For wedding Guet give the bride the article "about one of the drama" Alexander Herzen — loved them with Anna writer.

Italy, a creative crisis and religious upheaval

Not having time to get comfortable with the status of the newlyweds, the couple GE rapidly fell to Rome, — Nikolay Nikolaevich has recently won the gold medal of the Academy and the right to pensionerstvo in Italy. What I was expecting from "abroad" GE? It turns out freedom: "If you’d asked me: why are you going? I would have maybe said, to study art; but it would be a response to external, not the same. Myself, I would have said stay here I can’t. Where breadth, where is the freedom — there want. Six years of school, two years of studentsto seven years of the Academy — rather, more is not to be removed".

In Italy will be born two sons GE: Nicholas in 1857, the year in Rome, and Peter — in 1859 in the town of Frascati. Then GE will replace Rome at a cheap Florence will be a lot to travel, to find myself in the genre of landscapewriting the marbles of Carraraand sunsets Livornobut he could not find his own way in art and began to realize that the Academy "learned nothing and nonsense". The moment when Kyo felt that he had nothing to say in painting. With each passing day it grew stronger the determination to go to Russia to assert the authorities of the Academy: he brought nothing, wrote nothing, as convinced in the complete lack of talent. If it frustrated idealist then prevailed, it is unlikely we would now be talking about an outstanding artist Nikolai Nikolaevich GE.

What happened then, you can not hesitate to call a revelation. Not particularly religious, but very well-read GE took to read the gospel and suddenly saw everything that they say, with an extraordinary reality. I saw the picture. "And suddenly I saw the grief of the Savior, losing forever the student of man. Near him lay John: he understands, but does not believe the possibility of such a gap; I saw Peter, he jumped up because he, too, understood everything and was disgusted — he’s hot man; I saw at last, and Judas: he will certainly leave. Here, I realized that I more than my life, that One, in Whose word I, and all the Nations will sink. What! Here it is the picture!"

A week later the picture"The last supper"written by Nikolai Nikolaevich GE in the same breath, was ready.

Petersburg, recognition, Wanderers and again the crisis

In Russia, the artist had a great success. Her passionately extolled, and as vigorously abused (at least for the fact that Christ, the artist made similar to banned in Russia Herzen). Nikolai GE immediately given the title of Professor of the Academy (and bypassing intermediate title of academician — a case rare) but to purchase the painting "the last supper" expressed the desire of the Emperor Alexander II.

But to return to St. Petersburg permanently, the artist was in no hurry. 13 years in total, his family spent in Italy, while GE matured to this step. His return coincided with the event that he could not meet with approval — "rebellion of 14", the protest of 14 young artists against the rules of the Academy, which will result in the movement of the Wanderers. GE rapprochement with the Wanderers came quickly. It, the former mathematics, was appointed Treasurer of traveling art exhibitions. The first of them is a picture of Nikolai GE. name"Peter I interrogating the Tsarevich Alexei"produces a strong sensation.

But following the wizard on a historical theme, including so well known to all of us in school textbooks masterpiece called"Pushkin in St. Michael"the audience did not accept. Nikolay Nikolaevich GHE himself knew that this painting wasn’t quite up to his calling. But what is responsible? The master insists on a high ideal, but finds no understanding. To the surprise of many, he leaves all the business in the capital, sells the property and buys an abandoned farm in Ivanovo Chernigov province, from which to the nearest rail station is less than 10 miles. There, the artist and his family will live for nearly 18 years until his death.

Farm Ivanovskoye, Leo Tolstoy and "Christian expressionism" GE

Ivanovskoye will be for GE in the same way as for Tolstoy was the Clear glade — the "testing ground" for new, more moral life. Tolstoy was a special person in the biography of the artist. Had a tender friendship. Followed by a Thick GE refused wage labor, quit Smoking, became a vegetarian. If before the artist was famous for excellent appetite and passion for roast beef, but now he deliberately tried to eat something he didn’t like millet porridge, for example. Tolstoy was not fond of oil painting and for some time GE began to write with a pencil (so, for example, illustrations for Tolstoy’s "What men live by"). Nicholas became interested in farming, with children’s joy showed to visitors a new grind, apiary, crops of oats. He learned the furnace case, laid out oven the peasants and persuaded a familiar artist for once in your life — for him — to clean the poor floor.

And the painting? Over time, Nikolai GE returned to her. The main theme in his late works will be the last days of Christ’s life and purpose — to awaken the indifference of his contemporaries: "I will shake all their brains suffering of Christ". But his new manner shocked the audience. And if then there was an article "insult of feelings of believers", GE could be convicted. Why not just wrote about it: wizard"lost his talent and works his remains".The paintings of Nikolai GE — "false, indefensible" and caricature that the Christ he presented "I almost fierce conspirator and unforgiving savage" and — crown! that these work (1, 2, 3, 4)"do not apply to the Russian people". Canvases of the master was removed from exhibitions, forbidden to do with their reproduction, they refused to buy the indignant to the core Pavel Tretyakov. "I'm tired of defending your paintings, Nicholas"— say, GE Kramskoy.

63-year-old artist died suddenly: came back from the city to the farm, suddenly felt ill and that evening he was gone. The twentieth century will be able to grasp: the realist and the Wanderers were hiding natural expressionist, his later work is not a failure, but a breakthrough. The great breakthrough artist of the NINETEENTH century to the painful aesthetics of the next century.

Author: Anna Yesterday

See also:

Touches to the portrait. "Absolutely blissful bits!": 7 stories about Nicholas GE

Show and tell: Nikolai GE on the form, content, advertisement and why a horse can be beautiful, but man — no

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Artworks liked by

Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge. Young girl in folk costume. Unrealized sketch for the painting "Death of Virginia"
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge. Portrait Of Nikolai Nekrasov. Repetition
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge. Portrait Of A. I. Herzen. Repetition
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge. The Head Of John The Theologian. Study for the painting "the last supper"
The Head Of John The Theologian. Study for the painting "the last supper"
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge
1861, 36×31 cm
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Artworks by the artist
total 122 artworks
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge. A portrait of the writer Leo Tolstoy
A portrait of the writer Leo Tolstoy
1884, 95×71.2 cm
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge. Calvary
1893, 222.4×191 cm
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge. What is truth? Christ and Pilate
What is truth? Christ and Pilate
1890, 233×171 cm
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge. Peter the great interrogating the Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich in Peterhof
Peter the great interrogating the Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich in Peterhof
1871, 135.7×173 cm
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge. Conscience. Judas
Conscience. Judas
1891, 149×210 cm
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge. The last supper
The last supper
1883, 283×382 cm
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge. Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin in the village of St.
Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin in the village of St.
1875, 77×106 cm
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge. Portrait of the artist's wife Anna Petrovna with sons Nicholas and Peter
Portrait of the artist's wife Anna Petrovna with sons Nicholas and Peter
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge. The crucifixion
The crucifixion
1892, 280×225 cm
View 122 artworks by the artist