Why Alexey Bogolyubov was called “ Russian barbizonets “?
Among the famous Russian painters which gained recognition abroad, the special place, undoubtedly, are occupied by Alexey Petrovich Bogolyubov who in Paris was called “ Russian barbizonets “.
Future painter was born on March 16 in 1824 near Novgorod in the village of Pomeranye in a family of the retired colonel Pyotr Gavrilovich Bogolyubov, veteran of Patriotic war of 1812, and Fekla Aleksandrovna, the daughter of the famous Russian freethinker of the 18th century A. N. Radishchev.
The boy early lost the father and was determined by the petition of relatives in Alekseevsky military school, and then in Sea military school in St. Petersburg. In 17 years for the young warrant officer naval life with distant campaigns and sleepless watches began. The young man fell in love with sea elements which forever entered his creativity. Even in distant campaigns he did not leave an easel, trying to imprint a hard work of seamen and a wonderful world of sea elements on a canvas.
Painting classes did not prevent the young seaman to comprehend knowledge of naval service which developed quite successfully. In four years he was appointed the aide-de-camp of the admiral A. A. Durasov and made in lieutenants. It should be noted that the first award, the Order of St. Anna 3 class, he received not only for service, but also for progress in painting. The naval management highly appreciated the pictures " painted by it; Nicholas I`s Arrival with prince Oransky to Kronstadt in the winter “ and “ The Steamship - a frigate Kamchatka “.
The sea campaigns connected with visit of the European ports allowed the young artist to get acquainted with the best works of many foreign masters. In London on it the enormous impression was made by painting of the great marine painter of J. Turner whose sincere admirer of talent it remained all life. “ Harmony of paints forever sank down in my soul “ - he writes later about Turner in the memoirs. During visit of Madeira Alexey got acquainted with Karl Bryullov who kindly estimated his creativity and advised to be engaged seriously in art education.
Since fall 1849 of Alexey became the volnoprikhodyashchy pupil of Academy of Arts. For this purpose the president of Academy duke Maksimilian Leykhtenbergsky who liked works of the naval officer had to get Nicholas I`s permission. In Academy Alexey was engaged at great masters M. N. Vorobyov and B. P. Villevalde. The great influence on it was exerted by Ayvazovsky to whose manner in an initial stage of creativity it even imitated. Bogolyubov diligently, in 1851 for three pictures among which he was allocated with skill of execution " studied; Fight of a brig “ Mercury “ with two Turkish ships “ it was awarded the Small gold medal.
In May, 1853 Bogolyubov retired entirely to devote himself to painting. The same year he was appointed the artist of the General sea staff. The first series of pictures devoted to the Russian fleet of the Crimean campaign of 1853, executed by it in this position was highly appreciated and was noted by the Order of St. Vladimir 4 - y degrees.
But to it serious study preceded. The successful termination of Academy allowed it to go in the spring of 1854 to a long pension trip to Europe. He visits art galleries and workshops of recognized masters of painting, is engaged at Akhenbakh, Calama, Couture, Izab, draws from life much. In the memoirs he will note later that the great influence on its art formation was exerted by acquaintance to young French artists, which “ time made in me revolution, and I began to peer as these people which grew up at Ingres, Russo, Corot`s school and other new stars, then only opened a new era of the French landscape, look at nature “.
From a pension trip Bogolyubov returned v1860 to year, having brought a large number of pictures and etudes. In Academy of Arts the exhibition of its works which showed that in Russia the new great master appeared was open. Remembering this exhibition, I. N. Kramskoy wrote: “ In 1861 he organized a big exhibition from everything made it abroad and at once became that Bogolyubov whom we know: the huge, well acquired by it European equipment and some writing of a landscape. It was positively fine, especially for us, then still there are not enough acquaintances with modern European masters “.
Bogolyubov`s pictures began to enjoy wide popularity, the part of the works presented at an exhibition was bought by Alexander II. The academy of Arts to it gave the rank of professor. Also the new large order followed - to write history of sea battles of Peter the Great.
For the long creative life Bogolyubov created a large number of pictures in which he reflected nice history of domestic fleet. As the artist of the General sea staff he not only painted pictures, but also carried out the routine instructions connected with drawing up art descriptions of coastlines and ports. So, at the beginning of 60 - x years it made atlases of coast of the Caspian Sea and coast of the Gulf of Finland.
Bogolyubov travels much not only abroad where he left regularly. He three times makes long trips across Volga, fruitfully works at the Caspian Sea. The master excitedly writes landscapes in which reflects the Russian open spaces. He seeks not just to transfer beauty of the Russian nature on cloths, but also to show its greatness and width. Its landscapes are epic, filled with light, differ in sharp contrasts and color expressiveness.
In the seventies Bogolyubov became with peredvizhniki very intimate though he shared not all their ideological positions. He becomes the constant participant of all mobile exhibitions, enters in board members of Association. Thanks to the high official position and the authority, he undertakes the solution of many administrative matters connected with the organization of mobile exhibitions.
Since 1873 Bogolyubov the most part of time lived in Paris where it had a good workshop. During this period he became very intimate with artists of barbizonsky school who, undoubtedly, exerted noticeable impact on it. The artist fell in love with plein-air painting, his separate landscapes became close on manner of performance to impressionism. During the same period it creates a large number of the pictures from history of the Russian fleet differing in academism performed by as that was demanded by customers. But also it brings elements of plein-air painting in these works, trying to obtain an impressive play of light.
In Paris its workshop becomes the recognized center of the Russian art life. At it many young Russian artists who are going abroad for training continuation find warm welcome and the help. About “ old man “ Bogolyubov with big warmth Repin, Polenov, Savitsky, Vereshchagin, Beggrov and many other painters which in youth received at him both a shelter, and the friendly help remembered.
Alexey Petrovich Bogolyubov in Paris died on November 7, 1896. Buried him on Few - the Okhtinsky cemetery in St. Petersburg. In 1941 ashes of the artist were transferred to the Necropolis of masters of the arts in Aleksandro - the Nevsky monastery.]