Whether it is possible to create masterpieces, having lived twenty three years? Fedor Vasilyev of
“ Hardly is higher to create pleasure as pleasure “.
H. B. Gogol.
Artists 60 - 70 - x years of the 19th century are for some reason very close and clear to me. Can because this time of blossoming of landscape painting, and I very much love the nature. Art of this time nominated such outstanding artists - landscape writers as A. Savrasov, I. Shishkin, M. Clodt, V. Polenov, A. Kuindzhi. Among them and Fedor Vasilyev.
The experienced image of the native nature in which mighty light sincere forces of the Russian people - here the main sense of works of these landscape writers were expressed. They informed of this beauty millions of hearts, having enriched domestic and world culture. In development of lyrical, poetic perception of the nature Fedor Vasilyev possesses an outstanding role.
Fedor Aleksandrovich Vasilyev was born in 1850. in a family of the poor post official serving at the St. Petersburg post office. From - for lack of means future artist in the childhood did not get any education and from 12 years began to work with the mail carrier. And in the evenings Fedor drew. He hurried to transfer live impressions, landscapes in drawing. Not always there was enough imagination, but it much and diligent redrew, copied the pleasant pictures in magazines which slowly thumbed through by mail.
Early the passion to art shown at the son sets parents thinking on its future. They agree that he changed a job. Many dissuade the young man from a way of the artist, a way full of deprivations and uncertainty. But art attracts Fedor, and he arrives a journeyman to the restorer of pictures, and in free time attends school of Society of encouragement of artists. Work on restoration gives to the young man necessary knowledge of material and technology of painting. It was valuable experience which helps it with further creativity.
Communication with artists helped Vasilyev to find early the main calling - a landscape. Acquaintance to Ivan Shishkin who saw bright abilities in the young man and undertook the management it of occupations was decisive. The etudes written by Vasilyev on a trip, joint with Shishkin, on the island of Valaam in 1867 bring to the young landscape writer fast success. These its first independent works drew attention of general public at once. The poetic, pensive artist`s soul, unusually sensitive to perception of the nature was reflected in them.
The trip in 1870 across Volga with Ilya Repin was a big event for Vasilyev. The friendship with Repin, sincere nervousness with which the meeting with the Volga beauty filled the artist new motives promoted extraordinary rise of picturesque poetry of Vasilyev. Day after day there was a laborious work from nature, the set of album sketches became. As a result there were such pictures as “ The Look on Volga. " barques; “ Winter landscape “ and “ Thaw “.
Me they seem musical. Perhaps, it is necessary just to look at a picture, but at me very often pictures for some reason are associated with some music. In Vasilyev`s landscapes to me the melody of the Russian song, spacious and sad is heard. His pictures are very similar to Alexey Savrasov`s pictures. The same thoughtfulness of distances, solemn grief of the damp spring sky, touching attention to details.
With the picture “ Thaw “ Vasilyev made a speech at a competition of Society of encouragement of artists with spring of 1871, acted in competition with Savrasov who presented on the same competition a cloth “ The Pechersky monastery near Nizhny Novgorod “. And Vasilyev won, having got the first award. Still before its competition “ Thaw “ it was acquired by P. Tretyakov. Silent beauty of the Russian distance strikes. Its boundlessness leaving to the dark horizon is expensive on which lonely travelers hardly make the way. It is so much grief and cardiac pain in this landscape.
Fedor Vasilyev`s life was hard. The need, deprivations in a childhood affected its health. In the winter of 1870 after severe cold he fatally got sick. Cares of friends and admirers of his talent could not rescue it any more. In the summer of 1871 hopelessly sick Vasilyev lives in the south of Russia, and then in the Crimea where he continues much, persistently and with enthusiasm to work, despite an illness and a breakdown. He creates penetrating landscapes on earlier made sketches. Sometimes it is images - memories of the Russian nature from which it in the distance. One of the best pictures of this cycle - “ Wet meadow “.
Fedor Vasilyev`s destiny is tragic. Twenty three years, in the blossoming of talent, he dies. But his creativity continues the immortal life. Works, keeping spirit now of a far era, submit boundless love to the Russian nature, to all live on the earth, sing of the finest feelings of the person which that endures, looking at beauty of the native earth.
And even reproductions of his pictures help to keep the spiritual bridge with the Homeland that who for any reasons appeared from it in the distance.