Rus Articles Journal

Kirill Lemokh. What can be seen from the imperial palace?

Happen destinies about which speak - inconsistent. These superficial contradictions are evident, but then smooth out and disappear. There are no contradictions - there is life of each certain person, own unique life.

Karl - Kirill

this year - round date at the Russian artist Karl (Kirill) Lemokh. It was - as now it is accepted to speak - the ethnic German, became famous as the Russian genre painter. Kirill (Karl) Lemokh is known as one of organizers of Association of peredvizhniki and as the teacher of painting to Nicholas II, is known he both as the rebel, and as the academician. And in it there is nothing inconsistent.

Kirill Vikentyevich Lemokh was born 7 (19) of June, 1841 in Moscow, in a family of the music-master who became Russified the German. At the birth Karl received a name. Lemokh`s childhood passed too in Moscow where he studied in the Moscow school of painting, sculpture and architecture. The love to the hometown remained for the rest of life which took place already in St. Petersburg. In St. Petersburg Lemokh studied in Imperial Academy of Arts, there became the rebel, and then - the teacher of imperial children.

Down with academicians! Yes academicians are well!

Who in youth was not a revolutionary - that has no heart. Who in old age did not become a conservative - that has no brains. This thought attributed to Winston Churchill, perhaps was voiced earlier - still by someone as in it there is a lot of fair. Kirill Lemokh`s destiny - next to that confirmation. Having risen against academism in youth, he all - became an academician in maturity. And in it there is no contradiction too.

Karl Lemokh studied in Imperial Academy of Arts, and studied quite successfully. To it even the Gold medal (small) for the picture “Moisey Exhales Water from the Rock“ was awarded. But the 19th century is an era of formation of national schools in all Europe, not only the Russian school. And the school took place in all directions: in music - “The Five“, in painting - Peredvizhniki.

Revolt against “academism“ in painting took place in 1863. 14 best graduates of Academy defiantly refused to participate in a competition on a big gold medal, and then left walls of native educational institution. There were several reasons for such act, but an essence one: the new phenomenon in art became ripe.

The main occasion - the requirement of following to certain plots and subjects. For a competition the picture subject was offered: “A feast in Valgalle“ based on the Scandinavian sagas. But artists did not want to write on mythological plots any more, whether it be antique or others. They did not want to write and sweet genre pictures from the “shepherd and the shepherdess on a meadow“ series. Artists wanted to write life which “more abruptly than the most abrupt mythology“, that which they saw around themselves - and unvarnished.

These 14 students among whom there was also Karl Lemokh, of course, risked. Big scandal, uncertainty in the future. Instead of Italy where usually sent the best students at the expense of treasury - secret supervision of police in Russia. Nevertheless, these 14 people made an act which so and is called now - “revolt of fourteen“.

Business by “revolt“ was not limited, under the leadership of Kramsky Sankt - the St. Petersburg artel of artists“, subsequently - Association of mobile art exhibitions was organized “. From here all Russian realistic painting, from here Vasnetsova (Victor, generally), Repin, Savrasov, Shishkin, Serov, Levitan, Makovsky and others grew.

To be fair it is necessary to tell that “revolt“ turned back absolutely unexpected side: 8 people from the 14th steel academicians of painting, and Karl Lemokh invited to the palace - to teach the emperor`s children.

Karl Lemokh became Kirill Lemokh, so it was accepted at court. It gave lessons to imperial children - including to Nicholas II, the last emperor of the Russian Empire. Unfortunately, Kirill Lemokh told about the regal pupils a little, he did not leave and memoirs. Hardly anyone knows now as well as that Nicholas II drew, but here other schoolgirl of Lemokh even earned by painting a living. It is known and as the Grand duchess Olga Aleksandrovna, and as the artist.

Olga Aleksandrovna (1882-1960) - one of the survived Romanov, the younger daughter of Alexander III. For all the long life in Denmark and in Canada it painted more than 2000 pictures, it allowed her family to live. Younger sister of Nicholas II was the most talented schoolgirl of Kirill Lemokh, he could be proud of her. By the way, on memoirs of contemporaries, Lemokh was the only thing whom Alexander III addressed in the palace on “you“.

He could paint ceremonial portrait of reigning persons - and would write them well and honestly as did everything in the life. But Lemokh wrote the Russian country life. Thanking, including, painting of artists - realists, we can see not only gloss of imperial Russia, but also haplessness of considerable part of the population now. It was possible to see almost personally as these pictures did not need to be “composed“, them “ready“ to transfer to a canvas, are necessary there was only a talent and work, desire and empathy.

Kirill Lemokh often drew children, in the English newspapers he was even called “the best spokesman of the Toy Store“. Wrote too - with love and empathy. The artist had also the big personal tragedy. The only grandson died in infancy. So the line not only Lemokh was interrupted. Kirill Lemokh`s daughter was married to one of sons of the great chemist Dmitry Mendeleyev . The artist and the chemist were connected by long-term friendship, but it was necessary to endure also a joint grief. In memory of the grandson in the village of Khovrino situated near Moscow Lemokh constructed school at the temple.

Kirill Lemokh in St. Petersburg died on February 24, 1910. His pictures hang both in Tretyakov gallery, and in the Russian Museum, in the museums of other cities. The modest, honest, decent person - it he remained in memory of contemporaries. The artist - bytopisets of the second half of the 19th century - it it remained in the history of domestic culture.