The Academy of Arts and the "Wanderers"

Alla Vereshchagina

Article: 
The 250th Anniversary of the Russian Academy of Arts
Magazine issue: 
#1 2007 (14)

Before the emergence of the Wanderer artists, or Peredvizhniki, all aspects of Russian art - the education and work of professional artists, their rank, title, rights and position in society - were directly connected with the Academy of Arts. When, in the 1860s, a group of former Academy students established the St. Petersburg Artel of Artists, a distinct, independent union, their work nevertheless continued to be exhibited in the Academy, and the majority of the group eventually became academicians: the world of Russian art was, in those days, organised around a single pole.

With the appearance of the Fellowship of Wanderer Artists, the Charter of which was signed in 1870, the situation changed. There were now two exhibition centres: the traditional Academy of Arts and the new Fellowship. Supported by young artists and democratic members of society, the Wanderers declared themselves financially independent.

Thus, Russian art became bipolar. Contemporaries began to distinguish between "supporters” of the Academy and friends of the Wanderer artists. Besides creating two foci for exhibitions, this trend also separated the two main schools in contemporary Russian art: the academic tradition, and the realist approach adopted by the Wanderers.

Referring to 19th-century painters, critics, art lovers, writers and democratic figures, Soviet art historians likewise portrayed the Academy and the Wanderers as two opposing camps. Nevertheless, whilst their negative statements concerning the former were undoubtedly based on fact, their views showed a distinct bias. Following Lenin's approach, art specialists divided national culture into two cultures: that of the ruling classes, and that of the democratically minded. Again, this interpretation was well-grounded, but overly dogmatic, the "two cultures” approach giving a simplistic view of the situation. The Imperial Academy, for instance, was automatically seen as reactionary because of its connections with the Royal Family.

Today, it is necessary to adopt a broader view. The simple "two cultures” approach can no longer satisfy art specialists, although we must avoid the other extreme of idealising the Academy.

When the Fellowship first emerged, the Academy of Arts gave the Wanderers its support. The first Wanderer exhibitions were held in the Academy - a great boon to the struggling Fellowship. Of those first years, Grigory Miasoyedov wrote: "We needed paintings, we needed money. Born penniless, the Fellowship had few of the former, and none of the latter. To cover our initial expenses, members were forced to contribute whatever they could from their own pockets.”[1] It was at this very point that, as one news paper put it, the Academy "graciously offered” its exhibition space "for use by the Fellowship”, the only condition being free entry to exhibitions for Academy staff - most generous and amicable!

The yearly Wanderer exhibitions continued to be held at the Academy of Arts until 1875: thus, the Academy played an important part in the Fellowship's development.

After 1875, the situation changed dramatically. The Wanderers were refused the right to hold exhibitions in the Academy, and the much-discussed confrontation between the two groups began. In this article, we will examine the Academy's initial tolerance towards the Peredvizhniki, the enmity which followed in the late 1870s and throughout the 1880s, and, most importantly, the reasons behind such a marked change in attitude.

In the second half of the 19th century, two dates mark the development of the Russian Academy of Arts. In 1859, a wider range of general subjects was introduced at the Academy. Based on the academic tradition, the overall teaching system, however, remained unchanged, causing this novelty to be viewed as a "semi-reform”. 1893, on the other hand, saw a comprehensive reform of the Academy's pedagogic system and entire organisation.

In the period between these two events, the need for change in the Academy was frequently stressed by members themselves, as well as outsiders. Those who felt that the Academy should be transformed in keeping with the liberal spirit of the 1860s were opposed by those who believed in preserving the existing teaching system and artistic policy of the institution.

At that time, and during the rise of the Wanderer Fellowship, the Academy of Arts was headed by Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich - son of Alexander II and brother of Alexander III. In 1869, the Grand Duke was made "Fellow of the President” of the Academy, the President being Maria Nikolaevna - daughter of Nicholas I. The ageing lady immediately entrusted a good part of her duties to her aide, thus, in effect, Vladimir Alexandrovich took over the management of the institution.

The Grand Duke was interested in art. "He would often visit our Academy,” Repin reminisced.[2] A young, educated, "handsome” man, with a "clear, entrancing voice”[3], Vladimir Alexandrovich could understand and appreciate a fine work of art. Furthermore, the role of enlightened patron of the arts, traditional in royal circles, greatly appealed to him.

Recalling a conversation with the Grand Duke, Ivan Kramskoi claimed that in discussing the Wanderers' Fellowship, he "had shown a great deal of tact and intelligence”[4], going so far as to say that "a mobile exhibition was a fine enterprise, of which he approved and to which he was always happy to lend his support.”[5] Naturally, this attitude explains the Grand Duke's agreement to host the Wanderer exhibitions at the Academy. His benevolence, nevertheless, was also connected with a number of other factors.

In 1863, 14 of its most gifted students demonstratively left the Academy to form the St. Petersburg Artel of Artists. This, naturally, did not reflect well on the Academy's reputation. Vladimir Alexandrovich was an ambitious man. Hoping to raise the image of the Academy, he strove to make it the sole centre for the development of Russian art - to prove it, once again, the only "pole” of the art world.

In his efforts, the Grand Duke was aided by Academy conference secretary Petr Iseyev, who, by his own admission, "served” Vladimir Alexandrovich. As soon as Iseyev had established himself at the Academy, he launched an attack on the Board of Professors, accusing them, in the winter of 1869, of severing Russia's young artists from their national traditions by awarding them travel bursaries. "The work of our scholarship holders,” Iseyev claimed, "reflects nothing but the history of other peoples, a life we know not, landscapes which do not touch us, which are unfamiliar... The Academy could, indeed, be said to be isolating our best painters from Russia herself.” "As it is today, the Academy is incapable of forming an independent Russian school,”[6] he concludes.

The situation had reached a critical point. Iseyev's views evidently reflected those of the "President's Fellow”: the conference secretary was expressing the Grand Duke's vision of the future. A new course was being introduced - one dealing solely with Russian subjects and themes. Henceforward, the Academy was to pursue national, or nationalistic, "protectionism”.

A modern and systematic approach, this trend was not, however, altogether new. Since the days of Losenko, the Academy of Arts had always given great importance to Russian themes and ideas, encouraging the portrayal of national historical figures. Since the mid-19th century, however, Russian academic painting had embraced a range of broader European subjects from ancient history, myths and the Bible.

Those favouring the realist approach considered Russian national subjects and modern topics to be the essence of contemporary art. At first glance, democratic circles and the Academy of Arts could be seen to share an interest in national traditions. Iseyev had, it seemed, taken into account the view of certain members of the intelligentsia, expressed in print by Vladimir Stasov, that the Academy was out of touch with modernity and with the problems facing Russia. The new policy of "national protectionism” was, in part, an attempt to placate this group through the shared interest in "national issues in art”.

It is clear today that any real common ground between these groups was, in fact, extremely limited. If Wanderer artists interpreted national issues as being linked with the people, Petr Iseyev and his supporters were chiefly concerned with nationalism and statehood.

At the start of his dealings with the Academy, the Grand Duke had hoped to unite under the banner of national tradition all Russia's artistic "factions” from honoured masters to young painters concerned with national issues. The early 1860s, as Repin wrote, saw "young men of different backgrounds and different ages” flock to the Academy "from all over Russia”.[7] "Instinctively, they saw themselves as the representatives of their native soil in art, and, in fact, this was so. The Russian people had singled them out as artists, and expected them to produce art which they could understand and to which they could relate.”[8]

The new policy advocated by the "President's Fellow” and his loyal helper Petr Iseyev was aimed at bringing together the artistic forces of Russia: hence, the Grand Duke's attentiveness towards exceptionally gifted students. Upon seeing the studies made by Ilya Repin on the Volga, Vladimir Alexandrovich commissioned a painting: thus, the famous "Barge Haulers on the Volga” appeared. Indeed, Repin went on to produce a number of works for the Grand Duke, including his "Farewell to the Recruit”. Vladimir Alexandrovich also commissioned several paintings from Fyodor Vasiliev, amongst these, "Sea and Mountains”. Suffering from ill health, the young artist was constantly in need of funds. The Grand Duke extended his support to many realist artists: Karl Gun and Mikhail Klodt, young painters closely connected with the Wanderers, were invited to teach at the Academy. It was decided that Ivan Kramskoi and Ivan Shishkin would be made professors - the highest academic rank. Upon hearing of the decision, Kramskoi refused in advance; Shishkin, however, was made professor in 1873.

The benevolent attitude adopted by the "President's Fellow” towards realist artists is perhaps best manifested by the Grand Duke's decision, in 1874, to bestow the title of professor upon Vasily Vasilievich Vereshchagin. According to the Academy Charter, the artist did not merit such a high rank; the notorious success of Vereshchagin's Central Asia series, however, decided Vladimir Alexandrovich. The artist publicly declined the title - yet that, of course, is another story.

The policy of "national protectionism” favoured between 1871 and 1874 by Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich appeared not to distinguish between artists of different schools. In the eyes of democratic society, the Academy of Arts might well have appeared an unbiased judge - a body eager to encourage all Russian painters.

Around that time, the Grand Duke made an attempt to unite the Academy of Arts exhibitions with those organised by the Fellowship of Wanderer Artists. In late 1873, he appealed to the Wanderer artists and Academy Professors Mikhail Klodt, Alexei Bogoliubov, Nikolai Ge and Karl Gun. He then, "in the most cordial manner”, requested Ivan Kramskoi to inform Fellowship members that he found it "not merely possible, but positively desirable that the society [The Wanderers - A.V] should cease to hold separate exhibitions in St. Petersburg”[9]. Henceforward, he continued, the Wanderers' exhibitions could be held together with those at the Academy. The combined exhibitions would be a "true reflection of artists' work, and of the successes of the Russian school.”[10]

Loathe to displease the Academy and lose the possibility of using its exhibition space, the Fellowship Board composed a diplomatic reply agreed by all members. "There is, without a doubt, a moral connection between the Academy and the Fellowship,” the Board wrote. "This is manifested by the Academy Council's awarding artistic titles to painters showing their work at the Fellowship's exhibitions.”[11] The Wanderers declared themselves loyal and dedicated supporters of the Academy, committed to its aims. They agreed to hold their exhibitions together with the Academy; the "halls, ticketing and catalogues”[12] were, however, to remain separate. This was the only way in which the Fellowship could retain its financial independence. Essentially, the reply was a refusal, which meant the failure of the Grand Duke's plans to unite the artistic forces of the Russian Empire.

Complete union with the Academy of Arts was unacceptable to the Fellowship.

The Wanderers were not prepared to lose their independence or to submit to the interference of Academy officials. Another important reason was, most likely, the personal dislike aroused in many Wanderer artists by Petr Iseyev, whose slander and intrigues had already caused several painters damage. The conference secretary's arch-enemy was Ivan Kramskoi, although Iseyev was somewhat in awe of this painter's intelligence, gentlemanly manners and authority in artistic circles. Furthermore, he could not fail to note Kramskoi's connections with the highly placed officials commissioning his work!

The main reason behind the Wanderers' decision was, nevertheless, their wish to preserve the democratic nature of the Fellowship, so important in the second half of the 19th century. The Russian intelligentsia was well aware of the Wanderers' approach and valued their commitment to democratic values.

Besides his attempts to unite Russia's artistic schools, the Grand Duke undertook to reform the Academy of Arts by introducing a new Charter to replace the old, outdated version produced in the semi-reform of 1859. The new document would "revive the vital links between all members of the artistic community”, bringing painters, including the Wanderers, together around the Academy.

The new Charter was to be drafted by Petr Iseyev. Naturally, the conference secretary was careful to protect his own interests: his version of the Charter made him responsible for vital areas of management, not only administrative, but also academic (the academic realm had previously been the responsibility of the Board). Iseyev's Charter had nothing at all in common with the liberal spirit of reform of the 1860s.

As decided by the "President's Fellow”, a committee of artists was formed to produce a second, alternative version of the new Charter. Chaired by the engraver Fyodor Iordan, rector for painting and sculpture, the committee included Alexander Rezanov, rector for architecture, as well as Alexei Bogoliubov, Nikolai Ge, Ivan Kramskoi and Karl Gun (all Wanderer artists), also, Pavel Chistiakov. Such an impressive committee was, of course, eminently capable of producing a new Charter.

"I do not expect anything good to come of this, yet I feel it is my duty to do everything in my power... so Ge and I are working on it, and working hard,”[13] Kramskoi wrote to Fyodor Vasiliev.

The committee's draft included provisions for the Academy's self-management in certain areas, not unlike the Academy of Sciences, various universities and the Wanderer Fellowship itself. According to this draft, a new Board would be formed, which would take responsibility for the majority of teaching, artistic and financial matters. A significant number of positions were to become elected, as in the Wanderer Fellowship. Candidates for gold medals were to be allowed to choose their own subjects. As in Iseyev's draft, the Academy would be headed by the President and conference secretary, yet here, the secretary was only responsible for the Board's administrative matters and correspondence. Naturally, Iseyev could not accept such a draft. Its appearance was, perhaps, one of the factors which aggravated the conference secretary's dislike for Kramskoi and Chistiakov: Iseyev never forgave the Wanderers for wishing to curb his power He doubtless persuaded the Grand Duke to postpone the implementation of this draft, and subsequently, to drop it altogether. In this, he had the support of a large number of professors on the Board: the new draft foresaw the introduction of new Board members, an unpopular measure.

The period of "national protectionism” at the Academy of Arts was brief, lasting until the mid-1870s. Following the death of Academy President Maria Nikolaevna, in 1876 Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich became her official successor. At first glance, nothing changed in the Academy. Petr Iseyev remained in his position as conference secretary. Yet the Academy's attitude towards the Wanderers hardened: benevolence was quickly replaced by aggression. Iseyev was fast becoming the most important person in the Academy of Arts.

It is difficult to say what made Vladimir Alexandrovich vest such power in Petr Iseyev, gradually to withdraw from the running of the Academy himself. Like all members of the Imperial family, the Grand Duke had many responsibilities. Taking part as a general in the Russian-Turkish war of 18771878, in 1881 he became Commander of the Guards and St. Petersburg military district. The appointment was made on 2 March - the day following the Tsar's assassination. At that time, the entire country was aghast, fearing new terrorist attacks. The early 1880s, in short, left no time for the Academy. In 1884, Vladimir Alexandrovich was made Commander-in-Chief of the same troops.

There were, perhaps, also a number of personal reasons behind his passive attitude towards the Academy. The Grand Duke, it seems, was easily deterred by obstacles. Enthusiastic at first, he was quickly put off when his projects appeared difficult to realise. He disliked working hard to reach a goal. Also, as he was to admit later, "To attend to the Academy properly, I would need to give six or seven hours a day, and. well, you understand!”[14]

Far easier to delegate all tasks to a loyal, hard-working official. Iseyev was the ideal candidate, his position obliging him to be the President's helper. The conference secretary succeeded in convincing the Grand Duke that he was bent on carrying out the latter's instructions. A number of initiatives reminiscent of the liberal 1860s and the "President's Fellow” were carried out under Iseyev: 1879, for instance, saw the establishment of "Pedagogic courses for drawing teachers, with school and museum of teaching materials”.

In his activities, Iseyev had the support not only of the President and his fellow-officials, but also, most importantly, of the Professorial Board. Traditionally, this was composed of the most famous artists, sculptors and architects, who, in their heyday, had been at the forefront of Russian art. As creative individuals, Board members had more interest in the development of art and artistic talent than did the administrative officials of the Academy. Thus, pupils' merits were evaluated by the Board, whose members distributed medals, titles and awards. The Board could be said to have an important influence on the course of contemporary artistic life. Its freedom, however, was not boundless - Board decisions depended on the approval of the highest level of management. In the late 1870s, this meant President Vladimir Alexandrovich and, in certain cases, his agent - Iseyev.

To a certain extent, of course, Board members themselves were also officials: awarded various titles on the basis of their work, their livelihood and privileges depended on the Academy. The "artist - official” marriage was an uneasy one: free, creative spirits, these people had also to attend to their duties, to perform. At times, the artist in them would prevail; at other times, the official would dominate. As a rule, the most talented artists were also the most independent. Aware of their place in art, they possessed an inner freedom. The less able painters tended to be more conservative, encouraging stability and moderation. They were less independent, more interested in keeping their posts, salaries and titles. This could not help but affect the atmosphere within the Board. The more "officials” on the Board, the more conservative the entire body. In the heyday of the Peredvizhniki, the Board was markedly conservative. At that time, it boasted few truly talented artists: neither Valery Jakobi, nor Vasily [Petrovich] Vereshchagin could be considered as such. The Board had no members capable of forming and influencing the work of young artists. Pavel Chistiakov, an exceptional teacher, was not accepted as a Board member: he taught at the Academy, but could not "participate in the Board”. Thus, no one was capable of standing in Iseyev's way.

Having acquired enormous power, the conference secretary relaxed his attitude in a way typical of many successful officials. Involved in countless intrigues and financial machinations, he seemed to be constantly plotting and planning. As the great Russian art specialist Alexei Savinov wrote, Iseyev "twisted the professors, and the President himself, around his little finger.”[15]

The conference secretary's chief aim, it seems, was to harm the Fellowship of Wanderer Artists. This war with the Peredvizhniki was his main attraction in the eyes of the Grand Duke: Vladimir Alexandrovich never forgave the Wanderers for destroying his plans for artistic unification. From the mid-1870s, the Academy became increasingly hostile towards Wanderer artists. Realism was criticised and the academic school lauded as the "classical direction” in art: this approach was shared by the Board and many tutors and professors of the Academy. This group now rallied, led by Iseyev. The tendency first became obvious in the days of the "President's Fellow”, before 1876. The Grand Duke's attempt to produce a new Charter and bring together the Academy and Wanderer exhibitions had the effect of uniting those who were against the Wanderers.

"In late 1873,” Iseyev wrote to the Grand Duke, "Your Imperial Highness was presented with the draft Charter for the Art Exhibition Society. The founders of this Society were Professors Jakobi and Vereshchagin [Vasily Petrovich - A.V], Academicians Meshchersky, Orlovsky, Korzukhin and Zhuravlev, and many other professors and academicians,”[16] in other words, those who were unhappy that "the Charter of the Fellowship lays down certain rules, which limit access to the Fellowship unnecessarily”[17] [Iseyev was hinting at the balloting system]. "Many talented artists are unable to enter the Fellowship simply because they have no desire to submit their names to the ballot.”[18] Through Iseyev, these artists put to the Grand Duke a suggestion to create a Society which would hold its own (as they stressed) exhibitions in different towns. In order to do this, the Society would, they hoped, receive "some sort of subsidy”.

The Grand Duke agreed to lend the Society his support. Having failed to engage with the Wanderers, he still hoped to restore the hegemony of the Academy as the leading Russian art centre. The easiest way to do this was indeed through exhibitions, by establishing under the Academy a broad association not unlike the French Salons, but with certain national characteristics and promoting "national protectionism”. Thus, the Academy planned to exhibit works mainly by artists of the Russian school: professors, academicians, artists of the three ranks with academic titles as well as so-called "free artists”, who, having studied at the Academy, did not go on to receive any title. As in a French Salon, some work by foreign painters would also be shown.

In the Charter adopted by the Board in late 1874 and approved by the "President's Fellow” in early 1875 and by the Minister of the Interior in September 1875, the aims of the Art Exhibition Society were clearly stated. They were: "a) to acquire new means for the sale of works of art; b) to secure financial support for artists working on pieces of art; c) to exhibit work at a common event.” [19]

If the Fellowship was fairly strict in its selection of new members from "exhibiting fellows”, particularly in the 1870s, the new Society proved much more liberal. Works of varying quality were accepted, providing the artist had had elementary professional training. As a result, the Society acquired members with different tastes and of varying levels of ability. Among its large and varied membership there were, however, a number of considerably talented artists. Occasionally, former members of the St. Petersburg Artel, such as Alexei Korzukhin, Firs Zhuravlev, Konstantin Makovsky, Alexander Morozov and Nikolai Dmitriev-Orenburgsky, would take part in Society exhibitions. Visitors could also admire works by Academy tutors including Vasily [Petrovich] Vereshchagin, Pavel Chistiakov and Mikhail Klodt; occasionally, renowned painters such as Ivan Aivazovsky and Genrikh Semiradsky would show paintings. Foreign students were strongly advised to send their work to the Society only.

In addition to those named, the Society included a great number of second- and third-rate artists. These members accounted in part for the Society's weakness, yet the most important reason for its eventual failure lay elsewhere. Had the Society been united in its aims, the stronger members could have compensated for the failings of their colleagues. Yet this did not occur: the members were not artistically close. Lacking the sense of public responsibility described by Kramskoi, they did not feel that their work was "needed and appreciated by society”. The only thing they had in common was the exhibition space they shared.

After its birth in the mid-1870s, the Society organised seven exhibitions, ceasing to exist in 1883. The official reason for this was a new regulation forbidding the holding of public exhibitions at the Academy. In reality, however, the Society had simply been unable to oppose the Wanderers and to draw Russia's creative forces away from the Fellowship. Having failed in its main aim, it became powerless, defunct.

The battle between the Academy management and the Wanderers was not, however, yet over. In the mid-1880s, the Academy decided to organise a series of special "mobile academic exhibitions” in Odessa, Ekaterinburg, Riga and Kiev. Held between 1884 and 1889, these were a direct challenge to the Peredvizhniki. "By the cruel hand of Fate, these exhibitions are appearing simultaneously with ours, and in the same cities!”[20] Miasoyedov ruefully declared at a general meeting of Fellowship members in 1888. Nevertheless, this "regrettable coincidence”, as he put it, did nothing to damage the Fellowship's reputation and was powerless to raise the status of the Academy.

From the mid-1880s, the Imperial family, including Tsar Alexander III, frequently visited the mobile exhibitions prior to their opening. The royal viewers could not fail to notice the difference in quality between the work of the Society, on the one hand, and the Fellowship, on the other. Genre paintings, historical scenes and landscapes alike betrayed a huge discrepancy: Repin and Zhuravlev, Surikov and Jakobi, Levitan and Orlovsky could scarcely be compared.

Towards the end of that decade, it became clear that the exhibitions organised by the Academy were a failure. The Academy of Arts was incapable of competing with the Wanderers and their realist style. The entire institution, its workings and ideology were out of date: despite its size, the Board of Professors was impotent. As a higher education centre for art, the Academy was in need of complete reform.

By the early 1890s, the "immediate appointment of new Board members” became a matter of urgent necessity. To deal with this issue, the famous numismatist and archaeologist Ivan Tolstoy was employed as conference secretary. Tolstoy suggested that Ilya Repin, Vladimir Makovsky, Vasily Polenov, Arkhip Kuindzhi and Viktor Vasnetsov be made professors and, consequently, Board members. "The effect was incredible,” Tolstoy wrote. "A general rumble of discontent arose and objections came showering upon me from all sides. One venerable old man enquired who Vasnetsov was! Another pointed out that Kuindzhi was only known for his tricks with lighting. Yet another declared that there were plenty of far more worthy candidates for such a high position...”[21] In response, Tolstoy suggested that all those opposed to his proposal explain their motives to President Vladimir Alexandrovich: as if by magic, the decision to appoint the new members was unanimously accepted.

The circle of officials headed by Iseyev and supported by the Grand Duke found itself in the middle of a crisis: serious embezzlement was discovered to have taken place. In 1889, several dozens
of witnesses and accomplices were called up for an investigation. Iseyev was tried and found guilty. [22]

A true autocrat, Alexander III issued brief, categorical orders. As Tolstoy reports, "The Tsar bade me turn everything around, get rid of everybody and get the Wanderers in. "When everything's cleaned up, we can set up schools in the provinces,” he said.” [23]

A year before his death, in 1893 the Tsar signed a new Academy Charter. Historians are wont to portray his reign as a period of extreme conservatism, devoid of any reform. In the sphere of art, however, this was not entirely so. Through the efforts of Alexander III, the Academy of Arts underwent a vital and long mooted transformation. Neither in the 1860s, when Academy Vice President Grigory Gagarin had planned changes in the Board of Professors, nor in the 1870s, when the "President's Fellow” had attempted to involve well-known realist artists in the drafting of a new Charter, had the Academy seen any real reform. It was not until the reign of Alexander III that the Academy of Arts, as a higher education establishment and Russia's centre for artistic life, was finally reorganised. For the first time, the reform was discussed openly and with the participation of the general public and well-known figures in the arts. By the order of Alexander III, Wanderer artists were first placed in charge of Academy workshops and began to enjoy creative and pedagogic freedom. The Tsar put a stop to the open confrontation which had raged between the two leading exhibiting bodies, the Academy of Arts and the Fellowship of Wanderer Artists. Finally, the fruitless attacks levelled by the Academy at the Fellowship, came to an end.

 

  1. Tovarishchestvo peredvizhnykh khudozhestvennykh vystavok. 1869 - 1899. Pisma, dokumenty" (The Fellowship of Wanderer Artists. 1869 - 1899. Letters and Documents). In 2 vols. Moscow, 1987, p. 335. In notes below: FWA, vol. no., p. no.
  2. Ilya Repin, "Dalekoye Blizkoye" (Close and Distant). Moscow, 1953, p. 283.
  3. Ibid, p. 282.
  4. Ivan Kramskoi, "Pisma, statii" (Letters and Articles). In 2 vols. Vol. 1. Moscow, 1965, p. 215. In notes below: Kramskoi, vol. no., p. no.
  5. Ibid.
  6. A.G.Vereshchagina, "Istoricheskaya kartina v russkom iskusstve. Shestidesiatiye gody" (Historical Paintings in Russian Art. The Sixties.) Moscow, 1990, p. 43.
  7. Ilya Repin, op. cit., p.150.
  8. Ibid, p. 153.
  9. Kramskoi, vol. 1, p. 543.
  10. Ibid.
  11. FWA, vol. 1, p. 111. In a detailed note on the merging of Wanderer and Academy exhibitions, Iseyev claimed that Ivan Shishkin's professorship was the only example of its kind. This fact, in Iseyev's opinion, "is not as important as the Board of the society [of Wanderer Artists - A.V.] appears to think." FWA, vol. 2, p. 548.
  12. Ibid, vol. 1, p. 107.
  13. Kramskoi, vol. 1, p. 136 - 137.
  14. Kramskoi, vol. 2, p. 83.
  15. Alexei Savinov, "Akademiya khudozhestv i Tovarishchestvo peredvizhnykh khudozhestvennykh vystavok // Tematichesky sbornik nauchnikh trudov" (The Academy of Arts and the Fellowship of Wanderer Artists // A Special Collection of Academic Articles). The Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Issue II. Leningrad, 1972, p. 47.
  16. FWA, vol. 1, p. 135.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Ibid.
  19. Ibid.
  20. FWA, vol. 1, p. 336.
  21. Savinov, op. cit., pp. 48.
  22. Having thoroughly researched all available sources (Borodina's doctoral dissertation was on the history of the 1893-1894 reforms), Soviet art historians A.K.Lebedev and S A Borodina were unable to find the file on Iseyev's case. Lebedev revealed to the author his suspicion that the file was destroyed as it contained references to the Grand Duke. In the absence of the file, nothing more can be said.
    The author has spoken to Iseyev's great-granddaughter Svetlana Pfafius. According to Pfafius, her grandmother, Iseyev's daughter Vera (Pfafius, nee Iseyeva) and Vera's daughter Elena, nee Pfafius, Svetlana's mother, the following event took place: "Petr Fedorovich [Iseyev] had a visit from Grand Duke Konstantin [this is, perhaps, a mistake: the visitor may have been Grand Duke Vladimir, although it is possible that Konstantin came - A.V] The Grand Duke explained that the entire financial workings of the Academy were shortly to come under investigation. "Are you a faithful servant of His Majesty?" the visitor enquired. He then asked Iseyev to take responsibility for all the spending, so the Romanov reputation would not be sullied. The Grand Duke promised to return all the money and help with the trial." It is highly likely that this is indeed what happened. It seems the Grand Duke kept his promise, as Iseyev's punishment was light. Exiled to Orenburg, he took up residence there with his wife, whilst his daughters were able to visit him. According to Svetlana Pfafius, in Orenburg Iseyev "earned a little money on the side as a carpenter."
  23. Savinov, op. cit., p. 48.

 

Illustrations

The Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg (1764–1771, 1780–1788)
The Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg (1764–1771, 1780–1788)
Nikolai GE. Peter the Great Interrogating Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich at Peterhof. 1871
Nikolai GE. Peter the Great Interrogating Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich at Peterhof. 1871
Oil on canvas. 135.7 by 173 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery
The Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. Lower entrance-hall
The Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. Lower entrance-hall
Vasily PEROV.  Hunters Resting. 1871
Vasily PEROV. Hunters Resting. 1871
Oil on canvas. 119 by 183 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery
Alexei SAVRASOV. The Rooks Have Arrived. 1871
Alexei SAVRASOV. The Rooks Have Arrived. 1871
Oil on canvas. 62 by 48.5 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery
Konstantin SAVITSKY. Repair Works on the Railway. 1874
Konstantin SAVITSKY. Repair Works on the Railway. 1874
Oil on canvas. 100 by 175 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery
Ivan KRAMSKOI. Night in May. From Gogol. 1871
Ivan KRAMSKOI. Night in May. From Gogol. 1871
Oil on canvas. 88 by 132 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery/div>
Vasily PEROV. Portrait of Alexander Ostrovsky. 1871
Vasily PEROV. Portrait of Alexander Ostrovsky. 1871
Oil on canvas. 103.5 by 80.7 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery
Ivan KRAMSKOI. Christ in the Wilderness. 1872
Ivan KRAMSKOI. Christ in the Wilderness. 1872
Oil on canvas. 180 by 210 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery
Vasily MAХIMOV. A Sorcerer Arrives at a Peasant Wedding. 1875
Vasily MAХIMOV. A Sorcerer Arrives at a Peasant Wedding. 1875
Oil on canvas. 116 by 188 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery
Pavel CHISTIAKOV. Boyar. 1876
Pavel CHISTIAKOV. Boyar. 1876
Oil on canvas. 131 by 107 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery
Firs ZHURAVLEV. Wake for a Deceased Merchant. 1870s
Firs ZHURAVLEV. Wake for a Deceased Merchant. 1870s
Oil on canvas. 98 by 142 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery
Konstantin MAKOVSKY. Family Portrait. 1882
Konstantin MAKOVSKY. Family Portrait. 1882
Oil on canvas. 183 by 189 cm. State Russian Museum
Konstantin MAKOVSKY. The Feast of the Return of the Sacred Carpet from Mecca to Cairo. 1876
Konstantin MAKOVSKY. The Feast of the Return of the Sacred Carpet from Mecca to Cairo.
Study for the painting “The handing over of the Sacred Carpet in Cairo”, (1876. State Russian Museum)
Oil on canvas. 53.2 by 71.2 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery
Konstantin MAKOVSKY. A Boyar Wedding Feast. 1883
Konstantin MAKOVSKY. A Boyar Wedding Feast. 1883
Oil on canvas. 236 by 400 cm. Hillwood Museum, Washington
Genrikh SEMIRADSKY. Luminaries of Christianity (Torches of Nero). 1882
Genrikh SEMIRADSKY. Luminaries of Christianity (Torches of Nero). 1882
Oil on canvas. 94 by 174.5 cm. Private collection, Moscow
Valery JACOBI. Jesters at Anna Ioannovna’s Court. 1872
Valery JACOBI. Jesters at Anna Ioannovna’s Court. 1872
Oil on canvas. 132.5 by 212.3 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery

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