The six forces that killed Alexei Savrasov

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I was going to write about Savrasov in my tour of the world gallery for a long time. You see, when people talk about it, then everyone remembers the textbook "Rooks arrived" and all the stories are connected with it – all copies, resales... Well, and probably two or three landscapes: "elk island in Sokolniki", "Lane", "rainbow". What else do we hear about Savrasov? And in addition, we all constantly hear the same thing – poor and common cliches: the artist of one picture, drunk, died in poverty, a genius who killed his talent, a great loser... In principle-all of course so, after all under the end of the he, received in 24 year title academician, indeed traded their drawings on market himself. And the author's copies of "Rooks" went for three dollars apiece.

But, for me personally, it's not that simple. So let me try to write six things about him that I think have influenced him a lot.. Can be something will become clearer – that personally for me means Alexey Savrasov.

So, first, his father-Kondratiy Sovrasov (and precisely so was written then their surname). He was a merchant and near red square had a shop of woolen products. The desires of the son to draw resisted as best he could and for educational purposes often even locked him long one in the attic, in the dark, to "he there and what is not painted". But he persevered when it was possible for entire days to paint with gouache pictures from magazines. And somehow took them to Ilyinka, where they sold splints, old books and engravings. Well, to his surprise, he sold it to one of the traders – six rubles for a dozen. And that was pretty good money then, I assure you. And then, at the age of 14, he entered the school of painting, at Myasnitskaya. And the money for training – about two rubles a month-he earned himself, because his father no longer gave him a penny. Even for food. And asked to leave his house. 

And here begins the second. The second is schools. Then everything began to turn: in fact, those with whom he spoke then – it were all people connected with the school. And most of the Wanderers were colleagues in the class, and his first wife – Sophia - was the sister of his classmate Konstantin Hertz. By the way, that Hertz considered his lure, and made a bet on it. Sheltered almost immediately-their two-story mansion in Arkhangelsk lane, filled with antique furniture and paintings, generally seemed to Savrasov luxurious Palace and he somehow very quickly moved there. He studied enthusiastically, graduated from College in 20 years but continued to write and exhibit there. A year later, "Moskvityanin" will call it "the first among landscape painters" and immediately, as ordered, the Emperor's sister, Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna, a great lover of art, comes to the school. 

This is definitely " third." Of the seven paintings she bought at the exhibition, two were Savrasov's, and she apparently liked him. And he was given a paper that " the artist Savrasov should come to St. Petersburg, to the dacha of the Grand Duchess in order to depict several species." Well, the Grand Duchess immediately reconciles the son with the father (here is another disgusting moment, right?) and he settles in the country in Sergievka, on the deserted shore of the Gulf of Finland. With the album wanders around and draws. Maria Nikolaevna deigned to visit only once. I looked at the drawings, praised. Asked about plans on the future. Savrasov said he liked Moscow and said he wanted to return. The Princess was vexed and offended. And it is clear what patrons he then lost. And what enemies he had made. Painted in Sergievka paintings were all exhibited at the Academy of Arts, and for" View in the vicinity of Oranienbaum " Savrasov – in 24 years-receives the title of academician, and the picture itself acquired Tretyakov. In General, though not without mistakes, but whatever it was, the career began to develop quite well. 

And then comes the "fourth"-it immediately remembered the sister of Konstantin Hertz-Sofia Karlovna Hertz. She is thirty, four years older than Savrasov, a teacher in a boarding school at the Lutheran Church. And Alexey Kondratyevich is shy, unsociable, an academician and yet he was unexpectedly offered to lead a class in his native school of landscape and perspective painting. Solid salary (500 rubles a year in silver), rank-titular adviser, with years of seniority, awards, promotion. The wedding took place in September. Two daughters are born (the first dies as an infant). Savrasov gets a free state-owned apartment in the yard of the school, you do not even need to pay for heating. In 1862 Savrasov and sculptor Sergei Ivanov were sent abroad. The funds were raised by selling tickets to the school's exhibition and a lottery. Leaving the one-year-old baby Vera in the care of relatives, Savrasov with his wife and her sister Ernestine set off. London, first of all. Then-France, Switzerland, Germany. Museums, exhibitions, meeting artists, brilliant reviews. The ambitious Sophia had every reason to expect in the future a strong position in society, her home, governess, foreign voyages. And all of a sudden well-being begins to crumble. Children are born – two more girls and a long-awaited boy. Only one Eugenia survives, Jenny. In August 1870, Savrasov deprived of state apartments- " few students." The family is practically on the street. It is necessary to hire, and even firewood-not cheap. Offended Savrasov leaves with his family on the Volga, in Yaroslavl. Live there for the winter. Pregnant Sofia Karlovna catches a cold and gives birth to a premature, last (she is already 44 years old) child. The girl is very weak and does not survive. They bury her on the high Bank of the Volga. Savrasov makes a picture-a cliff, the distance of the river, a small cross. In three years, he will create a picture, perhaps the only one directly related to personal experiences. And Savrasov's disciple Isaac Levitan will repeat this motif in the famous painting "Over eternal rest". There, on the Volga, Savrasov creates a canvas that immortalized his name – " Rooks arrived." Shown at the first exhibition of the Wanderers, it immediately became famous and was bought by Pavel Tretyakov in the Studio for 600 rubles. In the second half of the seventies growing misunderstanding and loneliness Savrasov in the family. Sofia Karlovna is constantly annoyed because of the lack of money – she loves comfort, and her daughters are growing up, they need money for training. There are negative reviews of the paintings. The artist begins to drink and falls into a vicious circle, deprived of some profitable lessons. He makes attempts to get out: he worries about the return of the state apartment (he has 15 students) - but is refused. Requested teaching in the school of landscape painting in watercolor – again refused. Painful blows to self-esteem academician Savrasov takes down silently. And Sophia Karlovna goes with the children to St. Petersburg, to her married and wealthy sister Adele, teaches the children to write letters to their father asking for money "for shoes and life in the country" - well, you know, as it happens, in General. 

And finally, comes the "fifth" - it was then the students. They are absolutely incredible: Konstantin Korovin, Isaac Levitan. Well, young romantics were then very close to him in spirit. And, probably, thanks to it, some very strong works begin to be written, and loud sales again begin to occur. 

And – in the sixth. Sad and so familiar "and sixth." Despite the resounding success of some of Savrasov's paintings in the seventies he was not accepted. Strongly. For the beautiful "progressive intelligentsia" his landscapes were "incredibly unprincipled", he did not scourge, did not denounce the vices of the bloody tsarist regime and generally painted some "Russian nonsense"-and you know, our elite has always been incredibly Europeanized and despised Russia with all its might. 

And then-down the slope. In 1882, for drunkenness and constant skipping classes Savrasov dismissed from the school. He is constantly drawn in the society of lovers of the arts, then the school, then a Ghost with requests for financial assistance. He reluctantly help, but to straighten mentally, he is no longer able. He stopped drinking. After fifty years, trying to create a new family-with bourgeois Evdokia Morgunova. Children are born-a boy and a girl, Alexei and Natasha. But he can't work, he's almost blind. For the past three years, she has hardly left the house. One of the last joys – in 1894 in Kiev to the fiftieth anniversary of his creative activity there is a magnificent album of lithographs with twenty of his drawings. 

That's all. On September 26, 1897, Savrasov died in a hospital for the poor. He was 67 years old.

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