In the history of Russian art, it is difficult to find a more tragic figure than Alexei Kondratievich Savrasov. The deep and talented landscape painter, who wrote several hundred paintings that make up the glory of Russian painting, is known to the general public as a master who created one painting - “Rooks Have Arrived”. His whole life is an alloy of tragedies in his personal life and brilliant victories in art.
On May 12, 1830, a boy was born in the house of Zamoskvoretsky merchant Savrasov, who was christened in honor of St. Alexis, the Moscow miracle worker, Alexei. From early childhood, the son of the merchant Savrasov most of all loved to draw. When the boy was 12 years old, his drawings quickly sold out in the trading places of Moscow. The father initially regarded his son's activities as a manifestation of commercial talent and was very pleased. However, when the son announced his intention to enter an art school, the family was categorically against it. It came to the point that Alex was "devoid of a table" and "kicked out to the attic." They had to interrupt their studies under the plausible pretext of "mother's disease." Only the personal intervention of the Moscow police chief, teachers of the Moscow School of Painting and Sculpture, allowed the boy to continue his studies.
Already in 1848, Savrasov was noted as the author of the best student sketches. In 1849, Savrasov was sent to Ukraine to paint landscapes. The work brought from this trip caused a favorable response from critics. In 1850, the commission of the school, having considered at a meeting of student Savrasov the work “View of the Moscow Kremlin under moonlight” and “A stone in the forest near Razliv,” decided to confer on the student the title of artist and end his studies.
Savrasov's work in the royal family
The tsar's family became interested in the works of the young artist. Grand Duchess Maria acquires his painting “The Steppe with Chumaks in the Evening” and we suggest Savrasov to go to work in her suburban residence. The result of this trip are two unusually successful works: "The seashore in the vicinity of Oranienbaum" and "View in the vicinity of Oraniembaum." It was these two paintings that became the exam of the artist for the title of academician of the Russian Academy of Arts. Savrasov was 24 years old.
In 1857, Savrasov started a family. The next twenty years saw the heyday of the artist, and at the same time a series of family tragedies began.
Tretyakov buys works of Savrasov for his gallery, they are included in the exposition of Russian pavilions at world exhibitions. Recognition has come. Savrasov becomes one of the creators and active participants of the "Traveling Exhibition Partnership". At the same time, the artist is experiencing the death of his two daughters. A family breakdown begins, which in 1876 led to the breakup of the family.
The sunset of the artist’s life
Since the late 70s, Savrasov goes into his worries, soon he can no longer do without alcohol. The tragedy of the artist could not but affect his work and life. After the death of his friend Vasily Perov, who more than once saved Savrasov from the wrath of his superiors (the artist was a teacher at the art school), the artist was deprived of his place and state apartment.
The next 15 years of Savrasov’s life are comparable to a nightmare. Scandals, poverty, rare creative good luck.
The artist died in 1897 in a hospital for the poor and was buried at the Vagankovsky cemetery in Moscow.