"Self-portrait and portrait by the artist. 18-19 century".
The exhibition «Self-portrait and portrait of an artist» is dedicated to the image of the Creator in the fine arts. How does an artist see himself and how does he want to be seen by the others? How does he want to be seen by the descendants? How did the artists paint their guild fellows? The exhibition tries to answer all these questions. The kernel of this exhibition is the outstanding collection of portraits of the Scientific and ResearchMuseum of the RussianAcademy of Arts.
The painting works of the early XIX - yearly XX centuries, pencil and sculptural portraits of the Russian artists are concentrated in the Rafael hall. There are not so many self-portraits among them, but each one is unique in its way. Unlike the well-known «Self-portrait with the brother» (1814) of P.V. Basin performed during studying, the «Self-portrait illuminated from behind» (1816) of A.G. Varnik (Varnek), and also the self-portraits of S.S. Pimenov (1830s), V.I. Shterenberg (end of 1830s), I.K. Makarov (end of 1830s – early 1840s), F.M. Guvenius (1837), M.N. Chivilev (1858) are lesser known. Usually all of them excluding the self-portraits of Varnek and the sculptor S.S. Pimenov were painted by young people in the beginning of their career.
A.G. Varnek (1782-1843) was involved in the Academy of Arts especially strongly. He is quite fully represented in the museum collection where six portraits performed by his hand are stored. A son of a cabinetmaker from Danzig, a young painter who studied in the Academy at S.S. Schukin, started to teach in his alma mater after coming back from Italy in 1810. Having headed at first the miniature painting class he has become the head of the portrait class since 1828. The Academy of Arts often engaged Varnek for consultations as an expert when the issue was raised on purchases for the academic collection of the Emperor Hermitage. In addition to teaching Alexander Grigoryevich has been the conservator of pictures and prints of the Hermitage since 1824, and he has been managing the Cabinet of prints in the Academy of Arts since 1832. Varnek referred to the self-portrait genre more than once: his «Self-portrait with palette and brushes in the hand» (1805-06, the State Tretyakov Gallery) painted in Rome, two «Self-portraits in velvety beret with a drawing pen in hands» (one of them is stored in the State Russian Museum, the second one – in the State Tretyakov gallery) are known; the Tretyakov Gallery also comprises two self-portraits of the master. The «Self-portrait illuminated from behind» from the museum collection is demonstrated at the exhibition. It was Varnek who taught F.M. Govenius (Guvenius) – the painter about whom there is almost no information except the fact that he has obtained a rank of the free-lance artist in 1832. The stretcher contains an inscription made by the thoughtful relatives in order to keep memory about the ancestor artist in the family. Besides the surname and name of the young artist there are the name of the work, year of creation and even the date and month of birth of the author whose self-portrait was bought for the museum from the artist's granddaughter in 1935.
The portrait of the architect A.M. Gornostayev is worth special noticing. It was performed by an unknown Russian painter between 1834 and 1838 when Gornostayev was residing in Italy. Alexey Maksimovich Gonnostaev was considered the «genuine restorer of the national style in the newest Russian architecture». Having started work in 1829 in Tsarskoe selo palace management as an assistant architect of the professor A.P. Bryullov he took part in construction of the Mikhaylovsky theatre in Saint Petersburg in 1831. On return from Italy Gornostaev was working under the supervision of A.P. Bryullov again in the construction committee for reconstruction of the WinterPalace. The best known Gornostaev’s structures are the cottage of the count Orlov-Denisov in Kolomyagi; the Roman Catholic collegiums in Saint Petersburg rebuilt from the mansion of Derzhavin, the Dormition Cathedral in Helsinki. A new stage in his creative work has started since the end of 1840s. This stage was associated with the work at the project of churches and monastery buildings on ValaamIsland and in the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius hermitage outside Saint Petersburg.He diverged in them from renaissance and pseudo-Byzantine forms which were dominating at that time. His search was directed to the creative reconsideration of the Old Russian and Roman architecture. Two structures were erected by drawings of Gornostaev in the center of the capital: the chapel of Christ the Savior at the Savior Preobrazhensky Guslitsky monastery on Nevsky prospect, No. 33а near the Gostiny Dvor which was demolished in 1929 and the house of the town residence of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius lavra (embankment of Fontanka river 44).
The popular portraitist of the second half of the XIX century I.K. Makarov is represented by his junior self-portrait performed in the end of 1830 - early 1840s before his entrance to the Academy of Art when he was studying at his father in the art school of Saransk. Poor health prevented from talent development of two gifted artists – V.I. Shterenberg and M.N. Chivilev whose self-portraits can be seen at the exposition. Vasily Ivanovich Shterenberg (1818-1845) studied in the Academy of Arts at M.N. Vorobyev. His self-portrait is dated approximately to the time of completion of the academic course. He earned the big gold medal and a right to the pensioner trip overseas for perfection in 1838. Only Italian sketches were preserved from the 27 year old artist who died abroad. They were willingly bought by the Russian collectors F.I. Pryanishnikov and P.M. Tretyakov. M.N. Chivilev lived even less – only 24 years (1837-1861). Being a historical painter he studied at F.A. Bruni and had time only to get the small gold medal for the picture "Scene from the Olympic games. Race», on which he painted himself as a herald. Being sent overseas for the consumption treatment Chivilev died in Dresden and didn’t have time for completing the «Self-portrait» (1858). The pictorial merits of work and the talent of the young artist charmed the organizers of the large portrait exhibition which took place in 1905 inTavricheskyPalace and they included his work in it.
The portraits of famous painters, sculptors, engravers and architects painted by their guild fellows are exhibited. Some of them are expressly representative – they are usually programs for which the academician titles were awarded. The portraits of A.E. Egorov who was called a “Russian Rafael” by his contemporaries, the works of A.A. Vasilyev; A.I. Ivanov, I.S. Bugaevsky-Blagodarny; the landscape painter M.N. Vorobyev by the hand of S.S. Ershov are notable among them. All they are represented with “circumlocutions” – the professional attributes (books, engravings, brushes, folders with pictures, easels). The “Portrait of the count F.P. Tolstoy” stands a little bit apart. It was painted by P.M. Mikhaylov (1815) and brought the academician title to the author. The work is distinguished by its poetical interpretation of an image. F.P. Tolstoy was engaged in painting, sculpture, he was illustrating literary works and composing operas and ballets. The series of medallions on the topics of the Patriotic War of 1812 brought him a broad publicity and recognition. The painter of battle scenes A.I. Zauerveyd who graduated from the Dresden Academy of Arts arrived in Saint Petersburg in 1817 by invitation of the grand prince Nikolay Pavlovich being already the well-known artist. Having become the first painter of the emperor Nikolay I he was appointed the head of the battle class of the Academy of Arts. The portrayal of the professor was carried out in the early 1840s by his pupil G.(B.)P. Villevalde heading the battle class after the decease of Zauerveyd. Villevalde was honored with the academician title “for the known battle painting works” in 1845 and for the portrait of A.I. Zauerveyd which unconventionally got in the family of the portrayed artist and not in the academic collection. The picture was purchased by the Academy in 1867 at the widow of the artist’s son L.A. Zauerveyd.
The portrayals of masters who managed to influence on the Russian art development not only via personal works but through their pupils as well, were selected among the portraits of the teaching artists. They are A.I. Ivanov, A.E. Egorov, K.P. Bryullov and P.P. Chistyakov. The first two professors taught K.P. Bryullov – the painter who received the triumph overseas and gained the recognition at home. The copy of the famous Bryullov's self-portrait of 1848 performed by his pupil A.O. Koritsky excellently projects the merits of the original.
The large collective work «Arrangement of a model in the studio of I.E. Repin in the Academy of Arts» was created by the pupils of Ilya Efimovich from 1899 till 1903 by the sketch of B.M. Kustodiev painted in full-back position on the foreground. We can see I.E. Repin, F.A. Malyavin (in the centre), I.Y, Bilibin, I.S. Kulikov, A.A. Murashko, D.F. Bogoslovsky, A.P. Ostroumova on the canvas. The studio interior is still preserved; currently it is the studio of the professor of the Saint Petersburg Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture n.a. I.E. Repin V.V. Sokolov (previously V.V. Pimenov was occupying the studio). Those years when the All-Russia Academy of Arts was located in Leningrad and was headed by the pupil of I.E. Repin I.I. Brodsky he was giving classes in the studio where he had been studied in former times. The picture of A.P. Zarubin «Professor I.I. Brodsky in the studio with his pupils» of 1938 continues the exposition in the Titian hall.
The drawings of Russian artists are represented by the works of V.E. Savinsky, I.E. Repin, B.M. Kustodiev, K.A. Somov, I.B. Streblov, V.S. Scherbakov performed in the early XX century. The drawings of Ivan Bogdanovich Streblov (1875-1951) – the portraits of G.R. Zaleman of 1915 and V.V. Mate which have just undergone a complicated restoration will be a real discovery. The drawing of P.V. Miturich «Artist N.S. Samokish at work in the immediate battle area», 1915, is of special interest. The works of A.I. Laktionov, O.A. Eremeev, Y.M. Neprintsev, A.A. Mylnikov are also distinguishing the portrait genre development in the XX century but in the more late period of 1930-1990s. The portrait of E.E. Moiseenko was performed by V.S. Mikhaylov in 1998, the death anniversary of the teacher, and was granted by the author to the museum.
The self-portrait and portraits of the artists of the XX-XXI centuries allocated in the Titian hall clearly demonstrate the genre evolution. The self-portraits of A.P. Mochalov (1918) and N.A. Pavlov, A.P. Shepelyuk (1935) and V.I. Suvorov (1952); «Portrait of the sculptor V.V. Lishev» (1953) by A.I. Vasilyev, portraits of V.L. Rybalko by the hand of E.E. Moiseenko, «Portrait of A.D. Zaytsev» (1971) by A.I. Parkhomenko, «Portrait of the sculptor M.A. Kerzin» (1976) by V.M. Oreshnikov, paintings of Y.M. Neprintsev, N.N. Repin give the opportunity of envisioning the portrait works of the classical trend virtually in decades.
The pictorial self-portraits of the XX century artists stored in the museum collection are almost monochrome, distinguished by an extraordinary performance laconism and lack of drawing means. As opposed to them, the both self-portraits of one of the current strongest representatives of the Petersburg school G.P. Egoshin first of all reflect resolving issues on the image creation and pictorial problems (as well as in the «Portrait of the sculptor L. Lazarev» by hand of A.V. Khachatryan).
The Russian gravures are represented by the names of S. Vladimirov, N.I. Utkin, F.I. Iordan, F.I. Verevkin, V.V. Mate, V.I. Mayakovsky, M.V. Rundaltsev, A.N. Proshkin, Y.M. Neprintsev.
The large area of the exhibition is assigned for the studio representation: «Arrangement of a model in the studio of I.E. Repin in the Academy of Arts», «Professor I.I. Brodsky in the studio with his pupils» by A.P. Zarubin, «Studio» by E.E. Moiseenko, «In the studio» by S.L. Shatakov. The last two paintings are portraying the former battle studio of the Academy of Arts located in the academic garden in a small building. It was headed by E.E. Moiseenko in 1957-1988 who devoted one of his creative works to the studio portraying; two alternatives of this work are located in the Scientific and ResearchMuseum of the RussianAcademy of Arts. The pupil of Evsey Evseevich V.S. Mikhaylov is represented by the picture «My fellow-students» besides the pencil portrait of the teacher.
The sculptural section comprises the creative works of the famous Russian sculptors – I.P. Vitali (Portrait of K.P. Bryullov) and his pupil F.F. Kamensky (Portrait of F.A. Bruni), M.A. Chizhov and V.A. Beklemishev. The images of two outstanding teachers I.E. Repin and G.R. Zaleman are reflected in the works of N.A. Andreev and E. Khimenes. «Portrait of L.N. Benua» of 1926 – a portrait of the prosperous architect of the historicism era is an example of works of M.G. Manizer. The pupil of P.P. Trubetskoy A.T. Matveev who had been teaching in the Academy of Arts since 1918 and who was the Director of the Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in 1932-1934, remained in the arts history as an author of monumental and small plastic art. His splendid portrait of 1939 is exhibited. The self-portraits of I.V. Krestovsky and M.A. Kerzin refer to the 1960s. The architect Y.N. Lukin on the occasion of 25-year anniversary of the LeningradHigherSchool for Arts and Industry n.a. V.I. Mukhina performed a plaque portraying the author of the statuary «Laborer and collective farmer girl» in 1970.
The exposition includes the pictorial works of the modern Petersburg painters G.P. Egoshin, A.V. Khachatryan, T.S. Fedorova enabling to envisage the sphere of search and achievements of the Petersburg school of the XX-XXI centuries.
The exhibition will be open until 29 November 2009.