Apollinary Vasnetsov

Born: 1856, Ryabovo (Vyatka Province)
Died: 1933, Moscow

Painter, graphic artist, applied artist, theatrical designer, illustrator, teacher, writer on art, historian, archaeologist. Younger brother of Victor Vasnetsov, great-uncle of Andrei Vasnetov, fifth cousin once removed of Yury Vasnetsov. Born in the village of Ryabovo in Vyatka Province (now Kirov Region) in the family of a rural priest called Mikhail Vasnetsov (1856). Studied at Vyatka Theological College (1866–72). Taught drawing by Victor Vasnetsov at home and Micha? Elwiro Andriolli in Vyatka (1870–72). Lived with his brother in St Petersburg (1872–75), where he was instructed by Pavel Chistyakov. Worked as a teacher in the village of Bystritsa near Vyatka (1875–78). Joined his brother in Moscow (1878) and worked in Akhtyrka (1879–80) and Abramtsevo (1881–85), where he painted landscapes and was instructed by Ilya Repin and Vasily Polenov. Visited Finland (1881) and the Ukraine and Crimea (1885–86). Settled in Moscow (1886) and joined the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1888–1901). Painted townscapes of medieval Muscovy with great historical and archaeological accuracy (from 1890s). Visited the Urals (1890–91) and Caucasus (1895). Designed sets and costumes for Savva Mamontov’s Russian Private Opera, including productions of Mikhail Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar (1896), Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Maid of Pskov (1896), Modest Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina (1897) and Modest Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (1898). Visited France, Italy and Germany (1898–99). Academician (1900), full member of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1903). Founding member of 36 Artists (1901–02) and the Union of Russian Artists (1903–23). Member of the Moscow Archaeological Society (from 1900, corresponding member from 1901, full member from 1906). Collaborated with Konstantin Korovin on the sets for the premiere of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg (1907). Founding member of the Moscow Circle of Lovers of Astronomy (1908). Wrote the chapter on medieval Muscovy for the second volume of the History of Russian Art edited by Igor Grabar (1910). Member of the Commission for the Study of Old Moscow (1912–30, chairman from 1918, honorary chairman from 1923). Visited the Crimea (1924). Member of the Union of Soviet Writers (1929) and the Society of Realist Artists (1930). Taught landscape painting at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1901–18) and the Technical College of Arts and Crafts (1923–30). Died in Moscow and buried at the former German Cemetery in Lefortovo (1933). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1879). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Moscow Society of Lovers of the Arts (from 1879), Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1883–1903), Pan-Russian Exhibition of Industry and Art in Nizhny Novgorod (1896), Munich Sezession (1898), Exhibition of Russian and Finnish Artists (1898), World of Art (1899–1901), 36 Artists (1901–03), Union of Russian Artists (1903–18, 1922, 1923), Society of Realist Artists (1927–28), Exposition Universelle in Paris (1900, silver medal), XI Internationale Kunstausstellung in Munich (1913, gold medal), Exposition internationale in Lyon (1914), exhibitions of Russian art in Paris (1906), Berlin (1906, 1922), New York (1924), Boston (1924), Baltimore (1924), Rome (1925) and Venice (1925), one-man show at the Lenin Library in Moscow (1929) and posthumous retrospectives at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow (1933, 1950, 1956).

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