Nikolai Karazin

Born: 1842, Novo-Borisoglebskaya Sloboda (Kharkiv Province)
Died: 1908, Gatchina

Painter, draughtsman, illustrator, teacher, ethnographer, writer. Grandson of founder of Kharkiv University Vasyl Karazin (1773–1842) and son of inventor Nikolai Karazin (1816–1874). Born in the sloboda of Novo-Borisoglebskaya in Kharkiv Province (1842) and grew up at his grandmother’s estate in the village of Anashkino near Zvenigorod in Moscow Province (1842–52). Graduated from the Second Moscow Military Academy (1862) and served with the Russian army in Poland (1863–64) and Turkestan (1867–70), where he met Vasily Vasilyevich Vereschagin. Studied under Bogdan Gottfried Willewalde at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1865–67) and Gustave Doré and Firmin Gillot in Paris (1870–71). Resigned from the army to devote himself to literature and art (1871). Wrote adventure stories and ethnographic novels (from 1871), published in a complete edition of twenty volumes (1904–05). Accompanied the expeditions of the Russian Geographic Society to Central Asia (1874, 1879). Illustrated two editions of Jules Verne’s Le Chancellor (1875, 1876) and the works of Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol, Nikolai Nekrasov, Ivan Turgenev, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Leo Tolstoy. Contributed illustrations to Niva in Russia, L’Illustration in France, The Graphic and The Illustrated London News in Great Britain and Die Gartenlaube and Über Land und Meer in Germany. Military correspondent for the Vsemirnaya illyustratsiya magazine in the Balkans during the Serbo-Turkish War (1876–77) and in the Caucasus during the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78). Founding member of the Society of Russian Watercolourists (1880), full member of the Mussar Mondays (1880s), member of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1882–83). Taught at the School of Drawing of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts. Honorary fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1885), academician (1907). Travelled across India (1890–91). Designed picture postcards for the Community of St Catherine, painted porcelain designs for the Kornilov Brothers Factory in St Petersburg, illustrated the first project for an underground railway system in Moscow (1902). Moved to Gatchina for health reasons (1907). Died in Gatchina and buried with military honours at the St Alexander Nevsky Monastery in St Petersburg (1908). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1881). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Imperial Academy of Arts, Society of Russian Watercolourists, St Petersburg Society of Artists (from 1890) and one-man shows in St Petersburg (1874), Paris (1880) and London (1880).

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