Russian Artworks Painting 20th Century Turn of the Century Realism Arkhip Kuinji Feeding his Feathered Friends

Arkhip Kuinji Feeding his Feathered Friends

Artist: Ivan Vladimirov
Date: 1910
Media: Oil on canvas mounted on cardboard
Dimensions: 35 x 47 cm
Ownership: Russian Museum, St Petersburg
Arkhip Kuinji Society, Leningrad (until 1930)
Arkhip Kuinji Feeding his Feathered Friends


Ivan Vladimirov painted this canvas in 1910, which was the year that Arkhip Kuinji died. This scene was repeated day in and day out for many years, giving journalists and caricaturists occasion to poke fun at the great master of Russian landscape painting. In 1900, for example, Pavel Scherbov drew a famous cartoon depicting Kuinji administering clysters to birds and bandaging their wounds.

Every day, at the same hour, the ageing artist would climb up onto the roof of his house on the corner of the Tuchkov Embankment and Tuchkov Lane on Vasilyevsky Island in St Petersburg and feed the birds. Ivan Vladimirov conveys Arkhip Kuinji’s kind-hearted nature as he talks to the pigeons. The birds flock warily around the artist’s feet, ready to fly away at the slightest hint of danger.

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