Alexei Bogolyubov

Born: 1824, Pomeranye (Novgorod Province)
Died: 1896, Paris

Painter, draughtsman, engraver, teacher, collector. Grandson of the writer Alexander Radischev (1749–1802), son of Colonel Pyotr Bogolyubov (c. 1780–1830) and Fyokla Radischeva (1795–1845). Born in the village of Pomeranye in Novgorod Province (1824). Studied at the Alexander Military Academy in Tsarskoe Selo (1832–34) and the Naval Academy in St Petersburg (1835–41). Joined the Baltic Fleet (1841) and sailed to Madeira with Duke Maximilian of Leuchtenberg, who advised him to take up painting (1849). Studied under Maxim Vorobyov and Bogdan Gottfried Willewalde at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1850–53). Awarded a minor gold medal (1852) and a major gold medal and the title of first-class artist (1853). Retired as a naval officer and worked as an artist at naval headquarters (from 1853). Fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts in Europe (1854–60), studying under Alexandre Calame in Geneva (1855), Thomas Couture and Eugène Isabey in Paris (1856–58) and Andreas Achenbach in Düsseldorf (1859–60). Visited Belgium (1854), Italy (1855), Turkey (1856) and Holland (1859). Academician of painting (1858), professor of seascapes (1861), board member (1871), full member of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1893). Married Nadezhda Nechayeva in Wiesbaden (1859). Returned to St Petersburg (1860), where he was commissioned by Tsar Alexander II to paint the naval battles of Peter the Great (1861). Taught at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1861–65), where he proposed the creation of a landscape painting class (1868). Travelled down the River Volga (1861, 1863) and compiled maps of the shores of the Caspian Sea (1861) and Gulf of Finland (1862, 1864). Member of the Society for the Encouragement of Artists (from 1864). Suffered the deaths of his wife Nadezhda and ten-month-old son Nikolai (1865). Travelled to Paris, where he met Baroness Élisabeth-Françoise Schivre (1866), who became his common-law wife (1866–96). Taught painting to the future Tsar Alexander III and Empress Maria Fyodorovna (1864–70) and accompanied them on their trip down the Volga and Don to the Black Sea and Odessa (1869). Lived and worked in Paris (1870–71), where he painted frescoes for the Cathédrale Saint-Alexandre-Nevsky at 12 Rue Daru (1871). Forced by heart problems to live mainly in Italy and France (from 1872), where he was influenced by the Barbizon school. Opened a studio in Paris (1873) and established the Bogolyubov Tuesdays (1874), which were frequented by Ivan Turgenev, Count Alexei Tolstoy, Ilya Repin, Vasily Polenov, Jean-Paul Laurens and Jean-Léon Gérôme. Resigned from the board of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1873) and joined the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1873). Attempted to establish a Russian academy in Rome (1876) and helped to found the Association d’entraide et de bienfaisance des artistes russes à Paris (1877). Depicted naval battles during the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78). Elected an honorary citizen of Saratov (1880) and an honorary member of the Saratov Society of Fine Arts (1889). Founded the Alexander Radischev Museum of Art in Saratov (1885) and financed the opening of the Alexei Bogolyubov School of Drawing in Saratov (1897). Published memoirs (1888). Died in Paris and buried at the Malaya Okhta Cemetery in St Petersburg (1896), reburied at the St Alexander Nevsky Monastery (1941). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1852). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1852–74), Society for the Encouragement of Artists (1862–69), Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1871–96), Moscow Society of Lovers of the Arts (1880–94), Society of Exhibitions of Works of Art (1881), Society of Russian Watercolourists (1882–95), Great London Exposition (1862), Second Annual International Exhibition in London (1872), Weltausstellung in Vienna (1873), Fourth Annual International Exhibition in London (1874), Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia (1876), Exposition Universelle in Paris (1878), one-man shows in St Petersburg (1860–61) and retrospectives in Saratov (1940, 1946, 1974–75, 1987), Volsk (1941), Moscow (1949, 1974–75) and Khvalynsk (1949).

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