Aleksei Savrasov

Savrasov, Aleksei Kondrat’evich

 

Born May 12 (24), 1830, in Moscow; died there Sept. 26 (Oct. 8), 1897. Russian landscape painter.

From 1844 to 1854, Savrasov studied with K. I. Rabus in the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. From 1857 to 1882 he taught landscape painting at the school. Savrasov was a founding member of the Society of Wandering Art Exhibitions (the peredvizhniki—a progressive art movement).

Romantic effects predominated in Savrasov’s early works, such as View of the Kremlin in Bad Weather (1851, Tret’iakov Gallery). In the 1850’s and 1860’s he turned to serene, narrative images, in a number of which can be observed an attempt to achieve a unity of color (Losinyi Ostrov in Sokol’niki, 1869, Tret’iakov) and to heighten the emotional impact of chiaroscuro. The best example of this period is The Rooks Have Come (1871, Tret’iakov), in which Savrasov, while depicting an outwardly unprepossessing subject and stressing a transitional stage of nature (the advent of early spring), was able to reveal the profoundly soulful essence of the native landscape. Sarasov’s subsequent works were distinguished by lyrical directness, an interest in the plein-air style, and, at times, a lofty, philosophical interpretation of the subject; among these works are Country Road(1873, Tret’iakov), The Little Court (1870’s, Tret’iakov), and The Grave Above the Volga (1874, private collection, Moscow).

As one of the major representatives of the lyrical trend in Russian landscape painting, Savrasov had an enormous influence on a number of Russian landscape painters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including K. A. Korovin, I. I. Levitan, and S. I. Svetoslavskii.

REFERENCES

Fedorov-Davydov, A. A. Savrasov. Moscow, 1957.
Novouspenskii, N. Aleksei Kondrat’evich Savrasov: 1830–1897. Leningrad-Moscow, 1967.