Russian artists of the first half of the 19th century.
Grigorii Grigor’evich Chernetsov (born Nov. 12 , 1802, in Lukh, in present-day Ivanovo Oblast; died June 8 , 1865, in St. Petersburg) was a painter and draftsman. He studied with M. N. Vorob’ev at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts from 1819 to 1827. Nikanor Grigor’evich Chernetsov (born July 21 [Aug. 2], 1805, in Lukh; died Jan. 11 , 1879, in St. Petersburg) was a painter and lithographer. He studied at the academy with Vorob’ev from 1823 to 1827. Nikanor traveled in the Caucasus (1829–31) and the Crimea (1833–36). Beginning in 1837 the two brothers worked together; they journeyed on the Volga (1838) and throughout various countries in Europe and the Middle East (1840–43).
Grigorii produced interiors, landscapes, and many-figured compositions. His painting Review on the Tsarina’s Meadow: October 6, 1831 (completed 1837, A. S. Pushkin All-Union Museum, Pushkin) is a collective portrait of all the outstanding figures in the development of Russian culture during the first three decades of the 19th century. Nikanor was primarily a landscapist; an example of his work is View of Tiflis (1831, Russian Museum, Leningrad).
The Chernetsov brothers’ most important works—drawings, watercolors, and studies—were executed en plein air during the journey on the Volga. Also produced during the journey was a 1,981-page folio, in pencil and pen, depicting the shores of the Volga (completed 1851, M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin Public Library, Leningrad). These works combine classical panoramic elements with documentary detail and accuracy of observation. Enlightened in character and imbued with a concern for the native environment, they represent a major stage in the development of the national landscape in Russian painting.