Chistiakov, Pavel Petrovich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chistiakov, Pavel Petrovich


Born June 23 (July 5), 1832, in the village of Prudy, in present-day Kalinin Oblast; died Nov. 11,1919, in Detskoe Selo, now the city of Pushkin. Russian educator and painter.

Chistiakov studied at the Academy of Arts with P. V. Basin from 1849 to 1861. From 1862 to 1870 he studied on a stipend at the academies of arts in Paris and Rome. Chistiakov taught at the Drawing School of the St. Petersburg Society for the Encouragement of the Arts from 1860 to 1864 and at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts from 1872 to 1912. He was a professor at the academy’s studio from 1908 to 1910 and head of the academy’s mosaic department from 1890 to 1912. His students included V. M. Vasnetsov, M. A. Vrubel’, V. D. Polenov, I. E. Repin, V. A. Serov, and V. I. Surikov.

Chistiakov’s system of teaching art developed in constant struggle with the stagnant system of academism and played an enormous role in the development of realism in Russian art of the second half of the 19th century. Chistiakov’s goal was the preparation of a citizen-artist of high professional skill. His teaching method presupposed the blending of the artist’s direct perception of the subject with a scientific study of it. In his own work he strove for drama in his historical compositions and psychological depth in his historical and genre portraits. Examples of his works are Head of a Chuchara (1864, Russian Museum, Leningrad) and The Boyar (1876, Tret’iakov Gallery, Moscow).


Ginzburg, I. P. P. Chistiakov i ego pedagogicheskaia sistema. Leningrad-Moscow, 1940.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.