Maksimov, Vasilii Maksimovich
Born Jan. 17 (29), 1844, in the village of Lopino, near Novaia Ladoga; died Nov. 18 (Dec. 1), 1911, in St. Petersburg. Russian painter.
Maksimov was the son of a peasant. He studied in St. Petersburg icon-painting studios (1855-62) and at the Academy of Arts (1863-66). In 1872 he became a member of the peredvizhniki (the “wanderers,” a progressive art movement). Maksimov depicted scenes of peasant life with deep sympathy for the unfortunate. With his keen powers of observation, he revealed the mores and customs of the Russian countryside and the inner world of the peasant: The Magician’s Arrival at a Peasant Wedding (1875), The Family Allotment (1876), and The Sick Husband (1881)—all in the Tret’iakov Gallery; and The Forest Warden (1893, Odessa Art Museum). The picture All in the Past (1889, Tret’iakov Gallery) is devoted to the theme of the impoverishment of gentry estates. Maksimov’s chief works are distinguished by a narrative development of the subject, a striving to poeticize the characters, and well-thought-out composition.