Iaroshenko, Nikolai Aleksandrovich
Born Dec. 1 (13), 1846, in Poltava; died June 25 (July 7), 1898, in Kislovodsk. Russian painter.
Iaroshenko served in the military until 1892. He audited courses at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts from 1867 to 1874. He joined the peredvizhniki (the “wanderers,” a progressive art movement) in 1876 and became one of the group’s leaders.
The paintings Iaroshenko produced in his most prolific period, the 1870’s and 1880’s, are imbued with democratism; through them he sought to convey the progressive social and ethical ideals of his day. The Stoker (1878, Tret’iakov Gallery) was one of the first Russian dramatic paintings of a factory worker, showing him not only as a victim of excessively hard labor and social injustice but also as a new, powerful force.
Iaroshenko’s paintings presented depictions of typical progressive Russian students and members of the revolutionary intelligentsia; examples are The Prisoner (1878, Tret’iakov Gallery), A Female Student (1883, Kaluga Oblast Art Museum), and Old and Young (1881, Russian Museum, Leningrad). He produced numerous portraits, capturing the noble spiritual makeup of such leading figures of Russian culture as P. A. Strepetova (1884, Tret’iakov Gallery), G. I. Uspenskii (1884, Sverdlovsk Oblast Picture Gallery), and N. N. Ge (1890, Russian Museum). In the popular genre painting Life Is Everywhere (1888, Tret’iakov Gallery), Iaroshenko sympathetically depicted a brief, bright moment in the lives of prisoners being transported in a special railroad car. Iaroshenko also painted landscapes.
In 1962, the N. A. Iaroshenko Art Museum was opened in Kislovodsk.