Nikolai Kasatkin

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kasatkin, Nikolai Alekseevich


Born Dec. 13 (25), 1859, in Moscow; died there Dec. 17, 1930. Russian painter. People’s Artist of the Republic (1923).

Kasatkin studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture (1873–83) under V. G. Perov and later taught there (1894–1917). His pupils included B. V. Ioganson and V. V. Meshkov. He was a full member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts (1903). He joined the peredvizhiki (“wanderers”— a progressive art movement) in 1891 and the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (AKhRR) in 1922.

In his early period (late 1880’s and early 1890’s), Kasatkin executed genre pictures typical of the late peredvizhnik style: Female Rivals (1890, Tret’iakov Gallery) and Slander (1893, Russian Museum, Leningrad). In the 1890’s, after trips to the Donbas (1894 and 1895), Kasatkin created his most significant works; he was one of the first Russian artists to address himself to the theme of the daily life and labor of the proletariat.

In his studies and pictures with their simple yet expressive composition and an earthy gray palette, Kasatkin embodied the bright characters of the Russian workers with fervent sympathy; he truthfully rendered not only the exhausting labor and poverty of the proletariat but also the rising spirit of protest and struggle in the workers (The Woman Miner, 1894, and Coal Miners: The Shift, 1895; both in the Tret’iakov Gallery). He also created a number of works devoted to the Revolution of 1905–07: The Fighting Worker (1905) and The Attack on the Factory by the Women Workers (1906), both in the Museum of the Revolution of the USSR, Moscow.

In the Soviet period, Kasatkin worked on pictures with a historical-revolutionary theme; he aspired to create the image of the new Soviet man, as in To Her Studies: A Young Pioneer With Her Books (1926) and The Rural Correspondent (1927), both in the Museum of the Revolution of the USSR.


N. A. Kasatkin (1859–1930): Katalog vystavki. Moscow, 1953.
Sitnik, K. A. N. A. Kasatkin. Moscow, 1955.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.