Trutovsky Konstantin

Where have you been? 86x125 cm, oil on canvas, 1879
About work

(Українська) Образи селян у картині художника “Де була?” написані з максимально можливим співпереживанням до їх нелегкої долі. Художник правдиво показав життя селян таким, яким воно було насправді, з усіма його проблемами і недоліками.

Зневажливий і суровий погляд одного з героїв,  допитливий вираз обличчя жінки що сидить навпроти, смиренний образ дівчини, що входить в хату – всі персонажі картини зображені з певною емоційною напругою.

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Konstantin Aleksandrovich Trutovsky (1826-1893) – a famous Ukrainian and Russian artist master of everyday genre painting. He was a subtle exposer of the morals of small landowners and the author of idyllic paintings, imbued with a deep love for the common people. Among artists it is difficult to find another such open, sincere, master who expresses in his art an unshakable faith in the people and the moral national nobility of ordinary people.

K. Trutovsky began his career in the middle of the XIX century. Born in the family of a landowner in the Kharkov province, captain A.I. Trutovsky. He spent his childhood in the estate of his father Semenovka of the Akhtyrsky district. In the years 1839-1845. studied at the Main (Nikolaev) military engineering school in St. Petersburg, where he became friends with F.M. Dostoevsky. The abilities of K. Trutovsky to draw caricatures of his comrades, the director and teachers of the school were noticed – the director ordered him to be given everything necessary for creativity. At the end of the course, with the rank of second lieutenant K. Trutovsky was supposed to leave to serve in one of the fortresses, but was left at the school as a tutor in the drawing and architecture classes. This allowed K. Trutovsky to study at the Academy of Arts as a volunteer. At the academy, he studied in the class of historical painting with F.A. Bruni During the years of study, he became close to artists L.F. Lagorio, A.E. Beideman, A.A. Agin, as well as with some members of the circle M.V. Petrashevsky. In 1849, in connection with the death of his mother, K. Trutovsky left St. Petersburg. In 1850, he settled first in the village of Popovka, Kharkov province, and then in the village of Yakovlevka, Kursk province. Approached the writer S.T. Aksakov, marrying his niece. In 1854 he became friends with the artist I.I. Sokolov. In 1856, K. Trutovsky received the title of free non-class artist for his paintings of folk scenes. And in 1861, for the painting “Round dance in the Kursk province” he was awarded the title of academician.

From the very beginning of his career, the artist became interested in depicting folk scenes, he found themes for paintings in the Ukrainian outback. “Little Russia,” he wrote, “made a charming impression on me … I eagerly began to paint everything that caught my eye.” These were the most ordinary scenes from the life of ordinary people. Having fallen in love with Ukraine, K. Trutovsky tried to show life as it is, at its best. He did not look for flaws, but on the contrary, he wanted to show the simplicity and, at the same time, the wisdom of the people, the triumph of folk customs and subtle Ukrainian humor. Admirement and delight from peasant images are characteristic of many of the artist’s early paintings. In the Ukrainian outback, K. Trutovsky knew the true charm of folk characters.

In 1857, the artist made a trip to Germany, visited Berlin, Dresden, Dusseldorf, in the 1860s he visited England, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria. Abroad K. Trutovsky was particularly fascinated by the painting of old masters: Veronese, Raphael, Guido Reni, Rubens and other Flemings. However, due to his wife’s illness, he had to interrupt the trip and return to Russia. After the death of his wife in 1858, he went to Petersburg. In the capital, K. Trutovsky became close to prominent Russian writers and artists – T.G. Shevchenko, I.S. Turgenev, D.V. Grigorovich, I.I. Sokolov, A.P. Bogolyubov, L.F. Lagorio and others. The artist was among the visitors of the evenings known at that time – first “Wednesdays” then “Fridays” of St. Petersburg artists with F.P. Tolstoy, and with the formation of Artel I.N. Kramskoy in 1864 also “Thursdays” of this artistic association.

The prevailing views on Russian reality were reflected in the artist’s work. The excitement of the Ukrainian peasants with their bright optimism gave way to the gloomy holidays of the poor in the Kursk province and a sharp criticism of the life of the provincial nobility.

The images of peasants in the artist’s painting “Where Was She?” written with the greatest possible empathy for their difficult fate. The artist truthfully showed the life of the peasants as they really were, with all its problems and shortcomings. The neglected and stern look of one of the heroes, the interrogative expression on the face of a woman sitting opposite the woman, the humble image of a girl entering the hut – all the characters in the picture are depicted with a certain emotional stress. K. Trutovsky painted realistic paintings, sensitively reacting to all the characteristic phenomena in the life of the village, portrayed peasants at work, leisure and life. Moreover, his sympathies were always on the side of ordinary people. Such critical motives inherent in the paintings of K. Trutovsky are explained by the influence on him of ideas that were discussed at that time among St. Petersburg artists and writers. The Academy of Arts now awarded medals to artists of folk scenes, while more recently, genre painting was not held in high esteem. K. Trutovsky began to notice shortcomings not only among the landlords, but also among ordinary peasants. It is no coincidence that plots appeared in his work, as in the film “Where was it?”. Although in general for K. Trutovsky, who was sincerely sympathetic to the

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