Arkhipov Abram

Guests 62х93,5 cm, oil on canvas, 1915
About work

Sketch for the “Guests” painting, located in the Tretyakov Gallery, for which in 1915, A. Arkhipov was awarded the third prize of the Kuindzhi Society. Its variation – a repetition of “Visiting” is in the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. The artist masterfully assembles figures in a brightly sunlit interior. The left side of the canvas depicts a “kitchen” still life, which tells about the typical life of Russian peasants. Arkhipov creates a feeling of festivity and irrepressible cheerfulness that fills the artist’s paintings on peasant themes. The optimistic images of peasant women, looking at us through the past tense, delight with their character and individuality, fascinate with their lush elements and affirming true life.

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Arkhipov (Pyrikov) Abram Efimovich
(1862, village Egorovo, Ryazan region – 1930, Moscow)

A. F. Arkhipov was born in a common peasant family in Ryazan region. He graduated from the Moscow College of Art, Sculpture and Architecture in the class of genre art. He was the student of V. Perov, A. Savrasov, V. Polenov, V. Makovsky. He also studied in the Academy of Arts, in the classes of B. Vilevalde and K. Venig, P. Chistyakov.

He was the member of Association of Mobile Art Exhibitions starting from 1891. His early works already drew attention of viewers and critics. In the 1880s, he received the title of class artist and was awarded with medals, and in 1898 he was honored with the title of academician. At that time, A. Arkhipov created a series of outstanding pictures, such as “Along the Oka River”, “Ice Broke” etc. A. Arkhipov was the member of the Association of Revolutionary Artists which was the largest union of realism artists of the 20s. In 1927, he was honored with the title of the People’s Artist of the USSR. The artist lived and taught in Moscow, was the professor of the Moscow college of art, sculpture and architecture, and in the Soviet times he taught in VHUTEMAS (Higher state art and technical workshops). Among his students, there were A. Gerasimov, E. Katzman, P. Korin and others. Arkhipov often traveled in Povolzhie region, annually went to the north of the country, to the White Sea where he found inspiration for his pictures. The artist also traveled around Europe a lot, he visited Germany, France, Italy and Austria.

A. F. Arkhipov is famous for his works painted with great love and respect to the life of peasants and poor residents of cities. The artist developed his own unique expressive and color manner. From the beginning of the 1910s, he started turning to the subject of village household and economy, continuing the line of peasant genre in such an original manner that his works are always easily recognized. His pictures are full of folk subjects, the original manner of painting, intensively bright and decoratively harmonious colors. At that period, Arkhipov worked on a series of portraits of peasant women from Ryazan and Nyzhnii Novgorod. The images of women in bright headscarves, embroidered shirts and sarafans were the most characteristic of the artist’s work concerning the subject of village life. Those are the images of strong, healthy and blossoming women, with high color in their faces who know how much they are worth. Their poses, gestures, their postures tell us about their grandeur, assurance, pride. Despite the generality of images and typical faces, the artist clearly depicts the individual features of his characters.

The work represented in the collection is a sketch for the famous picture of the artist called “The Guests” which is now stored in the Tretyakov Gallery, for which Arkhipov received the third award of the Kuindzhi Association in 1915. Its variant reproduction “On a Visit” is stored in the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. The artist arranges the figures beautifully in the brightly sunlit interior. In the left part of the picture, there is a “kitchen” still life which tells us about the typical economy and household of the Russian peasants. Arkhipov creates the feeling of festivity and irrepressible cheerfulness which fill his pictures of peasant subjects. Optimistic images of peasant women who look at us through the time make us admire them for their character and individuality, charm us with their wild nature and confirmatory truth of life.

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