Koshelev Nikolai

Portrait of a Boy 24,5х23,5 сm, oil on canvas

Koshelev Nikolai Andreevich
(1840, Sirmanakh village, Penza region – 1918)

Nikolai Koshelev is one of the greatest Russian painters of the second half of the XIX century, have proved himself in various fields of art. He is the author of numerous portraits and historical genre paintings. He created pictures of the historical and religious subjects, many worked in the field of monumental painting, wrote the altar image, created restoration work.

He was born into a serf peasant family, his childhood passed in Arzamas. In 1851-1853 his tutor was painter-craftsman Davidov in Nizhny Novgorod. In 1856 he moved to Kazan. It was there in his fate attended the local landlady. Three years a young man lived in her home, where he worked tirelessly, almost independently mastering the subtleties of painting techniques. During his visit with the benefactress in Kazan Art College budding young N. Koshelev received painting lessons from an Italian artist Botelli.

Finally in 1860 N. Koshelev moved to St. Petersburg, where attended the Imperial Academy of Arts as a free-visiting student, and since 1863 became a permanent pupil in the class of historical painting of A. P. Markov and F. A Bruni. In 1864 Koshelev was awarded with a small gold medal and in the 1865 “for learning in art history and portrait” received the title of class artist of the 1st degree. Since 1864 N. Koshelev worked in the art artisanal of P. A. Krestonostsev. Since 1865 he became a member of St. Petersburg Artel artists, led by I. N. Kramskoy. In 1865 the artist received the order to create illustrations for publication of Dementev and Zolotov “Russian history in pictures”, for which he has implemented more than 60 drawings. In the same year he got the 2nd prize of the promotion of artists for painting “Ot’enya-peddler”. He participated in the painting of the church of Christ the Savior in Moscow, for its work in 1873 he was awarded with the title of Academician, and in 1878 he received the rank of professor.

In 1878-1881 N. Koshelev traveled to Berlin, Dresden, Munich, Frankfurt, Vienna and Paris. From 1880 till 1881 the artist lived in Rome, where he worked on painting “The Burial of Christ”. Upon his return to Russia he lived and worked in St. Petersburg and Moscow. During this period, the artist often was exhibited. He participated in exhibitions in the halls of the Imperial Academy of Arts, the Moscow Society of Amateurs of Arts (a member of the Society from 1871), of the St. Petersburg Society of Artists (from 1891). In 1881 in St. Petersburg, Gatchina, and Moscow were held solo exhibitions of the artist.

Taught painting and drawing at the Central School ofTec- hnical Drawing of Baron AL Stieglitz, read the history of art at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. In the 1880’s — 1890’s was an inspector in Stroganov Artistic and Industrial School.

In 1882 was brought to the restoration of murals in the main dome of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, he served the sketches for the mosaics and murals in the church Our Savior on Spilled Blood (the Resurrection of Christ) in St. Petersburg, has worked on murals of orthodox church in Warsaw. In 1891 has traveled to Egypt and the Middle East.

The most famous master brought monumental painting and works of religious content, as well as portraits, created in the tradition of academic art of the late XIX century. Among these works can be easily included the picture represented in the collection “Portrait of a Boy”. Paintings of N. A. Koshelev we can find in many museum collections in Russia, including the State Tretyakov Gallery, State Russian Museum, Nizhny Novgorod State Art Museum and other private and museum collections.

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