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Apollinaris M. Vasnetsov (1856-1933)


(July 25 [August 6] 1856, Ryabovo, Vyatka province - January 23, 1933 Moscow ) - Russian artist, master of historical painting, art critic, brother of Viktor Vasnetsov. Member of the literary and artistic circle "Young Wednesday".

Apollinarii Vasnetsov was born on July 25 (August 6), 1856, in the village of Ryabovo near Vyatka (now in the Zuevsky district of the Kirov region), in a large family of a priest, who came from the ancient Vyatka family of the Vasnetsovs.

At thirteen, the boy remained an orphan. Possessing remarkable talent, Apollinaris did not receive a systematic art education. Studying at the Vyatka Theological School, he began to take lessons from the Polish artist Michal Elviro Andriolli, exiled to Vyatka:

Vasnetsov visited Andriolli every Sunday and brought him home drawings for review, as well as drawing a natural view from his window or copying the mountain and forest landscapes of the Swiss artist A. Calam.


In 1872 he graduated from the Vyatka Theological College and, at the insistence of his elder brother, Viktor Vasnetsov, moved to Petersburg, where he lived from 1872 to 1875. He studied painting with Viktor Vasnetsov, as well as with such masters as V. D. Polenov, I. E. Repin, M. M. Antokolsky, V. M. Maksimov.

In 1875, Apollinarius abandoned the idea of ​​entering the Academy of Arts and passed an exam for the title of public teacher, after which he went to work in the village of Bystritsa, Oryol county, Vyatka province. Soon, however, he became disillusioned with Narodnik ideas. In 1878, Apollinarius Vasnetsov left the village, went to Moscow to visit his brother, and since then has completely devoted himself to art.

Since 1882, Apollinar Vasnetsov spent the summer every year at his brother's dacha in the village of Akhtyrka near Abramtsev, the estate of Savva Ivanovich Mamontov, and talked a lot with members of the Abramtsevo circle.

Since 1883, Apollinaris Vasnetsov began to show his works at the expositions of the Partnership of Traveling Art Exhibitions.


In 1900, Vasnetsov became an academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. In 1903 he participated in the organization of the Union of Russian Artists.

As a theater artist began working in 1885 in the Moscow Private Russian Opera S. I. Mamontov. In the early 1900s he created the scenery for operas:

In 1901-1918 he led the landscape class at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.

Since 1918, he headed the Commission for the Study of Old Moscow and conducted archaeological research during earthworks in the central part of the city.


In 1931 he became the only artist who publicly opposed the demolition of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, writing a letter to the newspaper Izvestia .

Apollinaris Vasnetsov died in Moscow on January 23, 1933, and was buried at the Vvedensky cemetery (plot 20) . In the capital there is a memorial apartment-museum of the artist.

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 All images are copyrighted © 2014-2020 by Olga Taratuta,

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