The tragedy of landscape painter Konstantin Kryzhitsky (35 photos)

24 May 2024
Category: painting, 0+

In modern realities, plagiarism has become a fairly common and common phenomenon. Mostly people resort to it because of laziness and unwillingness to spend time creating something new and unique.

And they are not particularly worried about its consequences, although there is an article for it, since it is quite problematic to prove theft. And previously, self-respecting people, because of just one unproven hint of an accusation, committed actions that were no longer possible to reverse.

Konstantin Yakovlevich Kryzhitsky

Konstantin Yakovlevich Kryzhitsky (1858 – 1911) – landscape painter. Born in Kyiv, he demonstrated a talent for drawing from an early age.

After studying at a real school, he entered the drawing school of N. I. Murashko. And in 1877 he became a student at the Imperial Academy of Arts, where Professor Baron M. K. Klodt became the promising student’s teacher.

Upon completion of the course, Konstantin received the title of class artist of the 1st degree. The graduate was also awarded a small gold medal for the painting “Oaks”. A few years later, Kryzhitsky became a member of the Academy of Arts.

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"Oak trees"

For a long time, the artist worked as a teacher at the Nikolaev Orphan Institute. He visited Germany and France several times to participate in exhibitions.

In addition to oil, he loved to work in pencil technique and created touching watercolors, even being a member of the Society of Watercolorists, starting from the creation of this structure.

According to contemporaries, Konstantin Yakovlevich was a sincere, open and bright person. It is light that so masterfully permeates most of his landscapes, driving away shadows and darkness and filling the space with timid hope for bright days and rebirth.

"A breath of spring"

The artist’s plans included the implementation of many more ideas. Nothing, as they say, foreshadowed anything bad. But chance changed everything. In 1911, the landscape artist sent several works to a London exhibition. The author was sure that the best among them was the last painting, “A Breath of Spring,” in which he depicted as realistically as possible the loose snowdrifts that had slowly begun to settle and the trees drowning in a veil of sun.

The painting really resonated with viewers, and one British museum even expressed a desire to purchase it for its exhibition. But the artist refused: he wanted to demonstrate the work to his compatriots.

Success awaited in St. Petersburg as well. But then an angry article was published in the newspaper, in which Kryzhitsky was accused of stealing the idea. The fact is that several years earlier a similar landscape had already been exhibited by another artist - Yakov Ivanovich Brovar.

"Bisons in the winter forest." Author Brovar Yakov Ivanovich

Compositionally, the works were similar: the same tree occupied the central place in the foreground. But the color palette, general idea and implementation were completely different. Conversations, gossip and proceedings began.

The fact is that both paintings were painted from a photograph, which, according to some information, was taken by Konstantin himself. The photo was freely available, and Brovar, like any other person, could use it to paint a picture.

Emotional, vulnerable and acutely sensitive, like many creative people, Kryzhitsky is tired of this situation. And he resolved it in a radical way. The artist committed suicide. In his suicide note, he wrote that he was tired of having to prove he was right and asked for forgiveness from everyone he loved, from his country and native nature.

The legacy of the painter, who found his last refuge at the Smolensk cemetery in St. Petersburg, was more than 400 paintings that formed part of the great cultural heritage of the country.


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