Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi (Иван Николаевич Крамской) (1837-1887)
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Ivan Kramskoi was a Russian painter and a leader of the Russian democratic art movement “Peredvizhniki”. Kramskoi studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts from 1857 to 1863. Kramskoi acted out against the Academy’s rigid, prohibitive structure and helped to organized an independent show in protest of the Academy. Kramskoi led the “St. Petersburg Artel of Artists” as well as he Peredvizhiniki group (also known as the Wanderers or Itinerants).
Kramskoi upheld the beliefs of the Peredvizhniki group, which was based on political and social responsibility. The group was incredibly successful and exhibited forty-eight times in Russia and the surrounding region.
In 1869 the Academy awarded Kramskoi with an honorary degree for his contributions to the Russian arts. Kramskoi’s popularity and reputation continued to spread for his impressive skill at portraiture and history paintings.
Kramskoi supported the Russian revolutionary democrats, and promoted civic responsibility in art communities as well as a moral consciousness. Stylistically, Kramskoi practiced and professed realistic painting, using traditional techniques. As an artist and intellectual, Kramskoi painted the portraits of prominent Russian figures, including Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Shishkin, Pavel Tretyakov, Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin and Botkin.
Many of Kramskoi’s paintings belong to Russia’s Tretyakov Gallery, as well as in numerous collections around the world. Kramskoi is an important name in 19th century Russian history, contributing to both art and social movements. Do you think you own a painting by Ivan Kramskoi? Contact us. We are the experts on Ivan Kramskoi.