Vasily Tropinin

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Vasily Tropinin
Self portrait
Vasily Andreevich Tropinin

(1776-03-30)March 30, 1776
DiedMay 16, 1857(1857-05-16) (aged 81)
Moscow, Russian Empire
Resting place Vagankovo Cemetery, Moscow
Education Member Academy of Arts (1824)
Alma mater Imperial Academy of Arts (1804)
Known for Painting, Drawing
Movement Romanticism

Vasily Andreevich Tropinin (Russian : Васи́лий Андре́евич Тропи́нин; March 30 [ O.S. March 19] 1776May 16 [ O.S. May 4] 1857) was a Russian Romantic painter. Much of his life was spent as a serf; he didn't attain his freedom until he was more than forty years old. Three of his more important works are a portrait of Alexander Pushkin and paintings called The Lace Maker and The Gold-Embroideress.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although nearly three decades have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.

Old Style and New Style dates changes in calendar conventions from Julian to Gregorian

Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are terms sometimes used with dates to indicate that the calendar convention used at the time described is different from that in use at the time the document was being written. There were two calendar changes in Great Britain and its colonies, which may sometimes complicate matters: the first was to change the start of the year from Lady Day to 1 January; the second was to discard the Julian calendar in favour of the Gregorian calendar. Closely related is the custom of dual dating, where writers gave two consecutive years to reflect differences in the starting date of the year, or to include both the Julian and Gregorian dates.

Romanticism period of artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that started in 18th century Europe

Romanticism was an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical. It was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific rationalization of nature—all components of modernity. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, education, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. It had a significant and complex effect on politics, with romantic thinkers influencing liberalism, radicalism, conservatism and nationalism.



Lace making beauty, 1823 Vasily Tropinin - Kruzhevnitsa - Google Art Project.jpg
Lace making beauty, 1823

Vasily was born as a serf of Count Munnich in the village Korpovo of Novgorod guberniya and then transferred to Count Morkovs as a part of the Munich's daughter's dowry. Soon he was sent to Saint Petersburg to study the trade of a confectioner. Instead of learning his trade Tropinin secretly attended free drawing lessons in the Imperial Academy of Arts.

Chudovsky District District in Novgorod Oblast, Russia

Chudovsky District is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the twenty-one in Novgorod Oblast, Russia. It is located in the north of the oblast and borders with Kirishsky District of Leningrad Oblast in the northeast, Malovishersky District in the southeast, Novgorodsky District in the southwest, and with Tosnensky District of Leningrad Oblast in the northwest. The area of the district is 2,370 square kilometers (920 sq mi). Its administrative center is the town of Chudovo. Population: 22,011 (2010 Census); 25,829 ; 27,355 (1989 Census). The population of Chudovo accounts for 70.0% of the district's total population.

Saint Petersburg Federal city in the Northwestern federal district, Russia

Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million (2015). An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject.

Imperial Academy of Arts art school in Russia

The Russian Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg, informally known as the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts, was founded in 1757 by the founder of the Imperial Moscow University Ivan Shuvalov under the name Academy of the Three Noblest Arts. Catherine the Great renamed it the Imperial Academy of Arts and commissioned a new building, completed 25 years later in 1789 by the Neva River. The academy promoted the neoclassical style and technique, and sent its promising students to European capitals for further study. Training at the academy was virtually required for artists to make successful careers.

In 1799, his owner allowed Tropinin's to study at the Academy as a non-degree student (Postoronny uchenik). He took lessons from S. S. Schukin and was supported by the President of the Academy Alexander Sergeyevich Stroganov. In 1804 Tropinin's work Boy Grieving for a Dead Bird was exhibited in the Academy's exhibition and was noted by the Russian Empress at the time (most probably the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna).

Alexander Sergeyevich Stroganov Russian philanthropist

Alexander Sergeyevich Stroganov (1733–1811) was a Russian baron and a member of the Stroganov family. He was a member of the Private Committee of Alexander I and assistant to the Minister of the Interior, a longtime President of the Imperial Academy of Arts, director of the Russian Imperial Library and a member of the Russian Academy.

Maria Feodorovna (Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg) wife of Paul I of Russia

Maria Feodorovna was Empress consort of Russia as the second wife of Tsar Paul I.

At the dawn of his success, Count Morkov recalled Tropinin from St. Petersburg to his Ukrainian estate Kukavka. Tropinin was appointed a confectioner and a lackey. Soon the owner changed his mind and assigned Tropinin to copy the works of European and Russian painters and produce portraits of the Morkovs. Tropinin also painted the local church. Tropinin spent around twenty years of his life in Ukraine, and many of his works from that time were of Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian country side. [1]

Ukraine Sovereign state in Eastern Europe

Ukraine, sometimes called the Ukraine, is a country in Eastern Europe. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world. Its capital and largest city is Kiev. Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic. The dominant religion in the country is Eastern Orthodoxy. Ukraine is currently in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km2 (233,062 sq mi), making it the largest country entirely within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world.

Lackey (manservant) uniformed manservant

A lackey or lacquey, in its original definition, is a uniformed manservant.

Still Tropinin continued to work and study. As a well-established portraitist, he wrote:

The most notable works of that period are Portrait of A. I. Tropinina, the Artist's Wife (1809), Portrait of Arseny Tropinin, son of the artist (c. 1818), Portrait of the Writer and Historian N. M. Karamzin (1818).


In 1823 at the age of 47 Tropinin at last became a free man and moved to Moscow. The same year he presented his paintings The Lace Maker, The Beggar and The Portrait of artist Skotnikov to the Imperial Academy of Arts and received the official certificate of a painter (Svobodnyj Khudozhnik). In 1824 he was elected an Academician.

Moscow Capital of Russia

Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 15.1 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area and approximately 25 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities.

Since 1833 he mastered the Moscow Public Art Classes that later became the famous Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. In 1843 he was elected an honorary member of the Moscow Art Society. He died in 1857 and was interred in Vagankovo Cemetery. During his life Tropinin painted more than 3,000 portraits.

In 1969 the Tropinin Museum [3] was opened in Moscow.


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  1. Oles Pasichny. National Art Museum of Ukraine Welcome to Ukraine
  2. Spirit of Ukraine: 500 Years of Painting. Winnipeg Art Gallery. 1991, pg. 184 ISBN   0-88915-163-6.
  3. "About The Tropinin Museum in Moscow [En]".