Ilya Semyonovich Ostroukhov, paintings and biography

Ilya Semyonovich Ostroukhov, paintings and biography

  • Year of birth: July 20, 1858
  • Date of death: July 8, 1929
  • Country: Russia
  • Locations of the artist’s works: Tretyakov Gallery

Biography:

Ilya Semenovich Ostroukhov was a Russian landscape painter and collector, a friend of the founder of the famous Moscow gallery, Pavel Tretyakov. During his life he held numerous positions, was an academician of the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, one of the people in charge of the Tretyakov Gallery, a member of the Union of Russian Artists and a member of the Association of Traveling Exhibitions. The future artist was born in 1858 into a prosperous merchant family. At the age of 12, he enrolled in the Moscow Academy of Commercial Sciences in order to continue the family business in the future. During his studies, he became interested in wildlife. The fascination was very serious, as the future artist in 7 years even wrote a book about fishing, and also corresponded with Brem himself. During these years, Ilya gathered such a decent, high-quality and voluminous collection of insects that it was later given to the Moscow University. The desire to draw in the young man was awakened by acquaintance with the family of famous merchants and patrons of the arts Mamontov. He befriended the sons of the publisher Anatoly Mamontov and communicated with their teacher Kiselev. His interest in landscape was provoked by Polenov’s paintings, which Ilya saw at the Wanderers’ exhibition. Subsequently, Ostroukhov studied with Kiselev and took lessons from his namesake – Ilya Repin. The period of the artist’s studies and the beginning of his career came at a fertile time. Among his teachers and friends were such titans of Russian painting as Vasnetsov, Serov, Makovsky, Chistyakov and many others. Together with Vasnetsov, he designed plays and an opera production at the Mamontovs’ home, which were a success. But he gave his heart to landscape. Wishing to continue his education, in 1882 Ilya tried to enroll in the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, but spent the first year as a volunteer. At the same time, he continued to study and take private lessons from famous teachers and artists. After only two years, he began exhibiting his work. In 1887, two of his works were bought by Tretyakov for the gallery. At the same time the painter went to Europe and visited Austria, Germany and France, and then Italy with his friend Serov and the Mamontov brothers. One of the paintings he painted during the trip participated in the 27th Itinerant Exhibition and was also purchased for the Tretyakov Gallery. During these years the landscape painter becomes known as a collector. In 1898 Tretyakov died, and it became necessary to organize the work of the gallery. A list of people, who should be included in the management of the organization, was offered. Ostroukhov became a member of the board of trustees. Then for many years for some periods he was given the role of actual head of the board. His activities aroused envy and a desire to remove the artist from his position. In 1903, Ostroukhov was accused of spending too much on the purchase of works. After his dismissal, the master went on vacation to Europe, to a sanatorium in the French Vosges. In 1905 he managed to regain his position. But eight years later a madman defaced Repin’s painting “Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan”, after which the collector was hounded to such an extent that he resigned from his post. The landscape painter had a large collection of paintings, icons, and a large library. After the victory of the Revolution in 1918, the museum was nationalized, and the former owner was made curator for life. The painter at this time was already a very sick, broken man with poor eyesight, who was undermined by the catastrophic changes in his life. He died in 1929. Literally a month after the owner’s death, the museum was destroyed and the exhibits were dispersed among museums. The aged widow of the artist was not spared. She was deprived of her home, and the old woman lived in the basement.

Paintings by Ilya Ostroukhov

The First Greens

The first greens

The River At Noon

The River at Noon

Siverko

Siverko

Golden Autumn

Golden Autumn

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