Birthday of painter Vladimir Makovsky. Wikipedia writes:
Makovsky's work was defined by a perpetual humor as well as blatant irony and scorn. During the seventies his paintings dealt primarily with small-town folk. His pictures, "The Grape-juice Seller" (1879), "Fruit-Preserving" (1876) and "The Congratulator" (1878) depict various scenes where the mood is finely conceived and almost laughter-inducing. Other works of his, such as "The Benefactor" (1874) and "The Convict" (1878) are profoundly socially-conscious. In them, Makovsky either criticizes the false sympathy of the aristocracy towards the poor, or draws attention to the oppression and persecution of the tsarist gendaremrie. In 1878, he became an academician.
Makovsky is not as famous as, for example, Repin or Levitan, but he was definitely a very interesting painter. That "socially-oriented" painting gives us a way to look at the life of Russians in XIX century. Here are some links to the pages with his paintings. The names of the pictures are in the order in which they appear on the web-page:
- Rendezvous, a village woman visits her young son who works in the city,
- On the boulevard, a sad love story: she has a baby, he lost interest,
- Before the declaration of love,
- Declaration of love (yes, these are two different ones :)),
- Two sisters,
- Visiting a poor family, a rich philanthopist woman visits her poor wards
- Empress Maria Fyodorovna,
- Acquitted, probably, another love story
- Two mothers,
- At the doctor's, we know that kind of doctors, don't we?
- At the painter's studio,
- Idealist and materialist,
- The first tail-coat.
And some more at Wikimedia:
- The empress again,
- Fair in Poltava, oh, those Ukrainian fairs...
- Visiting a poor family,
- Bankruptsy of the bank, but a better image is here
- The party, this is, probably, a gathering of narodniks, young idealists who educated the peasants hoping to liberate them.
I love Makovsky's abundance of details and his empathy to the characters of his paintings.
Here you can find more his paintings: Old postcards and More old postcards. The latter page also shows some illustrations by Makovsky for various books including The Sevastopol Stories by Leo Tolstoy.