Konstantin Jegorowitsch Makowski ( * 1839 † 1915 )

Portrait of Konstantin Yegorovich Makowski

Biography of Konstantin Yegorovich Makowski

A man of great talent and skill

Konstantin Yegorovich Makovsky was born in Moscow on July 2, 1839. The young artist was surrounded by art from an early age. His father Egor Ivanovich Makovsky was an artist and art lover, and famous painters such as Vasily Tropinin and Karl Bryullov often visited their house.

From 1851 Makowski attended the Moscow School of Painting and Sculpture. His studies were very successful and he was rewarded with several awards. Here was born his enthusiasm for Romanticism and decorative effects.

In 1858 he went to St. Petersburg to continue his studies at the Academy of Arts, and after only two years he presented his works annually at the exhibitions of the Academy.

In 1863 Makowski and thirteen other distinguished graduates refused to paint a picture for a particular subject and left the Academy.

In the 1960s Makowski became a member of the St. Petersburg Artel under the direction of Ivan Nikolayevich Kramskoy. His works of this period ("The Widow," 1865; "The Herring Seller," 1867) were somber, executed in earthy gray tones, and devoted to subjects of everyday life.

In 1870 Makowski visited Serbia and Egypt, where he engaged in a deep understanding of color. After this trip, he created two of his most famous paintings, "Delivery of the Holy Carpet from Mecca to Cairo" (1875) and "The Bulgarian Martyrs" (1876). Masterfully executed pictorial spectacles reveal the superb rendering of color and texture in his works.

In 1880 Makowski became a sought-after painter of history. Many of his paintings idealized life in Russia in previous centuries.

Konstantin Makowski's paintings influenced artistic taste in the 1880s-90s with his characteristic style of painting-ergic, light, realistic, colorful and lively, yet elegant and spectacular. A representative of academicism, he depicted scenes from ancient Russian history and painted portraits for the aristocracy and the upper middle class ("Portrait of S. L. Stroganova", 1864; "Portrait of the artist's wife", 1881, "Family portrait", 1882). With the transparent structure, noble colors and attention to detail and brilliance, the paintings became in high demand.

Makovsky's paintings were popular both in Russia and around the world. He exhibited at the International Exhibition in Paris and sold works in the United States.

Over time, Makovsky's good reputation waned due to the creation of monotonous and similar works. In 1915, Makowski was the victim of an accident in St. Petersburg, when his carriage collided with a streetcar.

"I did not let my God-given talent go to waste, but I did not use it to the best of my ability. I loved life too much and this prevented me from devoting myself entirely to art" - so Konstantin Makowski concluded his autobiography, written in 1910.

 

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Art prints and oil reproductions by Konstantin Jegorowitsch Makowski

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