Kuindzhi means “master of all crafts”, and the Russian artist Arkhip Kuindzhi was indeed a master of landscape painting.

Russian artist of Greek origin Arkhip Kuindzhi managed to tell something completely new in the word of painting. His favorite genre in painting was landscape. We will try to highlight three major periods in the creative career of Arkhip Kuindzhi.

Arkhip Kuindzhi started out as a very good landscape painter, who joined the movement of the “Wanderers.” The artist gathered rave reviews in Russia, and at exhibitions in Europe.

The second period of his creative career could be called the search of his own voice. Kuindzhi refused to follow the social ideas of the “Wanderers”, refused to be a draftsman, in other words Kuindzhi sacrificed the details, even the volume to create a special color solution.

The third period was an almost 30-year period of “silence”, when Kuindzhi continued to experiment, created several hundreds of paintings, but never organized any exhibitions or showed his works to anyone.

Ukrainian Night

Kuindzhi already gained some fame and some notoriety in Russia and in Europe. But the painting by Arkhip Kuindzhi “Ukrainian night” literally shocked the viewers.

The painting is based on the flow-over of the painting’s planes from one to another.

Night, silence and stillness …Huts painted with white chalk.

Arkhip Kuindzhi - Ukrainian night, oil on canvas (1876)

Ukrainian night, oil on canvas (1876)

Unfortunately, the colors on the painting darkenedpretty quickly, but even a little darker version of the painting makes a strong impression.

After the Rain

Arkhip Kuindzhi identified two light spots on the painting “After the rain.” Green, bright on the bottom, and big black one on the top. The artist surprisingly depicted the light falling on a wet, bright green after the rain, grass.

Arkhip Kuindzhi - After the rain, oil on canvas (1879)

After the rain, oil on canvas (1879)

The overall impression of the painting – a light island in a sea of darkness. And also: the storm is not a threat to the village. Rather, the village came out after the storm fresher, brighter and renewed.

Birch Grove

In his landscape painting “Birch Grove”, Kuindzhi boldly experimented with color and light. The light in the painting seems very bright and lively. It seems that this is not a painting but a real sunlight.

In this picture for the first time a special style of gradation of color and light by Kuindzhiis so clearly pronounced.

Arkhip Kuindzhi - Birch grove, oil on canvas (1879)

Birch grove, oil on canvas (1879)

The painting was a resounding success, and also became a point of contention between Arkhip Kuindzhi and the “Wanderers.”

But criticism was no longer important to Kuindzhi. He chose his own path for the coming years.

Experimenting later on the topic of this painting, Kuindzhi created several color versions of the “Birch grove”, one of which was sold for a huge for those times amount of money, for which you could buy a dozen of paintings by other famous landscape painters of the time.

Caucasian Landscape Paintings of Arkhip Kuindzhi

After 1882, a period of “silence” begins for Kuindzhi (about 500 paintings). The artist traveled a lot, especially in the Caucasus, where he was attracted by the infinite variability of the mountains in a different light, which created unlimited opportunities for creativity.

Coming back from the Caucasus, Arkhip Kuindzhi often drew from his memory. This principle – drawing from memory – Kuindzhi later will teach to his studentpainters (Kuindzhi was invited as a professor and lecturer to the Academy of Fine Arts).

Arkhip Kuindzhi - Snowy peaks, paper, oil (1890-1895)

Snowy peaks, paper, oil (1890-1895)

Arkhip Kuindzhi - Daryal gorge, paper on cardboard, oil (1890-1895)

Daryal gorge, paper on cardboard, oil (1890-1895)

Arkhip Kuindzhi - Elbrus in the evening, oil on canvas (1898-1908)

Elbrus in the evening, oil on canvas (1898-1908)

Several of the Late Landscape Paintings by Kuindzhi

Arkhip Kuindzhi - Birch grove, oil on canvas (1901)

Birch grove, oil on canvas (1901)

Arkhip Kuindzhi - Rainbow, oil on canvas (1900-1905)

Rainbow, oil on canvas (1900-1905)

Arkhip Kuindzhi - Spots of moonlight in the forest. Winter, paper on canvas, oil (1898-1908)

Spots of moonlight in the forest. Winter, paper on canvas, oil (1898-1908)

Arkhip Kuindzhi - Moonlit night

Moonlit night   

In St. Petersburg, in an apartment on the Birzhevoy alley with a huge loft-studio, where for many years lived Arkhip Kuindzhi, the Apartment Museum of Kuindzhi was opened, a visit to which will be very interesting to the fans of his talent. .

See also:

An event in the pictorial art of the 19th century, the most famous painting of Arkhip Kuindzhi “Moonlit night on the Dnieper”


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