Konstantin Jegorowitsch Makowski ( * 1839 † 1915 )

Portrait of Konstantin Yegorovich Makowski

Biography of Konstantin Yegorovich Makowski

A man of great talent and ability

Konstantin Yegorovich Makovsky was born on July 2, 1839 in Moscow. The young artist was surrounded by art at an early age. His father Egor Ivanovich Makowski was an artist and art lover. Well-known painters such as Vasily Tropinin and Karl Bryullow were among their visitors.

From 1851 Makowski went to the Moscow school of painting and sculpture. His studies were very successful, as he was honored with several awards. He found his enthusiasm for romanticism and decorative effects.

In 1858 he went to St. Petersburg to continue his studies at the Academy of Arts. After only two years he presented his own works every year at the Academy's exhibitions.

In 1863 Makovsky and thirteen other outstanding graduates refused to paint a picture for a given theme and left the Academy.

In the 1960s Makovsky became a member of the St. Petersburg Artel of Artists under the leadership of Ivan Nikolayevich Kramskoy. His works of this time ("The Widow", 1865; "The Herring Seller", 1867) were dark, executed in a taupe earthy tone and dedicated to the everyday genre.

1870 Makowski visited Serbia and Egypt. Here he engaged in a deep understanding of colour and learned the pictorial movement of his time. After this journey he created two of his most famous paintings: "Delivery of the Holy Carpet from Mecca to Cairo" (1875) and "The Bulgarian Martyrs" (1876). Bravura pictorial spectacles in masterly execution reveal his magnificent reproduction of colour and texture.

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

The paintings of Konstantin Makowski influenced the artistic taste in the 80-90s of the 19th century. His characteristic painting style was energetic, light, realistic, colorful and spirited. His style was elegant and spectacular. As a representative of academicism he depicted scenes of Old Russian history, painted portraits for the aristocracy and the upper bourgeoisie ("Portrait of S. L. Stroganova", 1864; "Portrait of the Artist", 1881, "Family Portrait", 1882). With the transparent texture, noble colours and attention to detail and brilliance, the paintings became very popular.

Makowski's paintings were popular both in Russia and worldwide. He exhibited at the international exhibition in Paris and sold works to the USA.

Monotonous and typologically similar works caused the negative voices. Nonetheless, in his own way he was a brilliant painter who conveyed refined feelings of beauty and aesthetics.

1915 Makowski died in an accident in St. Petersburg when his carriage collided with a tram.

"I did not let my God-given talent wither away, but I did not use it to the extent that I could. I loved life too much and that prevented me from devoting myself entirely to art" - this is how Konstantin Makowski ended his autobiography, written in 1910.

Art prints and oil reproductions by Konstantin Jegorowitsch Makowski

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