Lyrics in landscapes
Alexander Kiselev (1838–1911) was a landscape painter, a member of the Wanderers group, a professor at the Imperial Academy of Arts and a brilliant teacher of many well-known Russian painters.
He never imposed his opinion on his apprentices though he usually said to them: “Listen to what I say, but paint so that it looks different from what I paint.”
Kiselev participated in the artistic life of the two capitals of Russia, Moscow and Saint Petersburg, contributing equally to both. In the detailed diary he kept from 1876, describing Russian culture of that time: artistic soirees at Mamontov’s and Polenov’s flats, theatre productions at the Bolshoi and Maly theatres, along with descriptions of the scenery etc…
The end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries was an exciting period when one “…ism” in the visual arts replaced another regularly.
State Tretyakov Gallery
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Yet as Kiselev’s contemporaries always noted, the painter was so full of love for life that his paintings were a “triumph of light”.