Ivanov, Aleksandr (1806-1858) by Scholes, Robert

Aleksandr Ivanov (1806 – 1858) The following information is quoted from http://www.artsstudio.com/reproductions/ivanov-a.htm Alexander Andreevich Ivanov was born in 1806 in St. Petersburg. His father, Andrey Ivanov, was an artist, the professor of the Academy of Arts. It was his father who first taught Alexander art, and since 1817 till 1824 he was studying in the Academy of Arts. One of his first notable works, made while in the Academy, was Priam Asking Achilles to Return Hector’s Body (1824). For the picture Joseph Interprets the Butler’s and the Baker’s Dreams in a Prison (1827) he was awarded the big gold medal by the Society for the Promotion of Artists and sent to Italy as a pensioner of that society. He went to Italy in 1830 and since 1831 settled in Rome. He traveled all over Italy a lot studying the masterpieces of art. During his first years he painted (1831-1834) and (1834-1836), which were greatly appreciated by his contemporaries and approved by his sponsors in St. Petersburg. At about 1833 Ivanov conceived a plan to paint a large picture (1837-1857). This picture truly became the work of his life, he worked on it for twenty years. Over 100 sketches, numerous detail drawings, and large-scale designs, most of them in oil, preceded the monumental composition. Its size is 540 x 750 cm. In the foreground of the picture there is a number of male figures, some already undressed, waiting to be baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. While John the Baptist, in his garb of animal skin under a long mantle, a crosier in his left hand, turns and raises his arms dramatically towards the lone figure of Christ, who appears on a rocky rise in the middle ground, behind him a broad plain and distant mountains. Apollo, Hyacinth and Cypariss Singing and Playing Music The Appearance of Christ to Mary Magdalene The Appearance of Christ to the People Ivanov died from cholera in St. Petersburg in 1858, several months after his return to Russia.

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