Arkhip Kuindzhi: Google doodle celebrates Russian landscape painter’s 180th birthday

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Today Google doodle to celebrate the 180th birthday of Russian artist Arkhip Kuindzhi, a Russian landscape painter of Greek descent. He is also known as Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi.

By integrating emerging discoveries in physics and chemistry with contemporary styles of Impressionism and Romanticism, Kuinzhi developed a new painting technique that captured the natural world like never before.

Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi was born on this day in 1842 in the coastal city of Mariupol, Ukraine, into a family of shoemakers and goldsmiths. He grew up in a poor family. His father was a Pontic Greek shoemaker, Ivan Khristoforovich Kuindzhi. Arkhip was six years old when he lost his parents, so he was forced to earn a living working on a church construction site, herding domestic animals, and working in the corn merchant’s shop. He received the basics of an education from a Greek family friend who was a teacher and then went to the local school.

To support his family, Kuindzhi worked odd jobs growing up while fostering his early interest in tapping into his free time. Historians believe that a bread seller was the first to notice Kuindzhi’s talent as an artist and encouraged him to apprentice with Ivan Aivazovsky, a popular painter of maritime scenes.

Kuindzhi traveled over 250 miles from his hometown to Aivazovsky’s studio in Feodosia, Ukraine. Although Aivazovsky denied him an apprenticeship, Kuindzhi continued his education at the Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg, where he took courses in the physical effects of light with the famous Russian chemist Dmitrii Mendeleev. Due to its limited focus on European painting methods, the rigid traditions of the academy frustrated Kuindzhi. He left school to paint natural landscapes of the Russian countryside and co-founded an organization of nomadic painters known as the “Society of Traveling Artists” in 1870.

Kuindzhi became known for capturing massive, empty scenes of contemporary Russia, such as the seascape painting “Red Sunset over the Dnieper, 1905-8”, which remains his most famous work to date. Today his former living quarters in Saint Petersburg house many of his paintings and have been opened to the public as the Arkhip Kuindzhi Apartment Museum.

Here is a painter who has shed new light on contemporary art: Arkhip Kuindzhi!

Source: Google doodles, Wikipedia

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