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The future artist was born in 1757 in the Poltava region, in a Cossack, but very creative family - his father and both brothers painted icons in churches, which Vladimir later engaged in, having served in the Mirgorod Cossack regiment in 1774.
The sign of fate can be called the order received by Borovikovsky in 1787 to paint the interior in the house of the famous Russian poet and playwright Kapnist Vasily Vasilyevich. The order was received in connection with the upcoming arrival of Catherine II traveling to the Crimea. The artist performed two panels depicting the Empress and Peter I on allegorical themes. Both paintings liked Catherine so much that she advised him to move to St. Petersburg and go to study.
Without missing this opportunity, already in 1788 Borovikovsky was leaving for the capital. Restrictions on age (he was 31 at that time) did not allow him to enter the Imperial Academy of Arts.
But he, living in the house of the architect, graphic artist and poet N. A. Lvov, meets with the prominent representatives of the Russian Enlightenment of that time: with the poet and statesman G. R. Derzhavin, with academician of the Academy of Arts D. G. Levitsky, takes lessons paintings by the Austrian graphic artist and painter at the court of Catherine - Lampi Johann Baptista.
By the mid-1790s, Borovikovsky was one of the most popular and sought-after portrait painters.
Not studying at the Academy itself, Vladimir received in 1794 the title of "appointed" to the academicians. In the same year, he paints a portrait of Catherine II, provoking interest with his unusual vision of the empress.
In 1795, for a portrait of the Grand Duke, Russian Tsarevich Konstantin Pavlovich, he was awarded the title of academician of painting.
In 1798, having left for Austria, Lumpy left Borovikovsky his workshop in which the artist lived the rest of his life.
The heyday of his work is coming. Famous portraits of state and influential people: G. Derzhavin, diplomat A. B. Kurakin, Minister D. P. Troshchinsky, Metropolitan M. Desnitsky, Iranian prince Murtaz-Kuli Khan and many others.
Borovitsky’s refined and at the same time light writing technique that creates the feeling that the author has no difficulty in creating his masterpieces. Perhaps he slightly embellishes the image compared to the original, but does it elegantly and subtly. And more and more orders from those who want the portrait to be painted by Borovikovsky.
And his magnificent series of female portraits simply delights in its performance. It was during this period that sentimentalism in the works of Vladimir Lukich finds the most brilliant embodiment. It is expressed in an airy, almost weightless letter, lyrical tones against the background of nature, a general feeling of tenderness and naturalness.
Of course, first of all, this is a brilliant portrait of M. I. Lopukhina. Also known are portraits of the dear Lizonka and Dasha, the gentle and simple O.K. Filippova, the unusual beauty E. Naryshkina, the lively and young V. Shidlovskaya, the Torzhkov peasant woman Hristina and many others.
All of them are about the same compositional solution, but in each work with elusive strokes the author emphasizes the character, personality, sincerity and sensitivity of each heroine.
In the early 1800s, thanks to his acquaintance with D. Levitsky, philosopher and writer A.F. Labzin, Vladimir Lukich decided to enter the Masonic lodge, then, leaving it, in 1819 became interested in mysticism. But he never found an outlet for himself in this area, he became more reserved, avoiding communication.
The artist felt that his time was becoming a thing of the past, new times came, new people with different tastes and preferences in art, the time came for new young talents.
The last years of his life, he no longer paints portraits, but is engaged in pedagogical activities. So, the beginning artist Alexei Gavrilovich Venetsianov, took painting lessons from him.
Borovikovsky does not leave a religious theme, paints the walls, paints icons for the Kazan Cathedral.
His “Annunciation”, “Our Lady surrounded by angels”, “Crucifixion”, “The Great Martyr Catherine” and other icons and murals remind that Borovikovsky is not only a secular portrait painter, but also a deeply religious person whose religious theme is inseparable and goes along his whole life.
It is symbolic that the painter’s last work was the iconostasis for the Smolensk Orthodox cemetery in St. Petersburg, where Borovikovsky was buried in April 1825.
Vladimir Lukich’s family life did not work out, he never had a wife or children. By will, he ordered his property to be distributed to all who need it.
The descendants of Borovikovsky are not forgotten, his work and in our time attract attention with its purity, sincerity, sentimentality - qualities that are sometimes lacking in the modern world.