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Konstantin Apollonovich Savitsky is the one who painted the funny bears in Shishkin's painting “Morning in a Pine Forest”. Meanwhile, this outstanding Russian artist was a master of everyday life, a fine observer of Russian life and an outstanding teacher and organizer who reformed the process of teaching young painters. But first things first…
Choosing a Life Path
Konstantin Savitsky was from Taganrog, however, he spent his youth in Livonia (the Baltic provinces of Russia, modern Estonia and Latvia). The fact is that the boy lost his parents very early and was determined to be raised by relatives who gave him to study at the boarding house of a private noble school in Livonia.
But it was Taganrog and the native town of Frankivka that left the most noticeable trace in the soul of young Kostya. The Sea of Azov, the endless steppes - Savitsky recalled his childhood’s lovely landscapes of childhood throughout his life. This beauty prompted the boy to take up a pencil, especially since the family often specially went to the picturesque sea shores, and Savitsky made drawings from nature.
He did not give up his hobby even during his studies in Livonia, and after graduating from a boarding school in 1862, he came to enter the Imperial Academy of Arts, where he chose to specialize in historical painting. It is not surprising that the gifted young man very soon becomes the best student. In total, for his paintings written at the Academy, the artist receives 6 silver and 1 gold medal ("The organ grinder" and the sketch "The Crucifixion of Christ"), and also receives a scholarship from Emperor Alexander II.
Years of maturity and creativity
In 1871, Savitsky’s foreign journey begins, thanks to the Academy’s practice at that time, to send the best students for internships in Europe. Here the master works a lot, studies the best examples of fine art, and even exhibited in 1878, not anywhere else, but at the World Exhibition in Paris.
1875 becomes the turning point of Savitsky’s life - his young wife tragically dies. The painter returns to his homeland and works hard, not allowing sad thoughts to take possession of his soul. So his best works are created - “For War”, “Meeting of the Icon”, “He Knows the Unclean” and others.
Since 1883, Savitsky has successfully tried himself as a teacher. For more than 5 years he has been teaching at the technical drawing school in St. Petersburg, then at the Moscow school, and finally moving to Penza, where he becomes the first director of the gallery and art school. In this position, the painter proved himself to be a talented and intelligent manager. Konstantin Apollonovich personally participated in the development of the program for students and the results were so successful that the best graduates of the school were enrolled in the Academy of Arts without entrance exams.
Conducting an active pedagogical and managerial activity, Savitsky did not forget about creativity - as a result, his rich heritage. The artist died at the age of 60 (1905), remaining until the last days at the helm of his beloved Penza school.