Arkhip Iwanowitshc Kuindzhi is considered one of the most talented Russian landscape painters of his generation. Born in Ukraine, he was associated during the second half of the 1870s with a group of Russian Realist painters known as the Wanderers. In the 1890s, he was hired to teach landscape painting at the Academy of Fine Arts but was later dismissed for sympathizing with student agitators. He ultimately founded his own painting society.

Arkhip Kuindzhi was a Russian landscape painter with a talent for depicting light and its effects. Among his students were artists such as Arkady Rylov, Nicholas Roerich, Konstantin Bogaevsky, and others

Kuindzhi’s exact date of birth is unknown: different sources name different years. He was born in the southern Ukrainian town of Mariupol, into a shoemaker's family, and spent his childhood beside the Black Sea.

When Kuindzhi was 6, both of his parents died. The boy had to live at his brother’s (or possibly at his grandfather’s), and to make a living by herding geese. The only education he received was reading lessons taken from some barely literate Greek and about three years at the local public school. According to his former classmate’s memories, Kuindzhi was not good with math or grammar, but he liked to draw and spent the whole time in class doodling in his copybook.

At the age of 10, Kuindzhi gave up school and got a job at the construction site of a nearby church. When the works were over, Kuindzhi was hired by a merchant as a domestic servant. Between running errands, cleaning shoes and serving at the table, Kuindzhi found time to draw. His pictures impressed one of his employer’s friends, who advised the boy to become an apprentice to the famous seascape painter Ivan Aivazovsky. Kuindzhi followed the advice, and in 1855 arrived in the town of Feodosia, where Aivazovsky lived.
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Suzan Hamer


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