Arkhip Iwanowitshc Kuindzhi is considered one of the most talented Russian landscape painters of his generation. Born in Ukraine, he was associated in the second half of the 1870s with a group of Russian Realist painters known as the Wanderers....

In 1875, Kuindzhi married a woman he had known and loved since childhood: Vera Ketcherdzhi. Her memoirs are one of the most reliable sources of information about the artist's life. Kuindzhi did not keep a diary or any records of this kind.

Russian landscape painter with a talent for depicting light and its effects. Among his students were Arkady Rylov, Nicholas Roerich, Konstantin Bogaevsky...

His 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 his parents died. He lived at his brother’s (or possibly at his grandfather’s), and made a living herding geese. The only education he received was reading lessons from some barely literate Greek and about 3 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 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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