Masterpieces of Russian graphics from the collection of the State Historical Museum in the Tretyakov Gallery
The graphic collection of the Historical Museum (GIM) is extensive and diverse. It allows you to trace the development of the Russian drawing school from its inception in the XVIII…

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ALEXEY ISUPOV. RUSSIA-ITALY.
Alexey Vladimirovich was born on March 10 (22), 1889 in Vyatka into the family of an iconostasis master, woodcarver and gilder Vladimir Petrovich Isupov. The work of the father, communication…

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“An artist with brilliant talent and good means …”

The exact date of the appearance of F. Moller in the class of historical painting of Professor K. Bryullov is unknown. The first mention of the contacts of the master and budding artist refers to the spring of 1837. In the diary of Apollo Mokritsky there is an entry on April 3: “In the morning, at seven o’clock, Bryullov sent for me. He caught Moller and Gayvazovsky ”. Selection in his workshop Bryullov conducted very carefully. “Bryullov spoke often,” recalled M.Ye. Melikov, – that among his students he can include someone who understands him, is talented and to whom he can be useful. ”
The pedagogical system of K. Bryullov included the obligatory copying of the works of old masters and his own works. In the halls of the Hermitage, where classes were held, K. Brullov analyzed and compared the paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, Poussin. A. Mokritsky recalled the bright and emotional lectures of the maestro. Often copies of Bryullov’s works were written simultaneously with his work on the original. Young painters directly followed the creative process of the teacher, assimilated technological and stylistic secrets of craftsmanship.
An example of Moller’s educational work is a copy of The Appearance of Three Angels to Abraham (Ivanovo Art Museum). It is based on the original of a competitive picture of a young K. Bryullov (1821, RM), written for obtaining a gold medal. At the time of Moller, the canvas was kept in the museum of the Academy of Arts. The Old Testament plot by Brullov is designed in the style of classicism and is in form a typical academic picture. The composition is built as a mise en scene: on the left, Abraham and the servants, on the right, three beautiful angels with perfect faces and figures. In general, Moller made a good copy, but inferior to the original in color.
In addition to doing a great deal of official work on historical works, Bryullov devoted a lot of time to portraits. In this area he has achieved great and deserved success. Essentially important for the development of portrait art Moller had him copying from the originals of the master. Such is the “Portrait of Countess Wittgenstein in Childhood” (Estonian Art Museum), which is a fragment of a group portrait of the children of Count L.P. Wittgenstein with the Italian nanny brush K. Bryullova (1832, whereabouts unknown). Successfully caught easy movement of the child. Reflections of transparent water, air, and cool shade of a forest are reflected on a white shirt.
The main advantage of the Bryullov creative method was the persistent recommendation of students to turn to a living reality. The maestro demanded a thorough study of the nature, structure of the human body, and he aroused attention to the subtlest shades of spiritual moods. Works created without field observations, Bryullov contemptuously called “gag”. Studying diligently in the workshop of Bryullov, Moller managed to achieve clarity of composition, unmistakable accuracy of the drawing, expressiveness of modeling and veracity of color. All the artists who went through his school testified about Bryullov’s fatherly relationship to his students. Bryullov was not only a teacher, but also a senior friend, mentor. He appreciated the ability of Moller and ranked him among his best students. A. Mokritsky recalled: “Bryullov terribly scolded me. The reason for this was Moller’s beautiful nature. ”
Numerous full-scale sketches and drawings from Bryullov’s originals in Moller’s albums (Estonian Art Museum) clearly show Moller’s exact adherence to the teacher’s methods when working on the composition. Technical and technological studies have recorded similar “Brullov’s” techniques in writing faces and details of clothes in Moller’s early works. It was not by chance that a contemporary wrote: “The instruction and guidance of an experienced maestro soon brought visible benefits. Our art found in Moller not the last worthy representative. ”
On the advice of K. Bryullov F. Moller went to Italy in 1838 to improve his skills. Being the son of a naval minister, a retired captain, that is, a wealthy man, Fyodor Antonovich went there at his own expense. Moller’s stay in Italy coincided with one of the best and brightest periods in which the Russian art colony existed in Rome. The great past of Italy, the ancestors of European civilization, its ancient monuments, the mild climate, the lifestyle of cheerful and talented people – all this taken together since ancient times attracted travelers, and not least the philosophers and poets, writers and artists. As the engraver remembered F.I. Jordan, “a handsome, young nobleman and artist with brilliant talent and good means, always cheerful and extremely diligent” stood out among Russian pensioners.
Once in Italy, Fyodor Moller continued the traditions of K. Bryullov, began with passion to write genre scenes “from the life of the people” of the Italians (“Resting Gardener”, “The Roman Shepherd”, 1839, location unknown). However, the real success came to the artist through the painting “First Kiss”.

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