Картина Козьмы Никифоровича Кудрявцева

The Life and Work of Cosma Nikiphorovich Kudriavtsev
The Entry into the House of Abraham

 

On the whole, the condition of the painting is very good. It has not been restored. The canvas is not lined. The artist’s absolute mastery of the technique and technology of painting ensured that the paint has not crumbled or faded over the course of almost 130 years, and the painting has preserved its original colours.

The short life and work of the prominent Russian artist Cosma Nikiphorovich Kudriavtsev is not only little known to the general public, but also to specialists in art history. It is an annoying misunderstanding – and not even just that. Rather, it is the result of a negligent relationship towards one’s own cultural property. The discovery in a private St. Petersburg collection of the superb canvas Abraham Casting out Hagar and her Son Ishmael (with the artist’s signature!), never before reproduced, and considered lost, as well as a large quantity of unpublished documents related to the artist, preserved in the Russian State Historical Archives (RSHA, res. 789, inv. 7, file 139; res. 789, inv. 8, file 7; res. 789, inv. 10, file 9 and 146), allow us to establish a great number of facts about the painter’s biography, and to draw a whole series of conclusions about his personality and his creative legacy. Until the present time, the information published about him has been limited to short references to him in the Accounts of the Imperial Academy of Arts (see Account of the IAA for 1877–1878, St. Petersburg, 1879, p. 13; Account of the IAA for 1878–1879, St. Petersburg, 1881, pp. 14, 18, 23), and the book put together by S.N. Kondakov, List of Russian Artists for the Anniversary Directory of the Imperial Academy of Arts, 1914: “Cosma Nikiphorovich Kudriavtsev. Student of the Academy of Arts from 1871 to 1879. In 1873 and 1875, received two second-class silver medals, in 1874 – a first- and second-class silver medals, in 1876 – a first-class silver medal, in 1878 – a second-class gold medal for the assigned theme “Abraham Casting out Hagar and her Son Ishmael”. In 1879, he was awarded the rank First-class Artist of the first degree for the painting “Christ and the Adultress”. The following list of medals could also be mentioned: 26 May 1873, he received a second-class silver medal for a life study; 2 March 1874, a first-class silver medal for a drawing; 18 May 1874, a second silver medal for the sketch The Triumph of Haman; 22 May 1876, a first-class silver medal for drawing from life (RSHA, res. 789, inv. 10, file 146, p. 2).
 

Краткая жизнь и творчество выдающегося русского художника Козьмы Никифоровича Кудрявцева не известны не только широкой публике, но и специалистам по истории искусств.

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