Nikolaj Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky

1868-1945

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Status, price and estimation of the artist Nikolaj Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky

Price of a painting: 1,200 – 409,500 €.

Estimation of a drawing: 140 – 33,175 €.

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The training of Nikolaj Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky

Nikolaj Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky was a Russian painter attached to the realist movement. He was born on 6 December 1868 in Chitiki in the Russian Empire and died on 19 February 1945 in Berlin.

He learned the art of painting in 1894 at the Russian Academy of Fine Arts from the painter and sculptor Ilia Répine and also at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.

Nikolaj Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky and the Wanderers

Répine was a member of the Wanderers, a movement of realist painters that appeared in Russia in 1863 in reaction to the dogmas of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. From 1890, Nikolaj Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky took part in the exhibitions of this movement and became a member in 1895.

Earlier, in the 1870s, the group, which went against the established order by seeking to defend democratic causes through its works, provoked an event known as “The Revolt of the Fourteenth”. This marked an important split between the realist school and the classical academic school. This profound opposition lasted from the time of Nikolaj Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky who, along with other artists, saw his works banned from exhibitions of the movement.

Nikolaj Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky, portrait and genre painter

The artist holds an important place in the art of portraiture. He portrays the Russian Emperor Nicholas II in 1908 in a famous painting in which one can admire the sovereign in his red uniform, which almost completely disappears behind the honorary decorations he has received. He holds the sword in his hand and looks into the distance. This portrait illustrates certain aspects of his style, including the use of enhanced colours and richly pasted pigments.

The collapse of the monarchy and the arrival of the Bolsheviks caused him to move to Riga, where the artist took up residence and set up his studio in 1821.

In addition to portraits, the painter favoured genre scenes and rural peasant scenes. Indeed, while still in his native country, he painted, for example, mental arithmetic at the popular school, where one can see a classroom and a mathematical operation written on the board that a group of children, looking very concentrated, are trying to solve. The scene is depicted with great attention to detail and conveys a striking impression of realism.

Nikolaj Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky was a lifelong member of artists’ associations and was awarded the Order of Three Stars, Latvia’s highest honour.

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