Vladimir Egorovitch MAKOVSKI


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Status, price and estimation of the artist Vladimir Egorovitch MAKOVSKI

Price of a painting by Makovski at auction: 2,000 – 100,000 €.

Estimate for a drawing or watercolour by the artist at auction: €1,000 – €20,000

If you wish to have a painting by the painter appraised, our painting experts are at your disposal for a free valuation.

Excellent academic training

Vladimir Makovsky is the son of Yegor Ivanovich Makovsky, a collector and one of the founders of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. It was his father’s passion for art that led Vladimir and his brothers and sister to take up a career as a painter.

He produced his first painting, Boy selling kvass, at the age of fifteen and then entered the Moscow Art School where he studied under Vasily Tropinin. Vladimir Makovski excelled in his studies and received various awards which encouraged him to continue his artistic education at the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg.

The Wanderers, the people as subject and audience

After graduating in 1869, he became a member of the Wanderers (Russian: Peredvizhniki). Every year, travelling exhibitions were organised throughout Russia to make art accessible to all. This realist movement, of which Makovski was a member, called for a preference for subjects drawn from everyday life rather than from ancient myths. When his son Alexander was born in 1869, he painted several pictures about childhood.

In 1873, he submitted his painting Nightingale Lovers to the Vienna World Exhibition, which earned him the title of Academician. Vladimir Makovski spent most of his life in Moscow, where he taught at the School of Art from 1882, and then at the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg from 1894 to 1918 after being appointed rector.

Social realism tinged with irony, precision of emotions

Vladimir Makovski’s work shows great precision and attention to detail in the depiction of realistic genre scenes, whose subjects bring him closer to the literature of Gogol and Turgenev. His paintings, a true reflection of the Russian soul, give an idea of life in Russia at the end of the 19th century in the different strata of society. His paintings, tinged with humour, mainly depict the little people, as in The Grape Juice Seller (1879), and are often an opportunity to criticise the Russian aristocracy or the tsarist gendarmerie.

In the 1880s, Vladimir Makovski adopted a more biting style and produced a number of so-called “democratic” paintings that are among his most striking works. He depicts with great emotional precision the meeting of a secret revolutionary cell, the collapse of a bank and the relatives of political prisoners outside a prison in his painting The Freed Prisoner (1882).

His works gradually became darker and the humour of his early works disappeared altogether. After the first Russian revolution, he produced a number of paintings in which he ostensibly sided with the oppressed people, as in The Sacrificed of the Khodyn Field. He continued to produce committed paintings until his death in 1920 in St Petersburg.

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