A Portrait of the Painter Nikolai Koshelev (Ivan Kramskoi, 1866)
KOSHELEV Nikolai Andreyevich
Due to his lack of art supplies in his childhood years, the future professor of the Academy of Fine Arts Nikolai Andreyevich Koshelev could not study at the fine arts school in Arzamas established by Academician A. V. Stupin. So, instead of formal study, the eleven-year-old boy, who passionately loved to sketch, became an assistant to two different artists, but, alas, both situations in an apprenticeship in art proved unsuccessful. When it looked like it would be impossible to obtain another position as an artist’s apprentice, a local landowner intervened in his fate. For three years, she allowed him to work independently, at home, mastering all the techniques of fine art painting. Then, he took a trip with his benefactress to the Kazan School of Fine Arts, where he obtained lessons from professional instructors.
Christ Enthroned as Heavenly King (Nikolai Koshelev, 1874)
This led to Nikolai Andreyevich receiving commissions to paint the icons on the iconostases of several churches, and he also painted fresco icons on the walls of a local monastery. Finally, he was able to move to St Petersburg, and he entered the Academy of Fine Arts in 1861. For the first years of his residence in the capital, he lived in abject poverty and semi-starvation. Nevertheless, in spite of all this, the impulse of his creative passion forced him forward to the extent that he received three silver medals at art competitions in 1862. At long last, in 1863, he was able to sell several of his artworks, which improved his financial situation tremendously.
The Music Lesson (Nikolai Koshelev, 1865)
From 1865, for some years, he was one of the team of artists who were working to paint the icons at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. It was specifically for this creative effort in beautifying the Cathedral that he became an Academician in 1873 and a Professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1878. Both by his life and his creative work, for he painted many remarkable portraits, landscapes, and genre pictures, he proved an old saying about artists. “In painting, there is no wide and easy path. The only one who can reach its shining summit is one who does not weary and lose heart as he clambers up her narrow and stony slopes”.
My Russkie –kakoi vostorg!
http://lj.rossia.org/users/john_petrov/1103598.html#cutid1 (in Russian)