Apollinary Vasnetsov

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Apollinary Vasnetsov
Портрет художника А.М. Васнецова.jpg
Apollinary Vasnetsov. Portrait by his brother, Viktor (1878)
Native name
Аполлинарий Михайлович Васнецов
Born(1856-07-25)July 25, 1856
DiedJanuary 23, 1933(1933-01-23) (aged 76)
ResidenceRussian Empire
Soviet Union
EducationMember Academy of Arts (1900)
Alma materMoscow School of Painting
Known forPainting

Apollinary Mikhaylovich Vasnetsov (Russian: Аполлина́рий Миха́йлович Васнецо́в; (August 6, 1856 in the village of Riabovo, Vyatka Governorate – January 23, 1933 in Moscow) was a Russian painter and graphic artist whose elder brother was the more famous Viktor Vasnetsov.[1] He specialized in scenes from the medieval history of Moscow.

Vasnetsov did not receive a formal artistic education. He studied under his older brother, Viktor Vasnetsov, the famous Russian painter. From 1883, he and his brother lived and worked in Abramtsevo where he fell under the influence of Vasily Polenov. In 1898–1899, he travelled across Europe. In addition to epic landscapes of Russian nature, Apollinary Vasnetsov created his own genre of historical landscape reconstruction on the basis of historical and archaeological data. His paintings present a visual picture of medieval Moscow. He was a member of the Association of Travelling Art Exhibitions (Peredvizhniki) from 1899, and an academician from 1900. He became one of the founders and supervisors of the Union of Russian Artists.

Early life[edit]

The future painter had three elder and two younger brothers. Their only sister died at the age of four months. Their father played an important role in the upbringing and education of his sons. He taught them to love nature and to become familiar with the life of birds and animals. The death of his father in 1870 was a terrible blow for Vasnetsov.

The Caucasus and the Urals[edit]

In 1890, he made a journey across the North of the Russian Empire. Beautiful views of Siberia and the Urals were captured by Apollinary Vasnetsov in a large number of his canvasses, including:

  • Forest on the Slopes of Mount Blagodat, Mid-Urals (1890)
  • Boreal forest in the Urals (1890)
  • Mountain lake in the Urals (1892)
  • The Steppes of Orenburg (1895)
  • "Koma" (1895)

In 1895, Vasnetsov visited the Caucasus. He was deeply impressed by the beauty of the rugged Caucasus mountains. Whilst there, he climbed the glaciers of Mt. Elbrus, visited Tiflis and lived in the Darial Gorge. He created a great number of his sketches during this period, including:

  • View of Elbrus from Bermomut (1895)
  • Red Cliffs in Kislovodsk (1896)
  • Elbrus before Sunrise (1897)
  • Darial (1897)

In 1890, he made a journey across Europe, visiting France and Italy, where he studied the works of famous masters.

At the beginning of 1920, the Committee of Archaeology (the predecessor of the Community for the Saving of Art Monuments) invited Apollinary Vasnetsov and some other painters (including Vikentii Trofimov) to draw the old places of Voronezh.

A minor planet, 3586 Vasnetsov, discovered by Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Zhuravlyova in 1978, is named after Viktor Vasnetsov and Apollinary Vasnetsov.[2]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Apollinary Mikhaylovich Vasnetsov | Russian artist". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  2. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (5th ed.). New York: Springer Verlag. p. 301. ISBN 3-540-00238-3.


  • Apollinary Vasnetsov by Vasnetsova, Yekaterina & Schmidt, Igor (eds.), Izobrazitelnoye Iskusstvo, Moscow, 1980, (Russian/English), Book ID V 1121 31.
  • Great painters by Gordeeva M., "Direct media", Kiev, 2011, (Russian)

Further reading[edit]