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(1889) [MARC] Author: Georg Brandes Translator: Samuel Coffin Eastman - Tema: Russia
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this artist came with his painting to St. Petersburg.
Kramskoï was strongly impressed by this special picture;
he felt the force of genius in the conception, and
admired the truth of the expression of the faces. In his
letters he puts the head of St. John on a level with
those of the Venus of Milo and of the Sistine Madonna,
and is scandalized that no one in St. Petersburg has any
eye for anything but the mistakes in drawing in this
grand painting.

Kramskoï had now obtained his first medals, and
lacked only one year of being sent abroad at the expense
of the academy, when he with fourteen comrades
suddenly left, disgusted at the instruction they received.
It is these fifteen men who have extricated Russian art
from routine. Kramskoï married early, and his house
was the place where the young men met. He himself,
who was regarded as the leader of the movement, worked
unceasingly, and sought for all sorts of knowledge. His
thirst for information and knowledge was so great that
it made him regard every student with veneration. His
simplicity and kind-heartedness conquered the hearts
of all.

At this time, Riepin became his pupil, and soon his
intimate friend. In 1868 he also formed a friendship
with a landscape-painter Vasilief, who later exerted
considerable influence upon him. Vasilief drove him
on to independence of authority of every sort, and
Riepin enchanted him by his bold style. From 1868
Kramskoï was celebrated. He, the old enemy of the
academy, was himself appointed a member of the
academy. Gradually he became more and more of a
colorist. In 1876 he writes from Paris, that he had
hitherto worshipped form alone; that now he was
beginning to understand what the art of painting is. He

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