Viktor Vasnetsov


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(b Lopyal, nr. Vyatka [now Kirov], 3 [15] May 1848; d Moscow, 23 July 1926).

Russian painter, illustrator, designer, and architect, active mainly in Moscow. His early paintings were chiefly of contemporary subjects, sometimes involving the urban poor, but from about 1880 he specialized in scenes from Russian history and legend, combining carefully researched details with a feeling for the romance of myth. He is probably best known for the huge, stirring Bogatyrs (1881–98, Tretyakov Gal., Moscow), showing three mighty folk heroes keeping watch on the Russian frontier, but his range extended to lyrical scenes from fairy tales (Alenushka, 1881, Tretyakov Gal.). Vasnetsov also worked as a portraitist, book illustrator, stage designer, and occasional architect. He designed his own house in Moscow (1894), now a museum dedicated to him, and most memorably the façade of the Tretyakov Gallery (1902). See also Wanderers.

Subjects: Art.

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