Fyodor Alexandrovich Vasilyev ( 1850 – 1873) was a Russian landscape painter who introduced the lyrical landscape style in Russian art.
Fyodor Vasilyev was born in Gatchina to a low-level government official, Alexander Vasilyevich Vasilyev, and Olga Emelyanova Polyntseva on 22 February N.S. 1850. His parents married four years later, so he was always considered an illegitimate child. Feodor had to earn his living from the age of 12 – he worked as a mailman, scribe, and assistant to a restorer of pictures. After his father’s death, he became the sole supporter of the family.
In 1863, he managed to enter the evening classes of the School of Painting at the Society for Promotion of Artists . While at school, Vasilyev got acquainted with many painters, who took care of him.
In 1866 famous landscape painter Ivan Shishkin fell in love with Feodor's sister Evgenia Vassilyev. Shishkin became acquainted with Feodor and started to teach him landscape painting. From July to November 1867 Shishkin and Vassilyev worked together on island of Valaam. Some places on Valaam were subjects of both artist's paintings. Later Shishkin introduced Feodor to Ivan Kramskoi, Ilya Repin, and art collectors Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov and Pavel Sergeevich Stroganov. Later Vasilyev became a major competitor to Ivan Shishkin and the latter was often accused of using intrigues and administrative influence trying to win over Vasilyev on different art competitions.
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