Pyotr Fyodorovich Sokolov

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Portrait of Sokolov's wife, Yulia

Pyotr Fyodorovich Sokolov (Russian: Пётр Фёдорович Сóколов) (1791-15 August [O.S. 3 August] 1848) was a Russian aquarelle portraitist who painted many of the most distinguished figures of the Pushkin era.[1]

Andromache mourning killed Hector

Sokolov was a pioneer to employ a special watercolour technique where emulsion was not utilized,[2] and in addition to that, he was the person who has started the genre of the aquarelle portraiture in Russian art.[3] From 1820 and onwards, he has completely involved himself into perfecting his art form in which he succeeded.[2] This technique in the years between 1820 and 1840 managed to replace the portrait miniatures that were popular in Russia prior to that. Even though Sokolov specialized in aquarelle painting oftentimes he would use a graphite pencil in order to manage his initial draft, as well as an aid for special effects to enhance his artworks.[4]

Early life[edit]

Sokolov was born in Moscow,[5] and between the years of 1800 to 1809 he attended Imperial Academy of Arts where he received his education in art. His supervisors were Alexei Egorovich Egorov as well as Vasily Shebuyev [6] who both were very famous and respected artists. In 1809, Sokolov painted “Andromache mourning killed Hector” ("Андромаха оплакивает убитого Гектора") for his institution's competition for which he received a minor gold medal as well as a title of a class artist.[7] Because of the school program structure, the students who won the gold medal from the school had the opportunity to go overseas to enhance their art education.[8] Sokolov desired to continue his education in Italy; however, in order to fulfill that he required to win a major gold medal. The artist stayed behind for one year and participated again in the contest that year, but he did not manage to achieve this goal.[4]

Work During Lifetime[edit]

1828 painting of Bakunina Ekaterina Pavlovna done by Sokolov
1828 painting of Alexander II of Russia as a child

During his lifetime, Sokolov has captured numerous people in his portraits, starting with fellow artists ending with veterans of Patriotic War of 1812.[6] Amongst those people individuals such as Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin as well as Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky who were extremely famous Russian poets were included as well.[6] Additionally, Sokolov received many commissions from various high-ranking persons. For example, the artist was invited by the imperial family to Anichkov Palace where he painted a portrait of Nicholas I of Russia's three year old royal son, Alexander,[4] and the work was a success with the family. Some of Sokolov’s commissioners have repeatedly requested works from him. One was of the people who has been painted trice was Ekaterina Pavlovna Bakunina. She was depicted in the works of the year 1816, 1828, and 1834. In her first portrait which was done in pencil, she is depicted as a youthful lady. In the aquarelle work of 1828, Sokolov managed to convey the features that were socially desirable and attractive at that time in her portrait. As for 1834 portrait, one can easily see how Sokolov depicted Bakunina (now Poltoratskaya) as a married woman.[4] Over the course of his life he has created over 500 artworks,[6] and not only are they found in private collections, since they are extremely valuable, but also in very famous government museums such as State Russian Museum, State Tretyakov Gallery, and many others.[4]

References[edit]