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Arkhip Kuindzhi was born in January 1841 in Mariupol, but he spent his youth in the city of Taganrog. He grew up in a poor family, and his father was a Greek shoemaker Ivan Khristoforovich Kuindzhi. Arkhip was six years old when he lost his parents, so that he was forced to make his living, working at the church building site, grazing domestic animals, and working at the corn merchant's shop.
He studied painting mainly independently and in St.Petersburg Academy of arts (from 1868; the full member since 1893). He was co-partner of mobile art exhibitions. Peredvizhniki, a group of Russian realist artists who in protest to academic restrictions formed an artists' cooperative, which evolved into the Society for Traveling Art Exhibitions. During this early period Kuinczhy felt Ivan Aivazovsky's influence.
Apartment Kuindzhi in St Petersburg
In 1872 the artist left the academy and worked as a freelancer. The painting Na ostrove Valaam (On the Valaam Island) was the first artwork, which Pavel Tretyakov acquired for his art gallery. In 1873, Kuindzhi exhibited his painting The Snow, which received the bronze medal at the International Art Exhibition in London in 1874.
In his mature period Kuindzhy aspired to transfer the most expressive on illumination of a condition of the nature. He applied composite receptions (high horizon, etc.), creating panoramic views. Using light effects and intense colors shown in main tones, he depicted the illusion of illumination
Kuindzhi lectured at the St.Petersburg Academy of arts. Among his students were artists such as Arkady Rylov, Nicholas Roerich, Konstantin Bogaevsky, and others. Kuindzhi initiated creation of the Society of artists
Dnepr in the morning, 1881
Birch grove, 1879
Sea. Crimea, 1898-1908
Night in the Ukraine, 1878
Sunset in the steppes to the sea, 1898-1908
Snowy peaks, 1890-1895