Kramskoy, Ivan (1837-1887) - 1883 Portrait of a Woman
Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi was a Russian painter and art critic. He was the intellectual leader of the Russian democratic art movement 1860–1880. He was from a poor petty-bourgeois family. From 1857 to 1863 he studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts; he reacted against academic art, and he was an initiator of the “revolt of fourteen” which ended with an expulsion from the Academy of arts of its graduates, who organized Artel of Artists.
Under the influence of ideas of the Russian revolutionary democrats Kramskoi asserted representation about a high public duty of artist, principles of realism, moral substance and a nationality of art. He became one of the main founders and ideologists of Company of Mobile Art Exhibitions (or Peredvizhniki). He created gallery of portraits of the largest Russian writers, scientific, artists and public figures (portraits: Leo Nikolayevitch Tolstoy, 1873, Ivan Shishkin, 1873, Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov, 1876, Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, 1879—all in Tretyakov Gallery in which expressive simplicity of a composition, clearness of figure emphasize the leading part of the profound psychological characteristic. Democratic sights of Kramskoi found the brightest expression in portraits of the peasants who reflected sincere riches and internal advantage of the person from people.