Born in Mariupol in 1842. Died in St. Petersburg in 1910. The son of a Greek shoemaker, Kuindzhi began to study painting in I.K. Aivazovsky’s studio in Feodosia. He worked as a retoucher of photographs in Mariupol, Odessa and St. Petersburg. He did not get a formal artistic education, which in many ways contributed to the originality of his artistic perception. Certain information has it that he attended the Academy of Arts as an auditor for a time, and in 1870 passed an exam for the title of free artist. He was a member of the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions from 1875. He left the Association in 1880, but took part in its exhibitions on a regular basis up to 1900. Kuindzhi was acquainted with numerous Russian scientists of the day, in particular D.I. Mendeleyev who came up with the periodic table of chemical elements. In the 1890s, Kuindzhi became interested in the problem of how light affected the properties of color. Living in St. Petersburg, the artist often traveled across Russia (Ukraine, the Caucasus, Crimea) and Europe (France, England, Switzerland, Germany, Austria). From 1886, he spent the summer at his private home in the Crimea. He taught at the Academy of Arts, and continued to work with his students after leaving the Academy. N.K. Roerich, A.A. Borisov and K.F. Bogayevsky were among his students. With his support, they organized the Society of Artists in 1909, which later became the Kuindzhi Society.

A Birch Grove - 1879, oil on canvas. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
The North - 1879, oil on canvas. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
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