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Fedor Alexandrovich Vasiliev - the son of a small postal official, was born in Gatchina. Already at the age of twelve, the boy worked at the Post Office and received a salary. While studying at the art school, he worked as a restorer. The most important period in the development of the young artist’s work is a trip with I. Shishkin to Valaam, where his style as a landscape painter was formed. Two years later he went on a voyage along the Volga with I. Repin, from where he returned as a completely independent artist.
However, the life of a talented young man was incredibly short. At twenty years old, while working on nature, the artist caught a cold and later developed a cold into tuberculosis. An attempt to leave for Crimea, where doctors sent Vasilyev, did nothing - except, of course, vivid and interesting paintings of southern nature. Fedor died at the age of twenty-three, leaving behind a number of wonderful landscapes. At a posthumous exhibition organized by friends, all paintings and even sketches were sold out before the opening.
Canvas The return of the herd brought the artist the first prize in the competition, the size of four hundred rubles - at that time it was a lot of money. The painting was immediately bought by P. Tretyakov. In the center of the picture is a herd of sheep slowly wandering along the dusty road to the house. A woman and a girl in shawls are wandering sideways, but they are not accompanying the herd - in the depths, in clouds of gray dust, figures of shepherds can be seen in silhouettes. In the foreground - trampled light road and islets of lush green grass.
In the background is a dark coppice. Vasiliev’s painting is incredibly voluminous. White stones in roadside thickets, a tall tree bending under gusts of wind, a flock of birds in a high blue sky - the viewer seems to be looking out the window, and a picturesque rural landscape rises before his gaze. Vasiliev subtly felt Russian nature and painted it with amazing lyricism and love.
Kramskoy Mina Moses