Gregory Lapchenko was the son of a Ukrainian Cossack. His precocious talent for drawing was estimated by count N. With. Vorontsov, who have helped to provide the City of Lapchenko formal artistic education. In 1822, the young man entered the Academy of fine arts, where under the guidance of the great teacher A. I. Ivanov in 1830 and graduated with a gold medal for the painting "Kiev, feed Pratice the news of the approach to Kiev Pechenegs" the class of historical painting. In his Italian pensioner's trip works a lot, talking to Russian and Italian painters, in particular, was well acquainted with Alexander Ivanov.
In 1842 he was awarded the title of academician for the painting "Susanna caught by the elders."
Talent G. I. Lapchenko not destined to be realized fully. In Italy he was too blind. Upon returning to Russia the artist some time working on his paintings on religious subjects. However, the onset of complete blindness interrupts the painter.
A Story By A. A. Ivanov:
Vittoria, Lepchenko... I received a lovely Italian this simple Ukrainian name? Who, where and when he painted a portrait of her? This is what I want to tell.
Went 1830. Alexander Ivanov and Gregory Lapchenko, two young Russian artist, went to Italy. Left behind the homeland, the Academy of fine arts, powerfully shaped their tastes, taught to strive for perfect.
Even when in life class, where the flashing of lamp oil, and from the open window, pulled the Petersburg cold, and the skin of the sitter became the "goose", the artists have not seen it in Russian, perfectly folded guy — sitter was for them a classical statue, sculpted by an ancient cutter.
But one day — December 14, 1825 — in the window of the Academy of arts flew buckshot. On the Senate square were shooting at the rebels. A sharp pain echoed the events of December 14 in the hearts of young artists, drawing ideas from the ideals of antiquity to the imperfection of reality.
Long time eh Russian people
Will junk gentlemen,
And people, like cattle,
Long l will trade?—
with bitterness and pain asked the Decembrists Ryleev, Bestuzhev.
One of the two travelers, Gregory Lapchenko, and was a serf, a man who could, like cattle, to sell. Serfs, as a rule, the Academy did not accept. The bosses noticed that when the sense of beauty was reinforced bonded souls, they are a pain took his servile position that went crazy and imposed himself.
But Gregory, Lepchenko was powerful, rich and arrogant owner — count M. S. Vorontsov. The count wanted to be an artist, and he made that Gregory, in spite of all prohibitions, the Academy took. And then sent the talented serf to improve in Italy.
The multinational colony of artists lived in Rome. Had dinner in the pub-the osterias, visited museums, argued about their own pictures, with professional passion sought out beautiful models and models. The attitude to the beauty of the young Russian was special serious. First of all, beauty is not fun, but the assertion of human dignity. Beautiful, like freedom, has the right to any man, And fate had sent them a meeting with "the girl from Albano" about which beauty was legendary.
She was thirteen when the accident at the well saw it one artist. She stood like a living dream, like a miracle dream at night. When her huge brown eyes saw frozen in the amazement of the man, the girl immediately disappeared. But managed to get the name of Vittoria, Caldoni, the daughter of a poor winemaker. With difficulty persuaded parents to allow her daughter to pose. But they demanded that the artists hid their admiration and did not spoil her with praise.
Vittoria became famous, it drew and sculpted the greatest artists of the world. Her portrait was sent to the old Goethe.
It so happened that, having arrived in Albano, Ivanov and Lepchenko stayed in the house, Caldoni. With young unknown artists Vittoria, already twenty-three, felt at ease. And they looked at the beautiful as taught them in the Academy saw her as Susanna, wife of Panteria, virgin...
And then suddenly, they both realized that they really are a beautiful girl. And both fell in love.
There was a letter to Ivanov, Lepchenko, in the spring of 1834, written from Rome.
"With regard to my arrival in Albano, this can be solved like this: if she can sit neatly constantly four hours a day (and, by the way, a secret) custoza, that is, that sometimes, not being ashamed of me, would give vent to his eyes and lips, I come to do a study for "the virgin of all grieving" and meanwhile, maybe, will finish the remaining wretched my underpainting. If not for these conditions I to come, then of course you will not refuse to bring my things left there.
If I offend you by speaking so freely about Vittoria, speak, tell me, I'm ready for all sorts of listening to you; forgive me, for I still don't know. If you I firmly announced that she is the one, then I would have such deep respect for her had as to you."
Gregory Lapchenko Ivanov has declared that she is his betrothed.
The sun, Vittoria, Italy, freedom merged for him into one.
Lepchenko writes, the painting "Susanna and the elders" Vittoria posing him to Susanna. Repeats the eternal scene: the artist transforms the woman into an artistic image.
But the happiness was short: the painter blind.
"Don't follow the example of Lepchenko— wrote sister Alexander Ivanov from St. Petersburg, the Italian turned his head to him with their charms. God punished him, depriving him of vision."
Together with her husband, Vittoria Lapchenko goes to Ukraine. Count Vorontsov makes the blind artist Manager of one of the estates. Lapchenko, not losing health and human dignity. He even invented a new way to do accounting. Aging Vittoria he can't see: like the sun, like a legend, Shine for him, the beauty of "the girl from Albano", sound of her young voice...
Young, and it remained in the portrait, written by Ivanov in 1834. It's not even a portrait — sketch: it's not over. We see with surprising tenderness and solicitude fashioned face. There is nothing mawkish, sentimental, strict, serious, written with infinite respect for the beauty of a person, portrait.
This period was a time of rise in Ivanov's life. In "the gospel" he noticed an important "moment": the moment when John the Baptist, awakening in people a high sense of human dignity, proclaims: "Here is the Messiah!"
This was the first sprout, the seed of the great paintings, which subsequently Repin says: "According to his idea, it is close to the heart of every Russian. Here are depicted the oppressed people hungry for the word of freedom..."
Many years have passed. A month after returning home, Alexander Ivanov died... He left Russia, "the appearance of Christ to the people" — the movie that truly goes to the Russian art, "as music before the regiment"!
Left portrait of a beautiful Italian girl, Vittoria Caldoni. It, like a drop of morning dew reflects the art of Alexander Ivanov: the tenderness of his heart, endless admiration for the beauty of man, the thirst for freedom and happiness...