Filipp Andreevich Malyavin Russian, 1869-1940
Filipp Andreevich Malyavin was a Russian painter, influenced by realism he is famous for his colorful large scale paintings of peasant life in Russia.
Philip Maliavin began his career as an icon painter in the Orthodox monastery of Saint Panteleimon in Macedonia (Greece), where he worked and studied as a novice from 1885 to 1891. In 1892 he moved to Saint Petersburg, where he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Art and studied painting in the studio of Ilya Repin until 1899.
Maliavin's garduation piece "Laughter"(1898), was exhibited at the Academy the following year where it received a strong reaction from the public. Russian peasant women dressed in red are shown against the background of a green field. The work's extraordinarily vivid colour, and the bold and free handling of the layers of paint, attracted considerable public interest and intense debate. Maliavin's teacher, Repin wrote about the work in these terms: “We are living in a time of passionate controversy thanks to Maliavin's painting. This great talent has astonished our Academicians – they have lost all credibility and authority in the eyes of the young.”
Another contemporary commentator, Albert Benois, noted: “this is the most important work in the exhibition, the only picture painted with a rigourously artistic sensibility. God be praised, this work contributes to an inner sense of harmony. At last, we see a talent free of dogma, capable of expressing itself with joy and brilliance. Repin and his teachings are to be saluted for nursing this flame”. Benois went on to describe Maliavin's art: “Such a beautiful marriage of colours, such bravura technique, and such courage, are impossible to find elsewhere in the history of Russian painting.”