Biography of the artist Filip Maliavin. Painting „Whirlwind “.

The greatest masterpiece of Filip Maliavin, painting „Whirlwind “. Vladimir Pešić Collection of Russian Art

Part 1

Filip Andreevich Maliavin is an artist whose exceptional, original and powerful talent came from the very heart of the Russian folk people. He brought together tradition and new, daring, findings in art. At the same time, he was an innovator and a follower of his predecessors.

Filip Maliavin was born on October 10/22, 1869 in a poor peasant family. His childhood was no different from the childhood of all the other village boys. His artistic abilities soon began to stand out: he drew all the time, wherever and with whatever he could (of course, he had no pencils). His artistic tendencies were noticed by both his family and the people from the village.

The future artist was sent to Athos to study icon-painting for the money collected by „the whole world“. He spent six years there, working in the icon-painting workshop and following all the rules of the monastic life.

The sculptor V. A. Beklemishev visited Athos in 1891 and having seen Filip’s works he recognized extraordinary talent in that young man. He took an active part in getting Maliavin to St. Petersburg Imperial Academy of

Arts and on June 25, 1892 Filip enrolled the Academy, department of Painting, as an extern.

According to Beklemishev, Maliavin was a true artist after only two years spent at the Academy, ready to enter the contest and receive the title of an artist. However, with the arrival of I. E. Repin, Maliavin expressed a strong desire to work in the workshop of the famous master.

The talent of the artist could not go unnoticed, and already in 1895 P. M. Tretyakov bought his works.

In 1899, Maliavin exhibited his work “Laughter” at the exhibition of the Imperial Academy of Arts, but he received the title not for that painting, but for the portraits that were also exhibited there. Nevertheless the painting “Laughter” and all Maliavin’s works had exceptional success at the Paris World Exhibition in 1900.

Throughout 1905, Maliavin was working on his most famous painting “Whirlwind”, which was first exhibited in St. Petersburg, and then in Moscow. It was immediately acquired by the Council of the Tretyakov Gallery. According to the public reviews “Maliavin is mind-blowing and brilliant”. He received the title of academician for that painting.

The author of the article Vladimir Pešić


F. A. Maliavin «Whirlwind». Oil on canvas. 100 х 130 см. Collection of Vladimir Pešić.


F. A. Maliavin «Three babas». Oil on canvas. 81.5 х 100.5 см. Sotheby’s, 25 November 2014, lot 141, sold for $ 680.992.


F. A. Maliavin «Whirlwind». 1906. Oil on canvas. 223 х 410 см. The State Tretyakov Gallery.

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