Nikolay Argunov (1771- after 1829) - brief biography
Portrait of Praskovia Kovalyova-Zhemchugova, 1803
Nikolay Argunov was born in 1771. His father was the famous painter Ivan Argunov. He was the serf of the count P.Sheremetyev as his farther. During his trips abroad P.Sheremetyev was taking the painter with him and Nikolay was able to perfect his skill. P.Sheremetyev granted him freedom later on.
Portrait of a boy from a family of Sheremetev 1803
N. Argunov was staying mainly in Moscow and was engaged in paint of many portraits. Was granted the title of the "appointed academician" for his portrait of "unknown person" by the Academy of Fine Arts in 1816. And was granted the title of academician for the portrait of the senator P.Runich (in the hall of the academy board).
Portraits of N. Argunov can be seen very often. There are several portraits of the members of the family of the count P.Sheremetyev (in estates Ostankino and Kuskovo, near Moscow, as well as in the estates of the counts A. and S.Sheremetyev in Saint Petersburg), "Portrait of Boy" in the estate of the prince V.Argutinskiy-Dolgorukov, portraits of "unknown persons" in The Saratov Museum of Radischev and in the estate of the baron N.Vrangel, five portraits in The Museum of the Alexander III.
In Russia, history is too important to leave to the historians. Great novelists must show how people actually lived through events and reveal their moral significance. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn explained in his 1970 Nobel Prize lecture, literature transmits “condensed and irrefutable human experience” in a form that “defies distortion and falsehood. Thus literature . . . preserves and protects a nation’s soul.”
The latest Solzhenitsyn book to appear in English, March 1917, focuses on the great turning point of Russian, indeed world, history: the Russian Revolution.1 Just a century ago, that upheaval and the Bolshevik coup eight months later ushered in something entirely new and uniquely horrible. Totalitarianism, as invented by Lenin and developed by Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and others, aspired to control every aspect of life, to redesign the earth and to remake the human soul. As a result, the environment suffered unequaled devastation and tens of millions of lives were lost in t…