WROBEL (VRUBEL) MIKHAIL ALEKSANDROVICH
March 17, 1856 Omsk - April 14, 1910 Saint-Petersburg
Was born in Omsk in a family of military lawyer.
Being indubitably gifted of painting and having received the first classes in painting in his childhood, nevertheless M. Wrobel enters the faculty of law of University of Petersburg. Only after having graduated from the University he becomes a student of Academy of Arts (1880), where the fortune puts him under the direction of P.P. Chistyakov, the most known teacher of the Academy, whose creative views found in keeping with artistic view of M. Wrobel.
The first serious works of the painter were monumental paintings (1884-1885) in the Kirrilovskaya Church of Kiev (the "Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles", the "Threnody"). In 1884 he passed several months in Venetia by studying the painting of the Early Renaissance. In that place the demonic theme incarnated during the following times was born. Perfect acquaintance with medieval Venetian painting gives to the painter a stimulus towards more precise definition of colour decision of paintings in his views.
After returning to Kiev he continued his works. He elaborates the sketches of paintings of the Vladimirsky Cathedral, but they were rejected because of the difficult relations with the chief of works Adrian Prakhov. In 1887 he was charged with the performance of only several ornaments.
The nineties become for M.A. Wrobel extremely intense that s why fruitful. At that time he creates the majority of his works, which are difficult to be translated into the language of words and which make the person contemplating the paintings to invent those that was created by the painter. His figures and objects are often monolithic and volumetric from the borders of intersecting planes (for example, the "Sitting Demon"), are often filled by the internal glow of blots (the "Portrait of the actress Nadezhda Ivanovna Zabela-Wrobel", 1898), the expressiveness and the independence of which were of great importance for the painter.
During his period in Moscow Wrobel paints the portraits of S.I. Mamontov and K.D. Artsybushev, creates the "Sitting Demon" (1890), the "Spain" (1894), paints decorative pictures the "Venetia" (1893), the "Princess Greza" (1896), illustrates the works of M.Y. Lermontov, makes sculptures and decorative ceramics, works for the theatre. In 1899 - 1900 he makes the sculptures for majolica of the Abramtsevskaya Factory.
The participation of Wrobel in the activity of the exhibition "The World of Art" and in several other international exhibitions made the painter well known in Europe. Among his last masterpieces are the paintings the "Tsarevna-Swan", the "Lilac" (both were painted in 1900), the "Thrown Demon" (1902), the "Six-winged seraph" (1904) and others.
The creative life of Mikhail Aleksandrovich Wrobel was short. Yet in 1902 the incurable disease gives to the painter only brief temporary intervals for painting and graphics. The last four years of his life M.A. Wrobel passed in a full darkness, he became blind. The life of one of the greatest painters of Russia of XIX - beginning of XX century finished by such a tragedy. Terrestrial glory and memory of Russians were in the future.
Buried in Saint-Petersburg at Novodevichy cemetery (Section19).