Konstantin Makovsky was a famous artist who lived a long time ago. He was really good at painting many different things, like people doing everyday things, important events from history, and beautiful outdoor scenes.
But what he’s most famous for are his paintings of people, especially women. His son, Sergei Makovsky, once said that his dad painted more portraits of people than some other famous artists like Kramskoi, Repin, and Serov combined.
The most amazing part of his paintings is the way he made women look so beautiful and elegant. He painted a lot of portraits of high-society ladies who wore fancy clothes and jewelry. People loved these paintings so much that when he had an art show in 1897, the portraits of women were the stars of the show. They were so eye-catching that even the big, impressive paintings couldn’t steal the spotlight.
Makovsky had a special thing for painting the women he loved. He was married three times, and each of his wives appeared in his paintings. His first wife, Elena, was with him for a short time before she got sick and passed away. After that, he married Iulia, who was known as the most beautiful woman in the city.
He painted many pictures of Iulia, and two of them are famous and kept in a museum in St. Petersburg. In one, she’s wearing a stunning red dress, and in another, she’s with her kids, Elena and Sergei. Makovsky didn’t just paint his wives; he used their looks as inspiration for other paintings, like historical scenes and stories.
Later, in 1889, Makovsky went to Paris and met a new lady named Maria. They fell in love, and he decided to get a divorce from Iulia in 1892. He remarried Maria in 1898, and they were together until he passed away in 1915.
Makovsky and Maria had three children together before they officially got married, and their last child was born in 1900. People often noticed that Maria and Iulia looked a lot alike – both were incredibly beautiful with lovely features.
From the 1890s onwards, Maria became Makovsky’s favorite model. He painted her as Juliet in one painting and even in his version of Ophelia. People loved these paintings, and they were shown at art exhibitions in St. Petersburg.
So, when you look at Makovsky’s paintings, you’re not just seeing beautiful images; you’re seeing the people he loved and the inspiration they gave him to create wonderful art.