Ivan Fomich Khrutsky / Jan Chrucki (Russian Empire, 1810-85)

Figure 1.--The boy here in this Khrutsky is unidentified and the paining is not dated. We belirve iy wa painted after 1840 when he left St. Persburg and returned to family estrate, Zacharnicze, located in what is now northern Belarus. The boy wears bright red tunic. We are not sure just who this boy was. The tunic and hat in particular do not look to us like what a serf boy would have worn. He is collecting mushrooms. A reader tells us that they are chestnuts. We are not sure just what kind of boy would have done this at the time. Perhaps Russian readers will be avle to provide some background here.

Ivan Fomich Khrutsky is a difficukt artist to categorize in terms of modern nationalities. He is probably best described today as Polish (Jan Chrucki) or Belarusian (Іван Хруцкі). He can also be associated with Russia (Иван Фомич Хруцкий) and Lithuania. All of these modern countries were part of the Tsarist Empire. Ivan/Jan was born in eastern Poland, modern Belarus (1810). His family was Polish descended from szlachta of Leliwa coat of arms in the village of Ulla, Vitebsk Governorate, once part of the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. A the time of his birth as a result of the 18th century Polish partitions, most of Poland had been absorbed into the Tsarist Empire. As an older teenager, Khrutsky went to St. Petersburg, the center of the Tsarist art world to pursue his studies and career (1827). He entered the Imperial Academy of Arts (1830). The first identfiable work began shortly after (1832). We notice range of works, including an eclectic mix of still lifes, landscapes, genre scens, religious works, and portraits. His works began to be noticed and achieved both public and critical acclaim. In addition to painting, Khrutsky also applied his talents to interior design. He developed a devoted clentel among wealthy home owners. The Academy awarded him its Major Silver medal for still-lifes. Perhaps his most aclaimed work is 'Old Woman Knitting a Sock' which earned him the Academy' Minor Gold medal. He received the Academy's prestigious title of Academician. Khrutsky St. PLetersburg carrer ended with his father's death (1840). He left St. Petersburg and returned to the family estate Zacharnicze Polotsk region. This meant he loss contact with his wealthy St. Petersburg clients. He go commissions for religious art, primarily from Lithuania. He also did portraits of local figures during this period. He died at Zacharnicze (1885).

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Created: 9:58 AM 6/28/2015
Last updated: 9:58 AM 6/28/2015