Queen Victoria's Favorite: Alexei Harlamoff

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Since it has been several weeks since "Feel Art Again" covered a Russian artist, today is a good time for Alexei Alexeievich Harlamoff (1840-1925).

1. Alexei Harlamoff truly knew what it meant to move up in the world. He was born to serfs in 19th-century Russia and his parents didn't gain their freedom until he was about 10 years old. By the time of his death, though, he had been educated at some of the most respected art schools, earned several awards, and depicted the likes of Tsar Alexander II.

2. The above painting, "Young Flower Girls," was exhibited at the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1888. It was at the exhibition that Queen Victoria spotted the painting, which she greatly admired. Harlamoff is often referred to as "a favorite of Queen Victoria."

3. Despite his lowly beginnings, Harlamoff was talented enough that he was able to enter the Academy of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg when he was only 14 years old. He won several awards while there and, in 1868, won a gold medal and a travel scholarship, which he used to attend the École des Beaux-Arts.

4. The actual years of Harlamoff's birth and death are widely debated. In various sources, his birth appears as anything between 1840 and 1849, and his death appears as anything between 1905 and 1925. However, the Harlamoff catalogue raisonné by Dr. Tatiana Karpova, with a highly detailed timeline, lists the years as 1840 and 1925.

A larger version of "Young Flower Girls" is available here.

Fans should check out Harlamoff's ARC gallery and the catalogue raisonné.

"Feel Art Again" appears every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. You can e-mail us at feelartagain@gmail.com with artist suggestions or details of current exhibitions.

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