Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi was a highly regarded Russian (Ukrainian) landscape painter and a member of the amazing group of Russian painters known as the Peredvizhniki (“Itinerants” or “Wanderers”, see my related posts).
Kuindzhi was noted for his unorthodox compositions and daring experiments with lighting effects, perhaps partly stemming from his limited formal training.
He grew up in a poor family, son of a Greek shoemaker, and lost his parents at an early age. He was largely self-taught, though he eventually attended the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts for a time. During his early years he was influenced by the Russian (Crimean) landscape artist Ivan Aivazovsky.
Kuindzhi’s compositions play with extreme positioning of the horizon, large, almost empty spaces, striking contrasts of light and dark, and experiments with brushwork and the application of color.
He sometimes revisited the same or similar scenes, altering the light and handling of color in subsequent compositions.