Alexander Litovchenko

Portrait by Ivan Kramskoi, 1878.

Alexander Dmitrievich Litovchenko (Russian: Алекса́ндр Дми́триевич Лито́вченко; 1835, Kremenchuk - 28 June 1890, Saint Petersburg) was a Ukrainian-born Russian painter who specialized in depicting Muscovite Russia of the 16th and 17th centuries.


Litovchenko attended the Imperial Academy of Arts and, although criticised by his peers for rather stilted compositions, was awarded a lesser gold medal for his rendering of Charon transporting the souls of the dead across the Styx. Along with several other young painters, he challenged the spirit of academism that was prevalent at the Academy and in 1863 left it to become a freelance painter, joining the Peredvizhniki movement in 1876.

In 1868, Litovchenko was recognized as an academician for his picture of a falconeer serving at the court of Tsar Alexis (one of his several versions of the subject). Among his larger paintings, Ivan the Terrible Showing His Treasures to Jerome Horsey (1875) was purchased by the Tsar for the Alexander III Museum in St. Petersburg, and Tsar Alexis and Archbishop Nikon Venerating the Relics of Patriarch Philip (1886) was acquired by Pavel Tretyakov for his collection in Moscow (as were the finest of his portraits).

Litovchenko is also remembered as the author of seven murals in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow and a set of icons for the Crimean War memorial in Sevastopol.


This article incorporates material from the public domain 1906 Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary.

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