Mikhail Klodt von Jurgensburg - Under the Birch Trees , a photo by Gandalf's Gallery on Flickr.
Klodt (1832 - 1902) was born in St. Petersburg into a noted family of artists. His father, Konstantin Karlovich Klodt (1807-1879), was a Russian wood engraver, and his uncle, Pyotr Karlovich Klodt (1805-1867), was a famous sculptor. He first learnt to draw at the Saint Petersburg Mining Cadet Corps, before moving to the Academy in 1851. He studied there until 1858, when he won a gold medal of the first degree, and with it the right to study abroad. This travelling scholarship enabled him to spend time in France, Switzerland and Italy. However, he cut his trip short, complaining that the foreign landscapes did not inspire him and were inferior to Russian ones. On his return he invested the remaining funds from his scholarship to travel around Russia. He eventually became an academician, and as mentioned earlier, ran a specialist landscape class.
[Oil on canvas, 27 x 47.5 cm]