Baron Mikhail Konstantinovich Klodt von Jurgensburg - Under the Birch Trees
Under the Birch Trees
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Baron Mikhail Konstantinovich Klodt von Jurgensburg (St Petersburg 1832 - St Petersburg 1902)

Baron Mikhail Konstantinovich Klodt von Jurgensburg was born in St. Petersburg, the son of Baron Konstantin Klodt, an engraver. His uncle Peter Klodt von Jürgensburg was a famous Russian sculptor. Mikhail Konstantinovich studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts under Vorobyev (1817-1888) from 1851 to 1858. He won a large Gold Medal from the Academy for his work, and received a scholarship for three years to study painting in France, Switzerland and Italy, but abandoned his trip a year later. On his return Klodt secured permission to use the rest of the scholarship funds to travel around Russia.

Klodt was a founding member of the Peredvizhniki or ‘Wanderers’ movement, but its members did not completely consider him as one of their own, partially due to his enduring link with the St. Petersburg Academy: between 1871 and 1886 Klodt directed the landscape painting studio there. After voicing a particularly sharp criticism of the movement, Klodt was forced to break with Peredvizhniki. Soon he retired from the Academy as well. He died almost blind and financially broken in 1902.