Vasily Perov is known as the author of genre paintings penetrated with compassion to people, especially poor peasants, and psychological portraits (such as portraits of his famous contemporaries Fyodor Dostoevsky, Ivan Turgenev, Alexander Ostrovsky, and others.
Vasily Grigoryevich Perov was born in the town of Tobolsk in 1834. His father was the provincial public prosecutor baron G.К. von Kridiner. However, having been born prior the marriage of his parents, the boy got the surname of his godfather - Vasilyev. And yet, for some reasons the artist disliked the surname and subsequently changed it to Perov, after the nickname given to him in childhood for his excellence in calligraphy.
The future artist received his first painting lessons at Alexander Stupin Art School in Arzamas. Afterwards he moved to Moscow and entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. In different years the Imperial Academy of Arts marked him with a number of awards. In 1861 his painting Sermon in a Village gained Perov the major gold medal and the opportunity to go for a journey abroad at public expense: in 1862 he went to Europe and visited Paris and a number of cities in Germany.
The trip resulted in a range of paintings representing scenes of European street life: the Vendor of statuettes, the Savoyard, theOrgan-Grinder in Paris, the Musicians and the Bystanders, and the Paris Ragpickers.
Having returned to Moscow early, from 1865 to 1871 Perov created his masterpieces: The Queue at The Fountain, A Meal in the Monastery, Last Journey, Troika, the Lent Monday, Arrival of a New Governess in a Merchant House, the Drawing Teacher, A Scene at the Railroad, the Last Tavern at Town Gate, the Birdcatcher, theFisherman, and the Hunters at Rest.
In 1866 Vasily Perov got the academician’s degree, and in 1871 a position a professor at Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Approximately at the same time he joined the Itineraries and their traveling exhibitions.
Perov’s teaching at Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture had a great influence on nurturing and upbringing of young artists. An entire galaxy of prominent Russian painters grew up under his direct guidance.
The artist died of tuberculosis on June 10 (May 29 Old Style) 1882 in Kuzminki Village (nowadays a part of Moscow) and was laid to rest at Donskoe Cemetery.