The master was born in 1839 in the family of a talented man and a good artist Yegor Ivanovich Makovsky. The boys became famous artists, and their sister Maria became an actress.
Konstantin easily and successfully studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Friends of his parents were famous artists - V. Tropinin and K. Bryullov, which, undoubtedly, influenced the work of the master.
Konstantin just as successfully entered the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, he studied well and, while still a student, began to participate in exhibitions. But he did not get an academic diploma, because together with some other students he did not work on canvases on the mythology of the Scandinavian countries.
Makovsky was characterized by a realistic depiction of reality, but the romantic direction and tendency to use quite lush decorative details and elements were not alien. Nevertheless, his canvases look very organic and whole, they feel a thorough academic preparation and the undoubted talent of the painter and draftsman.
Acquaintance and collaboration with Kramskoy in a logical way led to the creation of “Partnerships of Traveling Art Exhibitions” with some other famous artists. These artists quickly became known as Wanderers. Makovsky continued his series of works that depicted ordinary people engaged in their ordinary, daily activities.
His travels to Serbia and Egypt had a great influence on the themes of his works and especially the artistic means of implementing the plan, the color scheme of Konstantin’s paintings. The paintings acquire multicolor, rich color and often differ in complex multi-figure composition. The master is fond of historical events, which he pretty much idealizes for the sake of greater visual attractiveness.
Also during this period, Makovsky successfully painted a large number of portraits. Among them are unusually beautiful images of Maria Volkonskaya and the wife of Tsar Alexander III Maria Fedorovna in their youth. The last picture is a ceremonial image, fully reflecting the mass enthusiasm of the aristocracy for pseudo-Russian motives. The rich jewelry of the queen and her diadem, strongly reminiscent of a kokoshnik, clearly demonstrates the artist’s highest skill.
The same features are characteristic of other works of the master, depicting Russian people of past eras. They are extremely idealized, but very beautiful and attractive, expertly executed.
The life of a talented artist was interrupted suddenly. The 76-year-old master died when his crew fell under a tram. After him there were many beautiful paintings that demonstrate his high level as an artist. In his paintings, a whole era remained, turbulent and energetic, a time when new Russian art was formed and memorable, epochal paintings were created.