AboutAleksei Ilyich Kravchenko (1889, Pokrovskaya Sloboda [now Engels], Saratov region, Russia 1940 Moscow, Russia) was a Russian painter, illustrator, draughtsman and printmaker. Though Kravchenko first gained recognition as a romantic painter, he was best known during his lifetime as a book illustrator and graphic artist. His post-revolutionary paintings were only exhibited in 1974 at the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. Works such as The Kiss (1929) and Indian Fairytale (c. 1926) confirmed him as one of the most dramatic romantic painters and boldest colorists of his generation.
Kravchenko studied at Simon Holosy's art school in Munich (1903) and the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (19045 and 190710) under Sergey Ivanov, Abram Arkhipov, Konstantin Korovin and Valentin Serov, graduating with distinction in 1910. He then traveled to Italy and Greece, researching large-scale painting and frescoes. His Italian and Russian landscapes received much public recognition and were exhibited by the Union of Russian Artists, the World of Art movement and the Moscow Artists' Fellowship in 1911. Several of Kravchenko's works of this period were purchased by for the Imperial collections at the Hermitage in St.Petersburg. On the proceeds of his 1911-12 sales, Kravchenko embarked on a voyage to India and Ceylon which formed the basis of some of his most memorable works. He returned to Moscow via Shanghai and Vladivostok. In 1914 in Saratov Kravchenko married Ksenia Stepanovna Tikhnonova, the only daughter of Stepan Grigoryevich Tikhonov, the proprietor of the Volzhsky Khlebny Bank (Volga Bread Bank). The couple lived in Moscow.