“I like to picture ordinary people not only in work, but also to show their cheerfulness, fun, and games. I think that in this inexhaustible optimism of a simple Russian man is his great creative power, firm belief in a happy future”the artist wrote.
Born in a poor peasant family, early orphaned, Fedot Vasilievich Sychkov spent his childhood in the small village of Kochelayevo, Narovchatsky district, now located on the territory of the Republic of Mordovia. Sychkov showed his ability to paint in early childhood, but how could a simple peasant’s son count on learning the skill of an artist in the Drawing School, or even more so in the Higher Art School at the Academy of Arts? No, of course, this could only happen in a fairy tale. So, the talented boy painted icons, landscapes and portraits of fellow villagers. Fortunately, the fame of him went far beyond the icon-painting studio. In 1937 he became Honored Artist of the Mordovian ASSR, and in 1950 awarded the title of Honored Artist of the RSFSR.
Fedot Vasilyevich Sychkov (1870-1958) – Russian (Soviet) artist, Honored Artist of the Mordovian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (1937), Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1950), People’s Artist of the Mordovian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (1955).
Meanwhile, in 1892, commissioned by General Arapov, he painted the picture “The Laying Up of the Arapovo Station.” Shown to the director of the Drawing School for volunteers Eugene Alexandrovich Sabaneyev, the picture made an impression. Noting Sychkov’s talent, Sabaneev advised him to bring a young man to St. Petersburg.
In 1892 Sychkov moved to St. Petersburg and enrolled in the Drawing School of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts. Supported by General Ivan Andreyevich Arapov, he studied in the Drawing School, from which he graduated in 1895. Then, he became an auditor in the Higher Art School at the Academy of Arts. After graduation, the artist returned to his homeland.
In 1900 he received the title of artist for the painting “News from the war.” And five years later, in 1905, he got an award – the A. Kuindzhi Prize at the Spring Exhibition at the Academy of Arts for the painting “Flax Mills”. Elected a member of the Committee of the Society for Mutual Assistance of Russian Artists.
Fedot Vasilievich Sychkov went on a trip to Italy, France, Germany (1908) and brought many landscapes of Rome, Venice, Menton and marine species. Suring 1909-1917, Sychkov repeatedly got awards at Russian and international art exhibitions. The son of a peasant, the artist enthusiastically accepted the Great October Revolution. Already in 1918-1920 he participated in the design of revolutionary holidays in the town of Narovchata, at the Arapovo station and in the native village of Kochelayevo.
Lydia Vasilievna Ankudinova – elegant, fragile St. Petersburg young lady became a real muse of the artist Fedot Vasilievich Sychkov (1870-1958). The role of this woman in the fate of FV. Sychkov was significant and invaluable.
The artist often painted images of his muse, his beloved woman, who throughout her life supported the fire of creative talent in him.
In 1903 she became the artist’s wife, sharing with him to the end of life all the joys and sorrows. Together with him, she lived in the village of Kochelaevo, in the Mordovian outback, visited exhibitions and was aware of all the events of artistic life. She, like her husband, was keenly interested in folk culture, including Mordovian culture.
The artist died in the city of Saransk in August 1958.