01.06.1844 - 18.07.1927
There was a small shed at his country estate that Vasily Polenov called “the Admiralty”; it stood right on the bank of the river Oka and was decorated with a real boat-helm and anchors. At the age of five, each child of Vasily Polenov would start on the water in a punt, then from the age of seven it was time for a keeled boat. The boat the Polenov family used for sailing on the river was called “Ailatan”, the name of the artist’s wife spelt backwards. Vasily Polenov was the captain, of course, and quite a strict one, while the children were his crew. There were more entertainments to be enjoyed at the estate, which had been built to the artist’s personal design. There was a folk theater, a diorama entitled “A journey around the world”, several studios, and a private church. A gentleman by birth, Vasily Polenov studied for two higher degrees simultaneously - at the law school of Saint Petersburg University and the Academy of Arts. In the 1870s Polenov took a trip to Europe, visiting Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France, where he worked in the studios of Montmartre. The artist has gone down in history as a brilliant teacher, enlightener, traveler, and the painter of “A Moscow Courtyard” and “Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery”. It was after selling that particular painting that Polenov acquired the estate of “Borok” (meaning, literally, a small forest) that is today his museum.