Influenced by the ideas of the Russian revolutionary democrats, Kramskoi asserted the high public duty of the artist, principles of realism, and the moral substance and nationality of art. He became one of the main founders and ideologists of the Company of Itinerant Art Exhibitions (or Peredvizhniki). In 1863–1868 he taught at the drawing school of a society for the promotion of applied arts. He created a gallery of portraits of important Russian writers, scientists, artists and public figures (Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy, 1873, Ivan Shishkin, 1873, Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov, 1876, Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, 1879, Sergei Botkin, 1880) in which expressive simplicity of composition and clarity of depiction emphasize profound psychological elements of character. Kramskois democratic ideals found their brightest expression in his portraits of peasants, which portrayed a wealth of character-details in representatives of the common people.