Russian landscape painter who did not want to be a theatrical decorator.
Fedor Alekseev- a famous Russian artist of the late 18th – early 19th centuries, the brightest representative of the domestic genre of urban landscape. For many years Fedor Alekseev taught the theory of linear perspective in painting at the Academy of Arts. At the same time, he devoted a significant part of his biography to traveling around the country for sketches from nature. In his paintings, the painter forever captured the ancient appearance of Russian cities for posterity, more than 50 masterpieces of his work have survived to this day.
Fedor Alekseev also made a significant contribution to the development of Russian decorative art. For many years he was engaged in the creation of theatrical scenery, but today not a single sample of this theme has survived.
Biography of Fedor Alekseev
Fyodor Yakovlevich Alekseev was born in 1753 in the family of a retired soldier who worked as a watchman at the Scientific Academy in St. Petersburg. Unfortunately, the exact birthday of the painter is not known, nor is there any information today about his mother and other close relatives.
The father early noticed the boy’s talent for art and was determined to help his son get a decent education. He sent a written application to the director of the Academy of Arts, in which he asked to accept his son to study. This petition was granted, and Fyodor, who brilliantly graduated from elementary school, was immediately enrolled in the third grade in 1764.
Initially, the boy was identified as a student in the specialty of ornamental sculpture, but a year later, noticing his great ability to draw, he was transferred to the painting class. Most of all, Fedor liked to paint architectural structures and landscapes, which determined the choice of his favorite genre for the rest of his life.
After graduating from the Academy
After graduating from the Academy with honors, the 18-year-old boy received the right to a retirement trip abroad to continue his studies and went to Venice. Here he was assigned to study the craft of creating theatrical scenery with the Italian masters Giuseppe Moretti and Pietro Gasparri. The young artist was forced to obey the instructions of the leadership of the Academy, but he devoted his free time completely to the history of painting and contemporary fine art.
The greatest impression on Fedor was made by the paintings of Canaletto and Veronese. The creativity of these two masters has forever remained for him the standard of perfection. It was in the Apennines that Alekseev wrote his first books and finally decided on the chosen style of painting.
appointed court theater decorator
Returning to the capital of the Russian Empire in 1779, yesterday’s pensioner was appointed court theater decorator. Over the next seven years, he faithfully fulfilled his duties, but did not intend to do this for the rest of his life. In non-working hours Alekseev made copies of works by Italian masters veda and achieved significant success.
In 1786, Catherine II offered the master the position of the official artist of the Hermitage, which allowed him to finally quit his job as a theater decorator and take up painting closely. Soon, at the direction of the highest ruler, Fyodor Alekseev went on a long trip to the southern provinces to paint the landscapes of these places.
Upon his return to St. Petersburg, the painter, based on sketches and sketches, painted a lot of pictures with images of the places visited. At the same time, he painted Petersburg city views, for which he soon received the honorary title of academician. Later, on the instructions of the new ruler Paul I, he left for Moscow, where he worked for the next two years.
teacher at the Academy of Arts
In 1803, the experienced master was appointed to the position of a teacher at the Academy of Arts and began teaching young talents. Until his death, he combined teaching activities with painting his favorite landscapes, but the financial situation of the master always remained unstable.
Gradually, the public lost interest in the landscape painter’s work, and he began to experience serious financial difficulties. On November 11, 1824, Fyodor Yakovlevich Alekseev passed away, and the Academy of Arts paid all the expenses for the funeral. The body of the master was interred in the Orthodox cemetery of St. Petersburg.
The most famous paintings by Fyodor Alekseev
Among the large number of beautiful landscapes of the painter, there are many unique masterpieces. And yet, the most famous paintings by Fyodor Alekseev are:
- “Interior view of a courtyard with a garden. Loggia in Venice “(1776) – one of the first works of the master, created during his stay in Italy. Unlike most later works, most of the painting is occupied by a large view of the building, rather than the cityscape.
- “View of the Palace Embankment from the Peter and Paul Fortress” (1794) is a masterpiece in which the influence of the great Canaletto is clearly noticeable. The artist managed to find in his native capital a strong resemblance to Italian Venice and skillfully embodied his impressions on canvas.
- Red Square in Moscow (1801) is a magnificent work, in which the center of the ancient Russian capital appears before the modern viewer in an unusual image of a bustling shopping place. The painter skillfully depicted in his work the everyday life of a large bustling city of the early 19th century.
- “November 7, 1824 on the square near the Bolshoi Theater” (1824) – the last masterpiece of the artist, created by him a few days before his death. The painter forever captured a picture of a catastrophic event that took place in St. Petersburg almost 200 years ago.
Fedor Alekseev is one of the best Russian landscape painters of all time.
In the 21st century, it is possible to study the ancient history of Russia in the smallest detail from his works.