The artist Pavel Andreyevich Fedotov devoted his whole life to art. His skill knew no bounds! A bright torch of inspiration burned in the soul of the painter, illuminating life and creativity with the light of love for the beautiful.
Pavel grew up in the family of a soldier. When retiring, he received the rank of lieutenant and became a nobleman. He worked as a titular adviser. Mother did housework and raised children. The family lived poorly. Pavel grew up as an active boy, he loved outdoor games, various ventures, and played cheerfully with the neighboring guys. He was the ringleader in any campaign. Baptized in the church.
At 11 years old, his father, wanting to determine the future fate of his son, gave him to the Moscow Cadet School. Pavel studied excellently in the cadet corps, brilliantly displaying knowledge in all subjects and military disciplines. Most of all he liked mathematics and chemistry. He devoted his free time to drawing.
In 1883, Pavel Fedotov received the first rank of officer. In 1834 - Ensign of the Life Guards Finland Regiment in the city of St. Petersburg, where he served 10 years. In the evenings he studied at the Academy of Arts, learned to draw from life. In his regiment at his leisure, the young man wrote poetry, odes, fables, romances, plays, elegies. Paul shifted poetry to music, which he composed. His soldier songs were excellent!
He painted portraits of his comrades, plots of regimental life, caricatures. In his work, the artist used pencils and watercolors. With great inspiration, he wrote a poem for his painting, “Matchmaking of the Major.” The prince increased his monetary subsidy as an honorary artist. Fedotov painted a portrait of Prince Mikhail Pavlovich. In February 1837, a young officer participated in a campaign around the outskirts of St. Petersburg and received gratitude from the command.
Impressed by the meeting of the Grand Duke with the guards, he created the painting “Meeting of the Grand Duke”, for which he received a diamond ring as a gift from His Majesty. Fedotov again showed his next work, dedicated to the consecration of battle flags in the Winter Palace, updated after the fire, to Mikhail Pavlovich. The wise prince praised his merits. He ordered the gifted officer to leave the army and devote himself entirely to the art of painting. The prince promised to pay the artist a cash reward of 100 bills per month.
I had to leave military service and work hard, painting. Fedotov inspiredly set to work, providing for himself and helping the family financially. He hired sitters and acquired materials for work. The brush master created excellent canvases on military topics. The battle genre carried honor and a good salary. The artist rented a room on Vasilievsky Island. He was friends with Karl Bryullov. He painted portraits and studies from nature. Genre, satirical painting brought him special success and public recognition.
The Council of the Academy of Arts awarded him the title of Academician with the issuance of cash benefits. Thanks to financial support, Pavel Andreevich was able to continue the painting “Major Matchmaking”. Portraiture occupied a special place in his work, combined with bright lyrics.
In 1840, censorship prohibited some work. Patrons ceased to pay attention to the brilliant artist. All this led to a deterioration in the state of health and nervous breakdown of a talented person. He developed severe headaches, insomnia, depression, and his vision began to deteriorate. In the spring of 1852, the brush master became ill with mental illness and was placed in a psychiatric clinic. There he continued to work and paint portraits, despite a serious illness. But the poor and undermined health of the painter was very disappointing.
Pavel Fedotov passed away in November 1852, at the age of 37. He was buried in St. Petersburg at the Smolensk cemetery, later the ashes were reburied in the necropolis of artists of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, with the erection of a monument.