Alekseev Fedor Yakovlevich - a famous Russian landscape painter of the XVIII century. He became one of the first masters of promising painting and made a great contribution to the development of landscape in Russian art.
Fedor Yakovlevich was born in 1753 in a poor family of a watchman. At the age of 11, he entered the Imperial Academy of Arts. He studied ornamental sculpture by Louis Rolland, a still life by Heinrich Fonderminte, landscape painting by Antonio Perezinotti. He graduated in 1773 with a certificate of 1 degree and was awarded silver and gold medals.
After graduating from the Academy, Fyodor Alekseev received the right to internship abroad for academic success. He went to Venice, where he studied the skill of a theater decorator. The Academy insisted on this, since there were no theater artists in Russia at that time. The teachers of the young man were Gaspari and Moretti. However, Alekseev was not the most zealous student, he constantly received complaints to the Academy of Arts about frivolous behavior. However, the young man took up his mind at the time, and he was not deprived of his pension, and even extended the trip for a year.
During the internship, Alekseev met with the Vedut, a painting genre that depicts the city landscape in detail. Veduta was very popular in 18th century Venice. In Italy, a young artist studied the works of Veronese, Tintoretto, A. Canale, F. Guardi, D. Piranesi.
Returning to St. Petersburg, Alekseev joined the workshop of the imperial theaters. However, this was not the main goal of the artist. He dreamed of painting landscapes, which he did in his free time. Alekseev went to the Hermitage and copied the work of Canaletto, Vernet, Belotto. The copies were so good that Catherine II herself gave orders to the young artist. Fedor Yakovlevich was finally able to leave the work of the decorator and devote his full time to painting.
He paints views of St. Petersburg - the Peter and Paul Fortress and the Palace Embankment. The city in the works of Alekseev appears to be photographed precisely written, solemn and majestic. In 1794, the artist receives the title of academician for these landscapes. In 1795, Alekseev, after the ceremonial journey of Catherine II to Taurida, receives a business trip to the Crimea and Ukraine. He writes the views of Kherson, Nikolaev, Bakhchisarai.
In 1800, on behalf of Paul I, Alekseev with two students went to Moscow. For a year and a half, he painted several paintings and many watercolors. The artist depicted the Moscow Kremlin, Red Square, city churches and streets with amazing authenticity. His "Moscow series" was so successful that museums began to make orders to Alekseev.
Since 1803 Fedor Yakovlevich works as a teacher of perspective painting at the Academy of Arts. The artist continues to paint views of St. Petersburg. Now he pays more attention to the urban life of ordinary people, portraying people against the backdrop of the solemn classical buildings of the capital. The color of the work has become warmer, the graphics have gained "density", the forms have become more distinct. Alekseev portrayed the views of the Promenade des Anglais, Admiralty, Kazan Cathedral, Vasilievsky Island.
As an old man, the artist was often sick and paralyzed, but continued to paint. F.Ya. Alekseev died on November 11, 1824. His last work allegedly was a sketch of a flood in St. Petersburg. The Academy of Arts has allocated funds for the funeral of the artist and allowance to his large family.
Alekseev made a great contribution to the development of Russian landscape painting. The artist left us with views of Moscow, St. Petersburg and other Russian cities, transmitted with amazing accuracy and attention to detail. Looking at his paintings, it is interesting to compare how the cities looked then, and what is happening to them now. Alekseev’s works are kept in the Tretyakov Gallery and the State Russian Museum.