Anton Losenko

Born: 1737, Glukhov
Died: 1773, St Petersburg

Painter, draughtsman, teacher. Born to a family of Ukrainian Cossacks in the town of Glukhov near Chernihiv (1737). Orphaned at an early age and sent to sing in the court choir at St Petersburg (1744). After his voice broke (1753) studied painting at the studio of Ivan Argunov (1753–58) and under Jean-Louis de Velly and Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1758–60). Fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts in France (1760–62, 1763–65), where he studied under Jean II Restout and Joseph-Marie Vien. Awarded silver medals for drawings by the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture in Paris (1763, 1764, 1765). Worked in Italy (1765–69). Returned to St Petersburg and taught history painting at the Imperial Academy of Arts (from 1769). Adjunct (1762), academician (1770), professor (1772), director of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1772–73). Painted history pictures combining the dynamic images of Late Baroque with the measured clarity of Neoclassicism. Wrote a textbook for the Academy called A Short Explanation of the Human Proportions (1772). Exhausted by the dual workload of teaching and running the Academy, but was not permitted a transfer to the Hermitage, which Étienne Maurice Falconet requested of Catherine the Great on his behalf (1772). Died of dropsy in St Petersburg and buried at the Smolensk Cemetery (1773).

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