Ivan Argunov

Born: 1727 (?)
Died: 1802, Kuskovo (near Moscow)

Painter, teacher. Father of Nikolai, Jacob and Pavel Argunov. Serf of Prince Alexei Cherkassky, grand chancellor and one of the richest men in Russia. Sold to Count Pyotr Sheremetev as part of the dowry of his daughter, Princess Varvara Cherkasskaya (1743). Studied under Georg Christoph Grooth (1746–49). Painted icons for the domestic chapel in the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoe Selo (1747) and the New Jerusalem Monastery outside Moscow (1749). Combined the old traditions of parsuna painting with the new influence of Baroque (1750s). Opened a painting studio (1753), where he taught many Russian artists, including Anton Losenko, Fyodor Rokotov, Kirill Golovachevsky and Ivan Sablukov (1750s). Painted portraits of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna (late 1750s–early 1760s), Catherine the Great (1762) and members of the Sheremetev family (1760s). Lived in St Petersburg and managed the Sheremetev mansion on Millionnaya Street (1770–88). Moved to Moscow (1788), where he spent all his time running the Sheremetev estates (1788–1802).

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