Gavriil Skorodumov

Born: 1754, St Petersburg
Died: 1792, St Petersburg
Engraver, draughtsman, painter. Generally regarded as the first Russian artist to win fame abroad. Born in St Petersburg (1754) to scene painter Ivan Skorodumov (born c. 1721). Studied painting under Anton Losenko and engraving under Anton Radig, Nikolai Kolpakov and Grigory Srebrenitsky at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1764–72). Awarded a gold medal and a foreign scholarship (1772). Worked in London at the studio of Italian engraver Francesco Bartolozzi (1773–75), where he mastered the technique of stipple engraving. Engraved Sir Joshua Reynolds’s Girl Reading (1775) and worked independently for London publishers and traders, engraving scenes from contemporary novels (Clarissa or the History of a Young Lady), pastoral views and subjects from ancient history (from 1775). Engraved twenty-four paintings by Angelica Kauffmann and portraits of Princess Ekaterina Dashkova and Count Sergei Rumyantsev after his own drawings (1775–82). Invited by Catherine the Great to return to St Petersburg (1782), where he was appointed curator of prints at the Imperial Hermitage (1782). Engraved portraits of the empress after originals by Fyodor Rokotov and Ferdinand de Meys and painted portraits of Grand Duke Pavel Petrovich and Grand Duchess Maria Fyodorovna (1782). Worked on a planned series of engraved views of St Petersburg after his own drawings (1791–92). Elected to the Imperial Academy of Arts, but was not invited to teach (1785). Suffered from neglect and poverty (late 1780s) and died of cholera in St Petersburg (1792).

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