Fyodor Alexeyev

Born: 1753–54, St Petersburg
Died: 1824, St Petersburg

Painter, draughtsman, teacher. Founding father of the Russian school of veduta painting often known as the “Russian Canaletto.” Son of a watchman at the Imperial Academy of Arts. Studied ornamental sculpture under Louis Rolland and still-life and landscape painting under Antonio Giambattista Peresinotti at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1766–73). Foreign fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts in Venice (1773–77), where he trained under Giuseppe Moretti and Pietro Gaspari and studied the works of Canaletto, Francesco Guardi and Giovanni Battista Piranesi and. Returned to St Petersburg, where he worked as a decorator for the Imperial Theatres (1779–86). Copied paintings by Canaletto and Bernardo Bellotto for Catherine the Great (late 1780s) and painted views of St Petersburg (early 1790s). Academician (1794), board member of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1802). Travelled across south Russia (1795), sketching places previously visited by Catherine the Great (1787). Painted vedute in Moscow (1800–02) and St Petersburg (1810s). Taught perspective painting at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1803–24). Died in poverty in St Petersburg (1824).

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