Ivan Nikitin

Born: 1680s, Moscow
Died: 1741 or 1742

Painter. Elder brother of Roman Nikitin, uncle of architect Pyotr Nikitin (1727–1784). Born in Moscow in the family of a priest called Nikita Nikitin (1680s). Grew up in Izmailovo (1690s). Possibly trained under Adriaan Schoonebeek at the engraving workshop of the Moscow Armoury (1700s). Moved with the Armoury to St Petersburg (1711), where he studied under Johann Gottfried Tannauer (from 1711). Painted portraits of Tsarevna Elizabeth Petrovna (1712–13), Tsarevna Praskovia Ioannovna (1714), Tsarevna Natalia Alexeyevna (1714–15), Tsarevna Anna Petrovna (c. 1715) and Peter the Great (1715). Travelled to Italy with his brother as a fellow of Peter the Great (1716). Studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice (1716–17) and under Tommaso Redi at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence (1717–19). Returned to St Petersburg and settled at 70 River Moika Embankment (1720). Appointed court portraitist (1721). Painted portraits of Count Gavriil Golovkin (1720s), Peter the Great on his deathbed (1725) and Baron Sergei Stroganov (1726) and the first Russian battle-painting Battle of Poltava (1727). Married Maria Fyodorovna Mamens, lady-in-waiting to Catherine I (1727). Invited to decorate the St Peter and St Paul Cathedral (1728). Moved to Moscow for the coronation of Empress Anna Ioannovna and bought a house on Tver Street (1730). Divorced his wife (1731). Accused of libelling Archbishop Theophan Prokopovich and arrested (1731), released (1731) and rearrested (1732). Imprisoned in the Peter and Paul Fortress (1732–37), flogged and exiled to Tobolsk along with his brother (1737). Released by the Privy Council during the regency of Anna Leopoldovna (1741). Died on the road from Siberia to Moscow (1741 or 1742).

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