Andrei Somov

Born: 1830, St Petersburg
Died: 1909, St Petersburg

Amateur artist, art historian, curator, collector, teacher. Father of Konstantin Somov and Anna Somova-Mikhailova. Attended the School of Drawing of the Society for the Encouragement of Artists while a pupil at the Pyotr Larin Grammar School and studied drawing and painting under Philipp Budkin and engraving under Timofei Dmitriyev (1840s). Graduated from the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics of St Petersburg University (1854). Gave private lessons in mathematics (1854–55) and taught physics at the Mining Institute (1855–59) and Naval Academy (1858–59). Published a description of the Imperial Hermitage Picture Gallery (1859) and a catalogue of the Imperial Academy of Arts Picture Gallery (1872–86). Worked for the Imperial Academy of Sciences (1863–86). Elected an honorary fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1871) and a full member of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1878). Wrote and published articles on Karl Brullov (1876), Antoine Wiertz (1877) and Pavel Fedotov (1878). Commissar of the Russian art section and member of the international jury at the Exposition Universelle in Paris (1878). Founding member of the Society of Russian Watercolourists (1880). Taught the history of art at the Bestuzhev Courses for Women (1883–89) and edited the Fine Arts Herald published by the Imperial Academy of Arts (1883–90). Senior keeper of paintings, drawings and engravings at the Imperial Hermitage (from 1886), compiling a three-volume catalogue published in Russian (1889–95) and French (1891–95). Died in St Petersburg and buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery (1909).

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