Alekseev, Fedor Iakovlevich
Born between 1753 and 1755, in St. Petersburg; died there on Nov. 11 (23), 1824. Russian painter and landscape artist.
The son of a watchman at the Academy of Sciences, Alekseev studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts between 1766 and 1773. From 1773 to 1777 he studied theatrical art in Venice, where he also did landscapes (The Schiavoni Quay in Venice, 1775, the Museum of Art of the Byelorussian SSR, Minsk). During the 1790’s he produced landscapes of St. Petersburg (View of the Palace Quay From the Peter and Paul Fortress, 1794, Tret’iakov Gallery) for which, in 1794, he received the rank of academician. In 1803 he began teaching in the Academy of Arts. He traveled to Kherson, Nikolaev, and Bakhchisarai in 1795 (“to gather views”), and from the watercolor sketches from nature he later painted such works as Square in the City of Nikolaev (Russian Museum, Leningrad). Living from 1800 to 1802 in Moscow, he painted two pictures from life, Red Square With the Cathedral of Basil the Blessed (Museum of the Institute of Russian Literature of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Leningrad) and View of a War Hospital (not preserved), and a number of watercolors. In the 1810’s he created a new series of St. Petersburg landscapes (View of the English Quay, Russian Museum). Alekseev was the first master of city scenes in Russian art. His lyrical paintings, executed with great refinement, left memorable impressions of St. Petersburg’s austerity, the picturesque beauty of Moscow, and the poetry of everyday city life.