Oil on canvas
63 х 103
State Russian Museum
In 1800, with funds from the Imperial Cabinet, the artist Fyodor Alexeyev began work on a series of views of Moscow. This painting shows us one of the most entrancing panoramas that travellers would see when visiting the city. The majestic Kremlin, the massive stone bridge and the many old palaces and chambers squeezing in along the embankment were all a reminder of the time of the Kingdom of Muscovy. During Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 Moscow, which was occupied by the French, suffered an immense fire that caused irreparable damage to the city’s appearance. The picture is thus a historical document that allows us to get a visual impression of the ancient capital of Russia.
Alexeyev, Fyodor Yakovlevich
1753/1754 (?). St Petersburg - 1824, St Petersburg
Painter, founding father of the Russian school of urbanscape painting. Son of a guard at the Imperial Academy of Arts. Studied fruit and flower and landscape painting at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1766-73). Awarded a fellowship to Venice (1773-77). Studied under Giuseppe Moretti and Pietro Gaspari. Returned to St Petersburg and worked as a painter for the Imperial Theatres (1799). Copied paintings by Canaletto and Bernardo Bellotto for Catherine the Great. Nominated to the Academy (1794). Sketched places visited by Catherine the Great (1787) in south Russia (1795). Painted urbanscapes in Moscow (1800). Councillor of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1802), Taught perspective painting at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1803-24).