Portraits by Fyodor Rokotov
Fyodor Rokotov was a Russian artist, the largest Moscow portrait painter who worked during the Russian Enlightenment.
Fyodor Stepanovich Rokotov was born in 1730s, Vorontsov’s estate, Russia. It was suggested that Rokotov could be a master’s illegal child, perhaps the son of Prince P. I. Repnin, who gave him freedom in his youth. In 1755, I. I. Shuvalov came to Moscow to recruit gifted young men for the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. He noticed Rokotov and took him to the capital. Probably, the young man entered the Landed Gentry Corps after his arrival in Petersburg. After receiving the rank of captain, he resigned from military service.
In 1760, Rokotov entered the Academy of Arts. In 1763 he was invited to Moscow to paint a coronation portrait of Catherine II.
In 1765, Rokotov was awarded the title of academician.
From the late 1760’s to the early 1790’s, the artist painted “everyone in Moscow”. He painted whole family galleries (for example, Count Vorontsov), representing people of two or three generations.
In 1772 Rokotov became one of the founders of the Moscow English club. According to some assumptions, at the peak of his success he joined the Masonic brotherhood.
After the rout of the Moscow masons, the productivity of Rokotov falls sharply. Recent known works date back to the early 1790s; the colors on them are extremely sparse, almost monochrome. These features are usually explained by the weakening of the eyesight of the artist.
Fyodor Rokotov died on December 24, 1808 in Moscow. He was buried by his nephews in the cemetery of the Novospassky Monastery, where his grave was quickly lost.
For the third century, the portrait of the young Alexandra Struiskaya, painted by Fyodor Stepanovich Rokotov, takes the souls of admiring spectators. It is impossible to forget this girl.
The charm of the portrait passed through the centuries and in the twentieth century struck the poet N. Zabolotsky. Just think about it – a girl who lived long ago has become a poet’s muse.
By the end of 1772 Rokotov painted two portraits – 24-year-old Struisky and his 18-year-old wife Alexandra. Sasha Struiskaya touched the soul of the artist. He did not even get married. But he managed to give immortality to his beloved.