Fedor Yakovlevich Alekseev was the first Russian painter who achieved notable success in the genre of town landscape. In 1766-1773 he studied landscape painting in the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. Then he spent three years in Venice studying scene-painting. After his return to Russia he was compelled to work as a decorator in the Theater School, although his ambition was to paint landscapes. Only after he became popular copying the works of the famous Italian and French landscapists Canaletto, Bellotto, Robert and Vernet, was he allowed to gratify his desires. Among his best known works in the 1790s were View of the Castle of St. Peter and Paul and Palace Sea-front (1793), View of the Palace Sea-front From the Castle of St. Peter and Paul(1791). For these pictures he was nominated an academician. The following years he traveled in the South of Russia, where he painted several town landscapes of the towns he visited. In 1800 Emperor Paul I ordered him to paint a series of views of Moscow. He and his pupils spent more than a year in Moscow and they produced 58 watercoulors, some of them are Palace in Tsaritsyno in the Vicinity of Moscow (1800-1802), The Monastery of Trinity and St. Sergius (1800-1802), View of Moscow Near the Iversky Gate of the Kremlin (1800-1802), The Foundling Hospital in Moscow (1800-1802). In the 1800s he worked mostly in St.Petersburg, where he was very popular and had a lot of customers.
Fedor Alekseev. by M. I. Androsova. Leningrad. 1979. (in Russian)
Alekseev. by I.M. Zharkova. Moscow. 1981. (in Russian)
Russian Painters. St. Petersburg. 1998. (in Russian)
The Art and Architecture of Russia (Pelican History Art) by George Heard Hamilton. Yale Univ Pr, 1992.
A Dictionary of Russian and Soviet Artists 1420-1970 by John Milner. Antique Collectors' Club, 1993.