Vladimir Lukich Borovikovsky was a prominent Russian portraitist. His art may be regarded as the last phase in the XVIII century traditions of Russian portraiture. He was born in a small Ukrainian town, Mirgorod, into the family of Ukrainian Cossacks. His father, Luka Borovik, and his two brothers were icon-painters. Borovikovsky also started as an icon-painter for local churches. In 1787 he drew two pictures for the house in which Empress Catherine II the Great was staying during her visit to Ukraine. His work was noted and he was sent to St. Petersburg to become one of the court painters.
Borovikovsky was too old to enter the Academy of Arts and he became
a pupil of the Austrian painter
Lampi, who was working at the Russian court at the time. Also he was
supported and greatly advised by Russian artist Dmitry
Levitzky. In 1795 he was appointed an Academician. He became a very
popular portrait-painter and created about 500 portraits during his lifetime.
The most notable are
Portrait of Catherine
II, Empress of Russia (1794), Portrait
of E. N. Arsenyeva (1796), Portrait
of M. I. Lopukhina (1797), Portrait
of F. A. Borovsky (1799), Portrait
of Paul I, Emperor of Russia (1800), Portrait
of Prince A. B. Kurakin (1801-1802), Portrait
of Princess A. G. Gagarina and Princess V. G. Gagarina (1802).
Vladimir Lukich Borovikovsky. By K. Mikhailova. Leningrad. 1968. (in Russian)
Vladimir Borovikovsky and Russian Culture. Late 18th – early 19th centuries. by T. Alexeeva. Moscow. Iskusstvo. 1975. (in Russian)