1839. Unfinished. Oil on canvas. The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia. Read Note.
Krylov, Ivan Andreevich (1769-1844), Russian satirist, journalist and a writer of fables. He entered the civil service at an early age, but soon turned to satirical journalism. After his magazine, the St. Petersburg Mercury, was closed down by censors, be abandoned literature until 1805, when he translated his first fable by La Fontaine. In 1809, his book of 23 fables, some still based on la Fontaine, met with enormous success. He wrote more than 200 fables in all, and their common sense, universality, and linguistic vigor has secured their continuing popularity. Many of their conclusions and morals have become proverbial in Russia. In 1841, he was elected Academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. His fables have been translated into a multitude of languages, including English.