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(1680s - 1742?)
Ivan Nikitin was the favorite
artist of Peter the Great. He was born in the family of a clergyman. He
was educated initially in the Moscow State Armory and in the engraving
workshop of Dutch artist, A. Schonbeck. In 1711, he was transferred to
St. Petersburg and was appointed a court painter. His known works of that
period are Portrait of Tzarevna Praskovya
Ivanovna (1714), Portrait of
Tzarevna Natalia Alexeyevna (Not later than 1716), Portrait
of Tzarina Praskovya Fedorovna (Not later than 1716).
In 1716-1720, Ivan Nikitin
and his brother Roman Nikitin studied art in Italy, in Venice and Florence.
His skills were greatly improved in Italy and he became the first Russian
artist of European standard. His most notable works, which were created
after his European voyage are Portrait of
Count G. I. Golovkin (1720s), Portrait
of Peter the Great (1720s), Portrait
of the Hetman of Ukraine (1720s). In 1732, he and his brother
were arrested for treason due to slanderous accusations and endured 5 years
of imprisonment, interrogation and tortures in the Fortress of St. Peter
and Paul. Then they were exiled to Tobolsk. They were acquitted only in
1741, but Nikitin died in 1742 on his way from exile.
Russian Art of Peter I the Great Period. Leningrad. 1990.
Russian Portrait of the 18th and 19th centuries in Russian Museums.