Fedor Stepanovich Rokotov was born in a small village near Moscow in a family of serfs of Prince Repnin. We do not know much about his childhood and youth. He studied art in the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg and became known at the court after he created an inlaid portrait of
Empress Elizaveta Petrovna. Rokotov began to receive commissions to paint members of the royal family, one of them Portrait of Emperor Paul I as a Child (1761). In 1765, Rokotov was elected an Academician, but he did not work as a professor in the Academy long, because it interfered with his painting. He returned to Moscow in 1765, where he lived the rest of his life. He had a lot of commissions there, becoming one of the best portrait painters of his time. Among his best portraits are Portrait of Alexandra Struiskaya (1772), Portrait of Countess Elizaveta Santi (1785), Portrait of an Unknown Lady in a Pink Dress (1770s).
Fedor Rokotov. by L. Markina. Moscow. Izobrazitelnoe Iskusstvo. 1986.
1790s. Oil on canvas. The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.