Sadovnikov studied in the studio of the architect A. Voronikhin, where
he got in contact with painters Maxim
Vorobiov and Alexey
Venetsianov, who not only helped the gifted youth professionally but
also took an active part in his liberation.
Sadovnikov's mainly fulfilled "views", but these views are always inhabited with vivid scenes, which characterize the artist not only as a landscapist but also as a genre master.
His views of St. Petersburg and its suburbs of 1830-50 and interiors of its palaces, commissioned by the royal court and other high patrons, are best known. Sadovnikov's Panoranic View of the Nevsky Avenue (1830-50), which was 16 meters long, was later etched and published on separate lists.
The artist died in 1879 in St. Petersburg.