Sylvester Shchedrin was born in 1792 in St. Petersburg into the family of a famous sculptor Pheodosiy Shchedrin (1751-1825). His uncle, Semion Shchedrin
, a landscape painter, was considered to be the founder of the Russian landscape genre. In 1800, Sylvester Shchedrin entered the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, in which he specialized in landscape. He graduated with honors and a gold medal, which gave him the right for studies abroad. But he had to wait with his postgraduate studies because of the wars with Napoleon (Napoleon's invasion of Russia started in 1812). Sylvester left for Italy only in 1818.