Sergey Konstantinovich Zaryanko entered the history of Russian art as a good portraitist. He started as a pupil of Venetzianov, who managed to make him a free student of the Academy of Arts. Studying in the class of professor M. N. Vorobyov, Zaryanko continued to use Venetsianov’s advice: to try different genres, to paint from nature, to go from easier to more complicated things. Thus Zaryanko did not start with portraits, which made him famous, first he painted interiors.
His interesting work, which attracted critics, was In the Hall of the Law College (1840-41). In 1843, he showed at the exhibition in the Academy The Inside View of the Petropavlovsk Church. The same year he finished View inside Nickolsky Cathedral, in which he very accurately painted all the details of decoration. After finishing this project the painter was almost blind. The work brought him the title of an Academician. In 1843, Zaryanko moved to Moscow, where he taught drawing in Alexandrovsky Institute for Orphans and Moscow Architectural College. In 1846, he returned to St. Petersburg to teach drawing in a military college. In St. Petersburg he lived for 10 years and painted his best portraits, such as Portrait of the Artist Feodor Petrovich Tolstoy. In 1853, he was awarded the title of a professor, but the Academy refused to admit him in his staff, and in 1856 he became a professor in Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Among his students were V.G. Perov, V.E. Makovsky and others. Being mostly engaged in teaching, Zaryanko did not paint much. Critics consider his latest works lifeless and drab. The painter died in 1870 in Moscow.
Painters of Venetzianov’s School. by T. Alexeeva. Moscow. Iskusstvo. 1982.