Nikifor Stepanovich Krylov was one of the first pupils of Venetsianov. He was from a petty bourgeois family, used to draw icons and sell them in marketplaces. At one such fair he met Venetsianov, in 1823. Venetsianov was impressed with the portraiture skills of the young man, but saw very clearly that he needed training in drawing.
Krylov took some lessons from Venetsianov, but had no opportunity for regular studies. Venetsianov insisted that the young man should become his student and in 1825 brought him to St. Petersburg. Krylov was in shock after his first visit to the Hermitage. Only now he realized how much he should study and how much he could create himself. Venetsianov provided him with a ticket to visit drawing classes in the Academy and continued to train the painter himself.
In 1830, Krylov and Zelentsov were the first of Venetsianov’s pupils to receive the title of honor members of the Academy.
Krylov died June 28, 1931 during an epidemic of cholera.
c.1824. Oil on canvas. The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.