The son of a clerk the medical office. A graduate of the Academy of Arts from 1760 To 1763 he received a small silver medal. In 1765, dismissed from the Academy of Arts with the issuance of the certificate (for redundancy). (Kondakov)
Was a serf of General Kornilov. Having heard about his talent, D. Dou in 1822 asked to identify Polyakova to his assistants. Salary he was to receive 800 rubles a year. "But from this amount Mr. DOE gives him only 350 rubles, while the remaining 450 reserves in payment of the rent and at the table, although this last one he has with his lackeys," wrote the Committee of the Society for the encouragement of artists. In addition, Polyakova, not noted for robust health, the Englishman is deducted amount for the sick days, the artist barely had one hundred rubles a year on clothes and food.
But even in these onerous conditions A. Polyakov struck by all the talent and hard work. Once in six hours he made such a skillful copy of the portrait of N. Mordvinov, Admiral just trusted him to make some corrections on the original portrait.
Many decades later, experts came to the conclusion that the Poles were restored two hundred (!) blackened portraits of Dou and ended up at the memory more than a dozen of his careless sketches.
Learning about the talented serf, the Russian artists decided to petition for his release from bondage. However, the "release" serf artist appeared only a few years after the completion of the Gallery of portraits of the heroes of 1812. In the winter of 1833, at the request of the Committee, the President of the Russian Academy of arts A. Olenin signed a decree on the construction of Alexander Polyakov to the rank of a free artist.
Health Alexander, despite his youth, was in very poor condition. From the society for the encouragement of artists, he received 30 rubles salary per month, but this amount was barely enough to buy a canvas, paint and meager food.
Remarkable artist Alexander Polyakov died January 7, 1835, 34 years old. He was buried at the Smolensk cemetery in St. Petersburg. In the archives of the Academy of arts has preserved two documents. One of them - "a report on the cost to the funeral Polyakov - 160 45 R. K., including a commemoration on the custom - 20 rubles."
The second document is an inventory of unfinished paintings and objects remaining after the death of the artist: "Table simple wardrobe with simple wooden bed, a blanket dilapidated, padded coat, feather hat old, two easel, paints 12 vials, three palettes:"
And 340 portraits - Gallery of heroes of the Patriotic war of 1812, a true masterpiece of art created with a paintbrush of a serf of the wizard, Alexander V. Polyakov.
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