An auditor student at the Academy of fine Arts from 1832 To 1836 he received 1 silver medal and the title of class artist painting watercolor; 1842, recognized as "designated"; 1849 - academician of portrait painting. (Kondakov)
The work of V. I. Hau falls on the 1840-1850-ies and completeness conveys the atmosphere of those years. In the works of V. I. Hau portrait emerged the concept of the late academic, which is characterized by the obligatory portrait likeness, some prose and at the same time the subordination of the image to a sublime ideal.
Vladimir Ivanovich Gau was born 4 Feb 1816 in Reval in the family of painter Johannes Hau (1771-1838). The first drawing lessons V. Gau received from his father. As a young man he began to study at the former court painter Carl von Kugelgen (1772-1832). Real success fell to his lot, when in 1832 at the age of sixteen he had a chance to paint portraits of the Grand duchesses. Gau has received a letter of introduction to Professor of the Imperial Academy of arts Alexander Sauerweid. Early watercolours 1830-ies - "Portrait of an unknown soldier" (1834), "portrait of a boy in a blue coat" (1836). In 1836, received a large silver medal and the title of class artist, Gau left the Academy of fine arts. Two years later he was sent abroad, to Italy and Germany. Gau easily joined to the German tradition. His teachers were artists from the Baltic States.
By the beginning of the 1840-ies by V. I. Gau - brand the current master of the European level with a bright individual style. In 1840 he returned to Russia, gets the post of court painter, and for thirty-formed serves the needs of companies close to the yard. 1840-ies - the most happy and productive period of his creativity. He wrote numerous portraits of Nicholas I, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Grand duchesses, and gives drawing lessons to ladies of the Imperial family. In 1849, for the portraits of Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna with her children and wife of the Duke Maximilian of Leuchtenberg President of the Academy of arts of Gau was approved and the title of academician watercolor painting.
During this period there is another series of portraits of Actresses of the Imperial theatre. In 1836 Gau says the star of the Russian stage V. Usenkov, in 1842, a dancer and actress Volkov Shiryaev. "Portrait of Y. P. Golitsino" (1849), "Portrait of the Baroness E. N. Mengden" (1840), "portrait of an unknown woman in a cap with ribbons" (1835) continue the tradition of watercolor portrait, established in the 1820-ies, and retain the poetry of the image. The best portraits Gau is distinguished by the excellence of execution - the consistency of composition, drawing, form. Perfection and refinement are the main features as portraits of Gau and its models. Hau was a leading master of watercolour portrait for three decades.