Ivan Akimovich Akimov (Russian: Иван Акимович Акимов) (2 June 1754 – 27 May 1814) was a RussianNeoclassical painter who studied under Anton Losenko and then worked in the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts, capping off his career as its director in 1796-1800. Akimov may be considered the first art historian in Russia: in 1804 he published a series of biographies of Russian painters.
Ivan was born to a family of a typesetter of the Senate typography in Saint-Petersburg. At the age of ten he wrote a doleful letter asking to be admitted to the Imperial Academy of Arts and was indeed admitted into students. In 1764-1773 he studied at the Academy. In 1773 he received the Gold Medal for his painting Svyatoslav's return from the Danube to his family in Kiev and was sent to Italy where he studied until 1779. From 1780 to 1800 he worked as a faculty at the Imperial Academy of Arts. In 1782 he was elected as an academician of the Academy. Since 1791 he was the director of the Imperial Tapestry Manufactory and also taught art to daughters of Paul I of Russia. From 1794 to 1800 he was the director of the Academy.