Life and works
He was briefly apprenticed to be a varnisher, then was sent to the "Канцелярия от строений" (Chancellory of Buildings) in 1727, where he studied under Louis Caravaque, a French portrait painter living in Russia, and Andrey Matveyev. He qualified as a master painter in 1739 and became head of the Chancellory after Matveyev's early death.
He painted murals in many of the palaces and churches of Saint Petersburg and its suburbs, including the Summer Palace, the Anichkov Palace and the Winter Palace. He also did portraits and icons, restored paintings and appraised the works of foreign artists. His portraits were among the first to depart from the flat, static style favored at the Imperial Court. Among his best-known students were Alexei Antropov, Alexei Ivanovich Belsky and Ivan Firsov.
In 1740, he attained the rank of Court Counselor (a civil ranking equal to lieutenant-colonel) and, in 1752, became a Collegiate Assessor, which entitled him to be addressed as "Your Excellency".
Other notable portraits
- * Обзор творчества Ивана Яковлевича Вишнякова (brief biography and artwork)
- Uspensky, А.: Словарь художников, в XVIII веке писавших в императорских дворцах (Dictionary of Artists in the 18th Century). (1913).
- Lebedev, G.:Русская живопись первой половины XVIII века (Russian Painting in the First Half of the 18th Century) (1938).
- Ilina, Т. V.: Иван Яковлевич Вишняков: Жизнь и творчество (Ivan Yakovlevich Vishnyakov: Life and Work) Искусство (1979)
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