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Alexander Polyakov (1801 - 1835)

Was a serf of General Kornilov. Having heard about his talent, D. Dow in 1822 asked to identify Polyakova to his assistants. Salary was laid 800 rubles a year. "But out of this sum, Mr. Doe gives him only 350 rubles, 450 other reserves to pay for the apartment and at the table, although he has now at last with his lackeys" - wrote the Committee of the Company to promote artists. In addition to being a Polyakov did not differ good health, the Englishman is deducted for the days of the disease, as a result of the artist barely had one hundred rubles a year on clothes and food.

But even in these outrageous terms Polyakov hit all the talent and hard work. One in six hours he had made such a clever copy of a portrait N. Mordvinova the admiral entrusted only to him to make some corrections to the original portrait. Many decades later, experts came to the conclusion that the Poles restored two hundred (!) Blackened portraits by Dow and ended on memory than a dozen of his careless sketches.

After learning about the talented serf, Russian artists decided to apply for his release from bondage. However, the "selling" castle artist appeared only a few years after the completion of the art gallery of portraits of the heroes of 1812.
winter of 1833 on the petition committee of the President of the Russian Academy of Arts 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 Promotion of artists he received a salary of 30 rubles per month, but that amount barely sufficient to buy canvas, paint and scant food.

A wonderful painter Alexander Polyakov died Jan. 7, 1835, 34 years of age. He was buried at the Smolensk Cemetery in St. Petersburg.
 Archival Arts Academy has two surviving document. One of them - "Report on the costs of the funeral Polyakov - 160 p. 45 since, including at the commemoration of the custom - 20 rubles."
second document - a list of unfinished paintings and objects left behind after his death: "So simple, wardrobe with a simple wooden bed, a blanket dilapidated, padded coat, hat feather old, two easels, paint bubbles 12, three palettes: "And 340 portraits - Gallery of heroes of the War of 1812, a masterpiece of art, created by brush serf masters Alexander Vasilyevich Polyakov.

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