A genre and history painter, he was educated at the St Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts (1809-21). He studied in Italy from 1823, and painted there his best-known work, Last Day of Pompeii (1830-33). The Whistlers met him in Russia, and AMW referred to him when he was painting the murals of St Isaac's Cathedral in St Petersburg.
Richard Hare, The Art and Artists of Russia, London, 1965, p. 182; p. 91. Rosa Newmarch, The Russian Arts, London, 1916; Susanne Massie, The Beauty of Old Russia, Land of the Firebird, London, 1980, p. 223.