SHCHEDRIN, Sil'vestr Fedosyevich
(b. 1791, St. Petersburg, d. 1830, Sorrento)
Painter, part of a Russian family of artists, son of Feodosy Shchedrin, a well-known sculptor, professor and assistant rector of the Academy of Arts. His uncle Semyon, a professor of landscape painting, gave the young Silvestr his first lessons. He studied at the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, and in 1811 graduated with a gold medal.
From 1818 he lived in Italy as a traveling scholar of the Academy of Arts. His early works, such as View of the Tuchkov Bridge and the Vasil'evskii Island from the Petrovskii Island in St. Petersburg, are good examples of academic classicism. When he arrived in Italy, his style changed, as he was influenced by the different light effects and nature he came to study. Since the middle of the 1820s, for the first time in Russian painting, he started to make oil studies from nature (en plein air) instead of sketches to be converted into finished compositions in the studio. His more mature landscapes are characterized by rich nuances of light and atmosphere and an impressive artistic unity. In Shchedrin's later works, for instance in the Moonlit Night in Naples, it is possible to notice the growing tendency towards Romantic emotionalism and more complex light effects.
Despite his early death, Shchedrin was one of the foremost Russian romantic landscape painters, and played a decisive role in bringing Russian landscape into the mainstream of European art.