ZARYANKO, Sergey Konstantinovich
(b. 1818, Lyady, d. 1871, Moscow)

Biography

Russian painter of Belarusian birth. He bought himself out of serfdom in the mid-1820s and went with his family to St Petersburg. Zaryanko first studied painting with Vasily Mikhaylovich Avrorin (1805-55), a pupil of Aleksey Venetsianov, and soon attracted the interest of Venetsianov himself, who in 1834 sent Zaryanko to the St Petersburg Academy of Arts. Along with other pupils of Venetsianov, Zaryanko painted interiors of the Winter Palace, such as View of the Field-Marshals Hall in the Winter Palace (1836) and View of the Throne Room (1838; both St. Petersburg, Hermitage).

He first attracted popular acclaim for his group portrait View of the Hall in the Law School with Groups of Teachers and Pupils (1840-41; St. Petersburg, Russian Museum), as notable for its treatment of light and perspective in the interior as for the individual characterization of the figures gathered there. With his painting of 1843, View of the Interior of the Naval Cathedral of St Nicholas (St. Petersburg, Russian Museum), his series of interior scenes came to an end.

The series of interiors brought him the title of an Academician. In 1843, Zaryanko moved to Moscow, where he taught drawing in Alexandrovsky Institute for Orphans and Moscow Architectural College. In 1846, he returned to St. Petersburg to teach drawing in a military college. He lived in St. Petersburg for 10 years and painted his best portraits there, such as Portrait of the Artist Feodor Petrovich Tolstoy.