Nikolai Sverchkov was a prolific artist and is best known for his sporting and snow scene paintings, as well as illustrating “Album of Horse Breeders with Portraits”, in 1845 that was published by Johann Velten and paintings of numerous equestrian portraits of the Royal Court.
Tsarskoe Selo, Russia
Besides painting with oils, Nikolai also was a draughtsman, lithographer and sculptor. The child of one of the imperial grooms and coachmen, Yegor Sverchkov, he grew up closely with some of the finest Russian horses in the country, which he drew in his free time. Seeing his interest in the fine arts, his parents had him study art at Imperial Academy of Arts for two years in 1827-1829, before transferring to the prestigious Saint Peter’s School, where he studied from for three years. Afterwards, he worked in the Ministry of the Interior, before being granted the title of title of “Free Artist” and quit the civil service in 1939. During tha time, he still worked on his art and showcased his work at several exhibits, including exhibits at the Academy.
Now free to work on his art, Nikolai would visit many stud stables and working farms to paint and study the horse’s movement. Following his great success, he became a professor of the arts before traveling. He exhibited at the Salon while living in France, then in Brussels, London and Antwerp before moving back to Saint Petersburg in 1864. In total, he completed over 350 paintings and over 1 thousand drawings, including many equestrian portraits of the Royal Court while continuing to exhibit internationally before his death in 1898.