Description Nikolai Sverchkov was a prolific artist who specialized in equestrian scenes. He exhibited in Paris from 1859 and his works were acquired by Napoleon III (1863) and the Russian Tsar Alexander II (1864). Born into the family of an Imperial stableman and coachman, Sverchkov developed a great interest in horses at an early age and started drawing animals as a young boy. Sverchkov's extraordinary talent for scenes involving horses earned him a position of artist at the Khrenov and Tchesme stud farms in the 1840s. Many works from this period comprise a cycle of illustrations entitled "Album of Stud Farms, with Portraits of Studs and Mares from the Finest Stud Farms in Russia." In 1852, Sverchkov was awarded the rank of Academician at the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts. From the late 1850s to the early 1860s the artist lived in Paris, London, and Brussels; he received the Legion d'honneur at the Paris World's Fair. When he painted horses, he strove to convey the specificity of the animal. Despite his fame in the 1860s Sverchkov died in poverty, almost completely forgotten.
Provenance William T. Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] lower right: N. Sverchkov
Credit Acquired by William T. Walters
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