Painter, draughtsman, engraver, iconographer. Author of pictures on historical themes and portraits. At the age of five was found in the Kalmyk steppe by Cossacks, and put into the Moscow foster home. Studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1782–1797). Awarded the title of artist and an Academy bursary (1797), taught drawing (1798). Fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts in Italy (1803–1807). Appointed to the Imperial Academy of Arts (1800), academician (1807). Taught at the Imperial Academy of Arts from 1798, junior professor (1807), professor (1812), professor emeritus (1832). Expelled from the Academy at the express wish of Tsar Nicholas I (1840). Married Vera Martos, daughter of sculptor Ivan Martos.