Original art education Ivan Stepanovich Ksenofontov received in the St. Petersburg Drawing school for coming (1841-1843). At the Academy of art where Ivan Ksenofontov arrived in 1843, he was initially a disciple of K. P. Brullov, then F. A. Bruni. During the period of study, he received medals: in 1845 - 2 silver; in 1849 - 1 silver for the painting "Tobias returns sight to his father"; in 1851 - 2 gold for the image of "Resurrection". After graduating from the Academy (1852) with a large gold medal for policy work, "Noah blesses his children", the artist leaves for six years in the pensioner's trip to Italy. In Rome he had a lot of copies of famous masters, to create an original work. It entails the gospel stories. They look for churches bring fame to the artist. In 1863, I. S. Ksenofontov awarded the title of academician for the image of the Dormition of the Theotokos which was written for the Russian Church mission in Jerusalem. Academic exhibitions of the artist's work appeared infrequently (you may remember the "descent from the cross" , "portrait of a g N" ) is still the creation of easel paintings was not his main business in art. For the main works of I. S. it was widely represented in the temples and churches throughout the great of Russia: in the Church of Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich the Elder in the Church of the estate Petrovo-Solovovo in the Tambov province, in the Church of the life-guard Grodno hussar regiment, in the Cathedral of the Peter and Paul fortress, the Church of St. Nicholas on the Vyborg side of St. Petersburg, in the Church of the village of Shilkovci Poltava province.
He was a member of the Commission for supervision over works of art in St. Isaac's Cathedral.