The son of German-tutor at the Academy of fine arts. Studied at the Imperial Academy of arts under M. M. Ivanov (1810-1821), M. I. Vorobyova. In 1827 he received the title of academician. Made a trip to Turkey, Greece, and Germany. Upon returning he settled in Moscow. He taught perspective at the Kremlin Palace school and the Constantine Institute of boundary. He was a Professor of landscape painting and perspective in the Stroganov school and the School of painting and sculpture. (1842-1857).
Born in St. Petersburg on may 11, 1800, After the death of his father, who served as a tutor at the Academy of Arts, he remained only seven years. Three years later, the 15th of January 1810, the guardians gave him a pensioner at the Academy of fine Arts; after graduating from high-school course here, he chose his specialty was historical painting, which felt a strong attraction, but long eye trouble forced him to interrupt long classes, so, during this time, he lagged behind his comrades, and he had to move on the landscape painting, in the class of M. M. Ivanov; the latter kept him three years in the copying of drawings and engravings, so that, having finally obtained access to the paints, he by his own admission, felt "very fortunate". In 1821 Rabus, for the execution of the program: "to present seaside place", received the gold medal of the second dignity and diploma of the first degree with a sword. On leaving the Academy Rabus went to little Russia, to the same landowner, who invited him to his. Passionately loving the outdoors, he enjoyed the scenic views of the banks of the Psyol, and then moved to the Crimea, where he made many sketches, which had been exploited in the execution of the program, given to him from the Academy for the title of academician "to write with oil paints is one of the Crimean species, taken from life"; in 1827 Rabus received the title "Yurzuf (Gurzuf), the estates of the Duke of Richelieu". The same sketches he used for another painting: "View of Balaklava" purchased by the Society to Promote Artists. After that, Rabus again went to the South coast of the Crimea, where he again played a lot of sketches, and from there moved to Odessa and from it — in Constantinople. On the way he made a strong storm and nearly died; but in the impressionable mind of the artist is a majestic phenomenon has left deep scars and meant that from then on he got addicted to the sea and excitedly wrote marine species. In Constantinople, the artist was presented there to the Russian envoy, count Ribaupierre, who took him under his wing, gave him orders and was given the opportunity to explore the city and make sketches, that while for Europeans it was very difficult. Using the same count Ribotpierre he was adopted by the Austrian and other messengers, who also painted several pictures. During the voyage across the Mediterranean sea Rabus wrote the types of coasts of Greece and Italy and visited some cities, but in Rome and Naples could not get there because at that time there was cholera. He then visited the Tyrol, Vienna, Nuremberg, Munich, Dresden and walked around the entire Saxon Switzerland, and from there via Berlin and returned to Ukraine and then to St. Petersburg, everywhere while tirelessly working and getting acquainted with famous artists, writers and scientists. While still at the Academy, Rabus stood out from among his companions by his erudition, development and love of science. These qualities he had a lot of influence on the development of many artists, of which not to mention K. P. Briullov, however, graduated from the Academy, and A. A. Ivanov, for whom he translated German books, as Ivanov did not know that language. They even got together to go to Italy. By the time in question, these scientific studies are so advanced it environment then our painters, and, of course, this circumstance he was obliged to order the cordial reception it enjoyed from the count Ribotpierre, Prince V. P. Kochubey, etc. Due to the fact, and abroad in front of him was wide open doors not only houses artists like Cornelius, shnorr, Retsch and others, but also writers and scholars: Ludwig Teak he was a regular visitor to literary evenings, and archaeologist Bethera close enough then they had a correspondence, and Bittiger printed on our artist article in "Artistischer Blatt zur in Dresden Abendzeitung", for which Rabus gave him the autobiographical information. Being married, he moved to Moscow where he entered the 9th of February, 1835, for service in the Palace School of architecture lecturer perspective. Then he also taught perspective at the Constantine Institute of Boundary and landscape painting at the Stroganov Drawing school. 24 March 1844 he was appointed teacher of landscape painting and perspective in the School of Painting and Sculpture. Thus his main teaching. In addition to these items, he was reading here the theory of colors, based on the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael Mengs, pool and Goethe, and the course of history of painting. Not content with classroom teaching painting, he was led, in summer, occupations of the disciples on sketches from nature. As a teacher, Rabus left a lasting sense of gratitude in the hearts of his disciples. It combined a deep knowledge of his subject, clarity of thought and ease of presentation with the most cordial attitude to students, which he had all sorts of dependent help — and moral, and even material. He gathered all the color of the Moscow intelligentsia, finding interest in the conversation with intelligent, educated and sensitive to all the sublime artist. Not less willingly visited him and came to Moscow by foreign artists. Among them were Horace Vernet, who volunteered to submit to the Sovereign one of his paintings: "view of the Church in the village of Izmailovo", and indeed took her to the Palace. The Emperor was so pleased with this painting that he expressed the wish that the artist himself had brought him and his other work. At this time, Rabus was finished two large paintings: "the Tempest" and "View of Gallipoli in the moon light," which he personally presented to the Emperor. Both paintings were acquired by the Palace.
At the end of life Rabus fell partly in the blindness, not being able to distinguish between the yellow color, which, of course, could not affect his painting. He died after a long and severe illness of 14 January 1857 (Cumans)