Alexander G. Varnek (1782-1843) — Russian painter, pupil of D. Levitsky and Sergei Shchukin at the St. Petersburg Academy of arts, retired it in foreign lands (1801-1809) and later her adviser and Professor. Its specialty was portrait painting, which Varnek differed masterful figure, harmonious, though not particularly strong color, the ability to grab a close resemblance and select the appropriate lighting, generally conscientious performance and truth without embellishment. Contemporaries thought highly of the portraits Warneke, in consequence of which he left many works in this kind. Especially significant self-portrait, portrait of a lady Chataway, a life-size portrait of count A. S. Stroganov, a portrait of the former President of the Academy A. N. Venison, the painting "head of a young Turk", "Boy with a dog" and "the Violinist" and is made by Warnecke image of the Annunciation and the four evangelists in the chapel of the Academy of arts.
1782, St.-Petersburg — 1843, ibid. The life and work of the famous portrait painter, whom contemporaries called the "Russian van Dyck," was almost entirely associated with one city - St. Petersburg and one educational art institution, the St. Petersburg Academy of arts. At the Academy he studied from March 1795 to September 1803, in the portrait class Shchukin, S. S.; here he worked at the end of the study: first, as a pensioner helped professors and teaching yourself, from 1810 - the title of academician, and in 1832 Professor. Until the end of his days Varnek was on the Board AH; in the halls of the Academy at its periodic exhibitions showed his paintings that caused constant interest of connoisseurs and art lovers, generating numerous responses in the press (in the magazines "Son of the Fatherland", "Patriotic notes", in the anthology "Northern flowers" and other publications of those years). Was only a relatively short period (from July 1804 to October 1809), which the artist spent away from St. Petersburg and in Rome, where he was sent as a pensioner of arts. Although artistic activity Warnecke began in 1802 - 03. ("portrait of the actress E. I. Kolosova in the costume of Artemis," the portraits of young artists then N. I. Utkin, A. V. Stupina, E. O. Skotnikov and A. X. Vostokov), genuine creative debut took place in Rome. It was here that he created his first software product - "self-Portrait with palette and brushes in hand" (1804). This picture was at the same time and one of the software products of the new art movement - romanticism emerging in Europe in the first decades of the nineteenth century Exponent of this art movement in Russian painting along with Kiprensky O. A. and A. O. Orlovsky became Varnek. Mentioned the portrait was first produced for subsequent years, a series of self-portraits - a kind of "autobiography in the portrait" where the artist presented himself in various States and poses among a variety of scenery and accessories, in young or Mature age. These are the "self" (1810), "self-Portrait illuminated from behind" (1816), which is paired to the "Portrait of M. I. Varnek, wife of the artist" (1816), "self-Portrait in a velvet beret, with spring" (1810's), "self-Portrait with a pipe" (the late 1820s), "self-Portrait in old age" (1830), etc. Being attentive fisiognomica, feeling good and passing nature of man, his posture, gesture, facial expressions, the artist reveals the phenomenon of the individual person, her originality. His portraits are characterised by stylistic diversity, dissimilarity of manners, that was inherent to the artists of the romantic movement, especially of O. A. Kiprensky. Often portrait work Warnecke are combined in an interesting "family" cycles - for example, "Portrait of sculptor I. P. Martos" (1819) and "portrait of the daughters of the sculptor I. P. Martos" (1810-e) or three portraits of children A. Tomilov (all 1825). With the 1820s of the creative evolution of the artist is on the decline, but he actively works as an educator and expert artistic works (1824, he is the Keeper of the collection of prints and drawings in the Hermitage). Artistic-pedagogical method Warnecke overall contributed support for AH high professional requirements knowledge of painting techniques, careful studying of nature, a competent figure.