1749, St. Petersburg - 1790s, there "Weirdness full story of Ivan Ermeneva. Only a few of the puzzles allowed in the decades since the first, annoying later publication in 1834 of his works and biographical information, and even such poor," - wrote A. N. Savinov, author of the only monograph on the artist (1982). Since that time nothing has changed. Not found new documents. Not increased the list of his works, consisting of a dozen titles. Significantly about the artist little is known. In 1767, the son of a Royal stableman Ermen Ivan graduated from St. Petersburg Academy of arts. Here he was engaged in the architectural classes at A. F. Kokorin and J.-B. Vallin de La Mothe, and completed training in a beautiful class C. Torelli, famous for his allegorical paintings, executed with all the pomp of Baroque style. In 1763 he received a silver medal; in 1767, the diploma of 3 degrees and 2 gold medal for the program "On the conclusion of peace the Russian Prince Oleg with the Greek kings of the Lion and Alexander before the walls of Constantinople". A tribute to the Baroque gave Ermen in the earliest known to us compositions, allegories "For the marriage of crown Prince Paul Petrovich and Natalia Alekseevny" (1773) and "Prosperity of Russia" (1774). However, the most significant work of the artist, which ensured him a place of honor in the history of Russian art, was a series of watercolors 8 "Poor." About its Dating experts have no clear opinion. Apparently, the series is still made in the period from the mid 1760s until 1775, that is, before the artist's departure for Paris. Six sheets depict ragged blind old men and women, sometimes accompanied by a seeing-eyed child. Strong impression is made devoid of these individual features, frozen as tragic sculptures, figures, monumental towering against the low horizon. The other two watercolours - "the Singing blind" and especially "Peasants at dinner" - a genre distinguished by the decision of the theme, bringing together the work of contemporary Ermeneva - painter M. Shibanov. However, none of the Russian artists, either before or after Ermeneva failed to show the human suffering on an epic dimension, to fill them with a truly biblical sense, as did he. In the spring of 1775 Ermeneva name appears in the list admitted to study at the Paris school of the Royal Academy of painting and sculpture. In France, the artist remained until 1788 Of all that he has created here, now known only to a few drawings. "Genre scene. The man at the table" and "Allegory" dated by the artist: "1788". An earlier Dating of the other three figures proposed by A. N. Savinov: "Christ among the teachers", "the Merciful Samaritan" (both the second half of the 1770s - early 1780s), the adoration of the shepherds (no later than January 1781). As you can see, the subject of early academic drawings corresponds to the direction of the time. They are made in the tradition of the French academic school. The greater the importance of the figures relating to the last months of stay Ermeneva in Paris and showing his outstanding skill. On the one represented by household situation may be sad reflection of the artist. Another figure in allegorical form conveys a vague and heavy atmosphere of anticipation of impending terrible events. Ermen was forced to leave France on the eve of the revolutionary upheavals. On the latter, the St. Petersburg period the artist's life almost nothing is known. There are no surviving works, except miniature portrait of an army infantry officer (1792), which could be confidently attributed to Armenia. Nor do we know the date of his death.