Born in St. Petersburg into a family of merchants. In 1880-1888 he studied at the Academy of fine arts, from which he graduated with the title of a free artist.
Many traveled to Russia, was also abroad — in Western Europe, Syria, Palestine. He contributed to magazines (in the "Historical journal"). Wrote historical stories and novels — including "Chaldea," "the Story of the life of Novgorod XV century", with drawings of the author. The famous original painting of I. F. tyumenev "Avvakum in Pustozersk prison." Oil on canvas, 175*250, 1888 Is located in the Gorky art Museum.  I. F. tyumenev and also was a close acquaintance and companionship with N. Rimsky-Korsakov wrote a number of librettos for the operas of the famous composer. Under his influence, studied music and wrote the melody for the Church hymn "the cherubic hymn". (Was printed at P. J. Jurgenson called "Dobroselsky").
In the late ' 80s or early 90-ies of Ilya Fyodorovich bought a plot of land in the Novgorod district in Luban parish, where the river flows is small Tigoda river Gorodenka, and built himself a HOMESTEAD, which was given the name "the Expanse". On behalf of the estate Ilya Fedorovich even took the pseudonym "Privolzhe".
In the open air he took his great friend and associate artist Andrei Petrovich Ryabushkin, built him a separate house with a workshop where the artist lived until his death.
I. F. tyumenev and also had a large library. Incidentally, after the death of the writer N. Leskov he bought from his heirs a significant portion of the book collection of the writer and moved him into the open air.
When 20 years were evicted from the estates of the landlords, Ilya Fedorovich moved to Leningrad to son, Alexander Ilyich Tumeneva, a renowned scholar on the history of primitive society, Professor corresponding member cor. USSR ACADEMY OF SCIENCES. Together with other property was moved to Leningrad and assembled Ilya Fedorovich library.
A famous portrait of I. F. tyumenev, A. P. Ryabushkin written in the late 80-ies of the last century. The portrait is in the collection of the family Tupenevich in Leningrad.
(From the book by S. Smirnov "the memories of the time my work in the Novgorod Museum")