France • 1684−1754

Biography and information

Caravaque Louis (Louis; FR. Louis Caravaque; 31 Jan 1684, Marseille — 9 (20) June 15 (26) June 1754, in 1752, Saint Petersburg) was a French painter who moved under Peter the Great in 1717 in Russia, and became court painter to one of the most important representatives of Rossica.

Louis Caravaque


A noticeable trace in Russian art was left by the Frenchman Louis (Louis Caravaque). Louis Caravaque — "Gascon, as by birth, habits, and manners" (in the words of his contemporary academician J. Staehelin), was born in 1684 in Marseille in a family of carvers and decorators was the third generation a "dynasty" of Karavachev related to the decoration of the ships in Toulon, and later galleys at Marseilles.

According to family tradition, Louis — the youngest son Jean-Baptiste Caravaque began his activities in the Arsenal of the galleys at Marseilles.

On 13 November 1715 in Paris, he signed with P. Lefort, the contract for three years on receipt in the Russian service, a painter of "historical paintings, portraits, forests, villages, flowers and animals in large, small and miniature," with the obligation to take an assistant of Russian students.

In 1716, the artist arrived in St. Petersburg, where he lived until the end of his days.

For life in Russia Caravaque repeatedly wrote of Peter I and Catherine I, their daughters – Anna, Elizabeth and Natalie, and children Prince Alexei – Natalia and Peter (later Peter II). According to the testimony of J. Staehelin, portraits Caravaque is characterized by a great similarity with the depicted persons.

In 1721-1727 gg. he performed murals and supervised the painting in Peterhof. In 1725-27 he worked in St. Petersburg in the “new houses” Summer Palace participated in the creation of the iconostasis of the Church of the Winter Palace.

However, only when Anna Ivanovna in 1730-ies, thanks to the patronage of E. Biron was appointed "court first pictorial works foreman." In the last years of his life he worked as a decorator, wrote the image by order of Elizabeth, sang her big formal portrait. Among his pupils - I. Ya. Vishnyakov and A. Antropov.

The artist worked hard and productively, however, with all its varied activities has not reached us almost nothing except the portraits.

In Russia Caravaque won for himself an exceptional position, which reflects not only the personal skill of the artist, but about the fact that he was in Petersburg just at the moment when they began to change the queries of Russian society, when in Russia has spread the passion for "court style" which represented their creativity Caravaque.