Title of the article:



Svetlana I. Mikhaylova 

Information about the author/authors

Svetlana I. Mikhaylova — Senior Lecturer, Institute of Slavic Culture, A. N. Kosygin Russian State University (Technologies. Design. Art), Khibinsky pr. 6, 129337 Moscow, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2499-3743
E-mail: na.svet@mail.ru


History of Art




Vol. 69


pp. 379–396


January 23, 2023

Approved after reviewing

April 06, 2023

Date of publication

September 25, 2023



Index UDK


Index BBK



One of the Russian painters who left their creative mark in the Holy Land was Anton Zakharovich Ledakov, an artist of the second half of the 19th century, a graduate of the Imperial Academy of Arts. His biographical data, published in various sources, are very scarce and contradictory. For example, in the memoirs of A. N. Leskov, the artist is cast in an emotionally negative light, and the factual information presented there is refuted by archival documents of the Academy of Arts. Some refined details were found out thanks to the materials stored in the archives of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Samara: Ledakov came from court peasants of the village of Berezovy Gai of the Samara court estate. We also know from archival documents that he owned the murals of the church of the Great Martyress Catherine on Vasilyevsky Island, the ceiling in the altar of the house church of the righteous Zechariah and Elizabeth at the Elizabethan almshouse of the Eliseyevs in St. Petersburg, more than twenty icons and paintings for the chapel in Yelabuga. However, these works have not survived. A portrait of N. S. Leskov has been preserved from the artist heritage in Russia (currently located in the collection of the V. I. Dahl State Museum of the History of Russian Literature). The documents of the Central State Archive of the Samara Region made it possible to calculate estimated year of birth of the artist, but it has not yet been possible to find out the date of death. It is puzzling why the fact of the death of a person who had been in sight for a long time, and whose name was mercilessly bandied about in press, was passed by in silence. Many derogatory references to him were made by his fellow student at the Academy of Arts Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy, as well as the famous art critic Vladimir Vasilyevich Stasov. Most likely, he earned such a negative attitude by his commitment to academic writing and church art. In the Holy Land, he painted icons for free for the iconostasis of the Church of the Apostle Peter and the righteous Tavifa in the city of Jaffa (which were preserved), as a work entrusted to him by the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society. The study makes a number of assumptions about possible prototypes of this iconostasis, designed by Archimandrite Antonin (Kapustin), the fourth head of the Russian Spiritual Mission in Jerusalem, including analogies with polyptyches of Venetian Renaissance artists. The paper points out that the selection of saints for the top row at the request of the archimandrite was completely entrusted to Anton Ledakov. The author is trying to determine the motives for the artist's choice of the selection of these saints.


Anton Zakharovich Ledakov, Church of the Apostle Peter and the righteous Tavifa in Jaffa, Board of the Imperial Academy of Arts, Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society, Academic Painting, Icon, Iconostasis, Polyptych.


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