Fedor Stepanovich Rokotov was born in a small village near Moscow in a family of serfs of Prince Repnin. We do not know much about his childhood and youth. He studied art in the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg and became known at the court after he created an inlaid portrait of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna. Rokotov began to receive commissions to paint members of the royal family, one of them Portrait of Emperor Paul I as a Child (1761). In 1765, Rokotov was elected an Academician, but he did not work as a professor in the Academy long, because it interfered with his painting. He returned to Moscow in 1765, where he lived the rest of his life. He had a lot of commissions there, becoming one of the best portrait painters of his time. Among his best portraits are Portrait of Alexandra Struiskaya (1772), Portrait of Countess Elizaveta Santi (1785), Portrait of an Unknown Lady in a Pink Dress (1770s).
Fedor Rokotov (1735-1808) had worked with the first professor of painting at the Petersburg Academy. He specialized in the so-called "chamber portrait," or intimate portrait, which at the time was a new genre in Russian art. He created an entire gallery of refined images of women, portraying their nobility as well as mysteriousness, concealing a complex inner world. One example is the "Portrait of Countess Elizaveta Vasil'evna Santi" (1785). His pictures suggest a subdued lighting and focus the viewer's attention on the subtlety of the subject's features. His intimate portraits, often of an unusual oval shape, portray the ideal of Woman in the era of Enlightenment: free and unfettered by the fuss of day-to-day life.
Expressiveness of eyes and mimicry are very important in Rokotov's characteristic of an image , and the artist does not aspire to concrete transfer of mood, he rather wants to create sensation of elusiveness, fugacity of feelings of the person.The artist originally uses a treatment of light and shade, allocating the face of person and dissolving minor details. His works surprise with the gentle, refined beauty of color spectrum.