Vladimir Borovikovsky was a painter, draughtsman, and teacher. Vladimir Borovikovsky was born on July, 24th (or August, 4th N.S.) in 1757 in the small town of Mirgorod, Ukraine, into the family of the Cossack Luka Ivanovich Borovikovsky (1720 - 1775). The future artist’s father, uncle, and brothers were all icon painters. In youth Borovikovsky learned icon-painting from his father.
From 1774 he served in Mirgorod Cossack Regiment at the same time being engaged in painting. In the first half of the 1780s Borovikovsky retired in the rank of a lieutenant and turned to painting full time. He painted icons for local churches.
In the 1770s Borovikovsky became closely acquainted with Vasily Kapnist and carried out his commissions on painting interiors of his house intended for receiving the Russian empress in Kremenchug. Catherine II made notice of the artist’s work and told him to move to Petersburg, then the capital city of the Russian Empire.
In 1788 Borovikovsky settled in Petersburg, where he first lived in the house of Nikolay Lvov and got acquainted with his friends — Gavrila Derzhavin, Ivan Khemnitser, and Yevstigney Fomin, as well as Dmitry Levitzky, who became his teacher. In 1795 Borovikovsky was awarded the rank of the academician of painting.
Rather late, in the late 1790s, Borovikovsky gained the fame of a well-known portraitist.
In the last years of his life Borovikovsky returned to religious painting, in particular, he painted a few icons for the Kazan Cathedral (which was then under construction), and the iconostasis for the Smolensk Cemetery Church in Petersburg. He gave painting lessons to the then beginning artist Alexey Venetsianov.
Vladimir Borovikovsky died on April, 6th (18), 1825 in Petersburg and was laid to rest in the Alexander Nevski Monastery. He bequeathed to distribute his property to the needy.