Otto Friedrich Theodor von Möller

Otto Friedrich Theodor von Möller, or Fyodor Antonovich Moller (Russian: Фёдор Антонович Моллер; 30 May 1812 – 2 August 1874) was a Russian Academic painter of Baltic-German ancestry.

Otto Friedrich Theodor von Möller
Фёдор Антонович Моллер
Self-Portrait of Fyodor Moller 1840s.jpg
Self-portrait (late 1840s)
Born30 May 1812
Died21 July 1874(1874-07-21) (aged 62)
EducationMember Academy of Arts (1840)
Professor by rank (1857)
Alma materImperial Academy of Arts
Known forPainting
AwardsBig Gold Medal of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1837)


Born in Kronstadt, Saint Petersburg, he was the son of Anton Berend Otto von Moller [ru], also known as Anton Vasilievich Moller, a naval officer who later became Secretary of the Navy (1828–1836).[1] At the age of five, he was enrolled at the cadet school, where he remained until he was 14, then served in the Semyonovsky Regiment. After being wounded in the Polish November Uprising, he took up drawing during his convalescence and decided to attend classes at the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts.[2]

The Kiss (1840)

Once there, he became a favorite student of Karl Briullov.[1] He first exhibited in 1832 with a scene of the Battle of Ostrołęka. In 1835, he was awarded a gold medal for painting and resigned from the army. He received another gold medal in 1837.

After graduating in 1838, he went to Italy to complete his studies. He continued to send paintings home and, in 1840, was named "Academician" for his work "The Kiss".[1] While there, he also became a close friend of Nikolai Gogol and painted him several times, which portraits are among his best-known works.

After a brief stay in Russia in 1847, he returned to Rome, where he met Johann Friedrich Overbeck and the Nazarene movement. His work in that style, "Sermon of the Apostle John on the Island of Patmos", led to his becoming "Professor of Historical Painting" when he returned to Russia in 1856. That same year, he married Dorothea von Güldenstubbe, who was only sixteen.[2]

Back in Saint Petersburg, he devoted himself to teaching and managing a pension fund for artists at the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts.[2] His works include a series of paintings of Alexander Nevsky for the Grand Kremlin Palace and murals for Saint Isaac's Cathedral.[1]

He was suddenly taken ill while working on the Crucifixion in the village of Võnnu (Wendau). He died of pneumonia at the family estate on the island of Saaremaa.[2]



  1. ^ a b c d Brief biography @ Russian Paintings.
  2. ^ a b c d Brief biography @ RusArtNet.

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