Russian artist, master of genre and satire graphics, a representative of romanticism. He was born in Orenburg on June 12 (24), 1819, in a family of serfs. When his family settled in the Kovrov district of the Vladimir province, the boy moved to Moscow, enrolled in the training of the icon painter. Later (in 1842 – 1847 gg.) Was engaged in the newly created School of Painting and Sculpture (the future Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture). In 1843, his master, Count VN Zubov, gave him free. For a long time he earned his living as a teacher of drawing in the Cadet Corps
After experiencing the great influence of PA Fedotov, he imitated him in the early watercolors (Theater fees, 1850, the Tolkuchi market, 1850s, both works in the Tretyakov Gallery). The compositions of the master won considerable popularity among artists and journalists, and in the 1850s his friend, fiction writer AM Golitsynsky, even wrote a series of stories on the plot of the canvas of Shmelkov’s drawings (the book Laughter and Tears, published in 1859 with his autolithographs) .
Collaborated in the magazines “Entertainment” and “Spectator” (1861-1878 gg.), Illustrated Golitsynsky’s book Essays on Factory Life (1861). Was not only a cartoonist. A free stroke, dynamic light and shadow effects, together with a sharp dramatic flair, turn many Shmelkov sheets into modest masterpieces of the domestic genre, then humorously good-natured (Merchant from the photographer, watercolor, pencil, 1860s, Taykom from his wife (At the locker), watercolor , 1870s), then more gloomy and harsh (At the maternity shelter, Italian pencil, sepia, 1860s, Beggar (in the restaurant), Italian pencil, watercolor, 1860s Night fire, watercolor, 1870s, ies, ibid.).
Shmelkov died in Moscow on October 9 (21), 1890. In 1890 – 1891 he died. came out (two issues) phototypic album of his drawings and sketches, which strengthened his posthumous reputation.