Ivan Martos – prominent Russian sculptor
Ivan Martos was a prominent Russian sculptor.
Ivan was born in 1754 in Poltava province into a family of landed gentry. In 1764 he entered the Imperial Academy and graduated it in 1773 with a small gold medal. He was sent to Italy as a pensioner of the Academy. Here the young artist studied ancient art, especially classical sculpture and architecture.
He returned to St. Petersburg in 1779 and immediately became Sculpture teacher at the Academy. In 1794 he was already a senior professor, and in 1814 – the rector.
Martos worked in the field of sculptured tombstones, an entirely new sphere of Russian representative art. The tombstones for S. S. Volkonskaya and M. P. Sobakina are veritable masterpieces of Russian sculpture. The most outstanding of the sculptor’s later works was his tombstone for Ye. Kurakina.
Emperors Paul I, Alexander I, and Nicholas I ordered him to make important sculptural compositions. Martos became known not only in Russia, but also abroad.
He did stucco decorations for the palaces at Tsarskoye Selo and Pavlovsk, and modeled a statue of Actaeon for the Grand Cascade at Peterhof.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century Martos was one of the artists who decorated the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg.
Martos achieved true fame as a result of his monument to Minin and Pozharsky in Moscow.
In 1812, he made a statue of Catherine II, and in 1813 he drew sketches of the four evangelists for the Kazan Cathedral.
In the 1820s he produced several large monumental works: monument to Paul I in Gruzino, to Alexander I in Taganrog (1828-31), to Richelieu in Odessa (1823-28) and to Lomonosov in Arkhangelsk (1826-29).
Ivan Martos died on April 17, 1835 and was buried at the Smolensk Orthodox cemetery. In the 1930s, his remains were moved to Lazarevskoye cemetery.
Martos was married twice.
Beautiful noblewoman Matryona was his first wife. She died young. Ivan was a good and caring father, he was able to raise and educate children.
Children from his first marriage:
– Nikita Ivanovich (1782-1813) – graduated from the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts with a gold medal. He was killed by French soldiers when Napoleon invaded Italy.
– Anastasia (Alexandra), Ivanovna (1783 -?). Talented portraitist Alexander Varnek was in love with the girl and wanted to marry her. But she refused and against the will of her father, she married Gerasim Luzanov, who later became famous fabulist and translator.
– Praskovya Ivanovna (1785 -?)
– Alexey Ivanovich Martos (1790-1842) was a writer, memoirist.
– Peter Ivanovich (1794-1856)
– Sophia Ivanovna (1798-1856) was a wife of V. Grigorovich, professor and conference secretary of the Academy of Arts, art critic, publisher.
– Vera Ivanovna (180. – 18..) was a wife of artist A. Egorov (1776-1851).
– Lyubov Ivanovna (180. – 18..) was a wife of A. Melnikov (1784-1854), architect, professor at the Academy of Arts.
Avdotia Spiridonova became his second wife.
Children from the second marriage:
– Ekaterina Ivanovna (1815 – 18 ..) was a wife of Vasily Glinka, well-known architect, professor at the Academy of Arts.
– Alexander Ivanovich (1817-1819)