Mark Antokolsky – famous Russian sculptor
Mark Antokolsky was a famous Russian sculptor, realist, professor of sculpture.
Mark was born on October 21 (November 2), 1843 in Vilnius, the Russian Empire. He was the youngest, the seventh child in a Jewish family. His parents were rather poor people and very religious. As a child Antokolsky drew wherever he could – on the table, on the walls. When the child grew up, he was sent to learn wood carving. A. A. Nazimova, a wife of the governor-general and known patron of the arts, learned about the talented boy. Thanks to her Mark entered the Academy of Fine Arts.
In 1864 Antokolsky was awarded a silver medal for the high relief Jewish Tailor, and in 1868 – the gold for the high relief Jewish Miser.
During his studies at the Academy Antokolsky became interested in Russian history and literature. And his first major work was the statue of Ivan the Terrible (1870). The work had a tremendous impact. The Academy awarded the sculptor the title of academician. Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna, patronized the Academy of Arts, was delighted with sculpture and told the Emperor Alexander II about the work of the young artist. The statue made a huge impression on the tsar, and he bought it for the Hermitage for 8000 rubles.
In 1871, Antokolsky went to Rome and Paris. In Rome, he worked on the statue of Peter the Great and later it was sent to St. Petersburg. In 1878 he showed his new works at the World Exhibition in Paris and received the highest award and was awarded the French Legion of Honor.
Antokolsky died on June 26 (July 9), 1902 in Frankfurt, German Empire and was buried in St. Petersburg, in the Preobrazhensky Cemetery.