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Russian Personalities

People well-known in art, sport, film, fashion

Category Archive: Men

Valentin Rasputin – Russian writer

Valentin Rasputin – Russian writer

Valentin Rasputin – Russian writer


Valentin Rasputin was a Russian writer, publicist and public figure. You know, he is one of the few Russian writers for whom Russia is not just a geographical place where he was born, but the Motherland in the highest and fullest sense of the word. The writer was fond of village, the cradle and soul of Russia.
The future novelist was born on March 15, 1937 in the village of Ust-Uda, East-Siberian region. When the boy was 2 years old, his parents moved to the village Atalanka. The beauty of Siberian nature, seen by Valentin during the first years of his life, amazed him so much that it became an integral part of every work.
The boy read a lot and borrowed books in the library and the homes of fellow villagers. His mother worked in a bank, and the father, a front-line hero, became the head of the post office. One day, his father was robbed and later sent to Kolyma. The mother remained alone with three children.
Valentin studied in the village Ust-Uda, fifty kilometers from the village where he lived. By the way, the writer described his life of that difficult period in a remarkable and surprisingly truthful story French Lessons.
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Vasily Demut-Malinovsky – Russian sculptor

Vasily Demut-Malinovsky – Russian sculptor

Vasily Demut-Malinovsky – Russian sculptor


Vasily Demut-Malinovsky (1779-1846) was a Russian sculptor. To tell the truth, he was the greatest representative of the Russian Empire.
The future sculptor was born in St. Petersburg on March 2, 1779. His father worked as a wood carver. In 1785, while still a child, six-year-old Vasily began to study at the Academy of Arts. Remarkable Russian sculptor Mikhail Kozlovsky played a great role in the education of Demut-Malinovsky. He taught at the Academy.
Together with the teacher, Demut-Malinovsky created the plot relief The Capture Of Frigates at the Battle of Gangut. This responsible work brought the young artist a great gold medal. He was left as a pensioner at the Academy.
After the death of Kozlovsky, Demut-Malinovsky created a tombstone project for the famous Russian artist. On December 11, 1802 at the Great Assembly of the Academy of Fine Arts Demutu-Malinovsky was awarded the Grand Gold Medal.
In 1803, Vasily, among other pensioners of the Academy of Arts, went to Italy for further improvement in art. And in early June of the same year he went to the famous Italian sculptor Antonio Canova. Also he studied ancient art, got acquainted with the works of modern Italian masters.
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Alexander Benois – Russian artist

Alexander Benois – Russian artist

Alexander Benois – Russian artist


The famous Russian artist Alexander Benois (1870-1960) was born into a well-known family. His mother Camilla Albertovna Benois (Kavos) was a musician and the father was a famous architect. You know, there were nine children in the family.
The future artist spent his childhood in St. Petersburg, where he studied at the private gymnasium of Karl May. Alexander continued his studies at the Faculty of Law of the St. Petersburg University and simultaneously attended classes at the Academy of Fine Arts. By the way, Benois showed himself as a writer and art critic, and supplemented Mutter’s book The History of European Art with a chapter on Russian art. From 1896 to 1898, Alexander lived and worked in France, where he painted the Versailles Series.
Besides, in 1898, Benois together with S. Diaghilev organized the association World of Art. The participants of the association held exhibitions, in which Roerich, Vrubel, Serov, Bilibin, Vasnetsov, Korovin and Dobuzhinsky took part. However, not all eminent artists favorably treated the World of Art. In particular, Repin did not like this company very much.
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Mark Antokolsky – famous Russian sculptor

Ilya Repin. Portrait of Mark Antokolsky

Ilya Repin. Portrait of Mark Antokolsky


Mark Antokolsky was a famous Russian sculptor, realist, professor of sculpture.
The boy 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 four years later, in 1868, the artist received the gold for the high relief Jewish Miser.
During his studies at the Academy Antokolsky became interested in Russian history and literature. In 1870 the sculptor created the statue of Ivan the Terrible, which had a tremendous impact. The young man was awarded the title of academician. Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna, who 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, for those times it was a huge amount of money.
After graduating from the Academy 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.
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Abram Arkhipov – Russian painter

Girl with a jug by Abram Arkhipov

Girl with a jug by Abram Arkhipov


Abram Arkhipov was a Russian painter, Peredvizhnik.
The boy was born on August 15 (27), 1862 into a poor peasant family in Ryazan Gubernia. This fact left an indelible mark on the life of the famous master, his whole creative career was devoted to describing the traditional way of life of the peasants, hard life and hard work of the simple people.
Abram was very talented and the parents encouraged him. In 1877 he was sent to Moscow to study at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. In addition, from 1884 to 1886 he studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. Arkhipov started out as a genre artist, as his teacher Vasily Perov.
In 1887, Arkhipov got a large silver medal and the title of the class artist for the painting Visiting the Sick Woman, which depicts the artist’s mother.
In 1891 Abram joined the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions. Many works of that period, such as Visiting the Sick Woman, Along the river Oka, Lay Brother were bought by Pavel Tretyakov for his collection.
In 1896 and 1912, the artist visited France, Germany and Italy.
In 1898 he received the title of Academician (full member of the Academy of Arts since 1916).
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Prince Andrei Bogolubskii

V. Vasnetsov. Prince Andrei Bogolyubskii

V. Vasnetsov. Prince Andrei Bogolyubskii


Prince Andrei Bogolubskii (1110-1174), the son of Yuri Dolgoruky, was a rather tough man, but the history of North-Eastern Russia with the capital in Vladimir is associated with his name. Bogolubskii conquered Kiev in 1169 and put an end to Kievan Russia, which ceased to exist as a single state, having turned into a sort of modern CIS.
The young prince did not want to quarrel with his relatives for the throne of Kiev, and after his father’s death in 1115 he went to the north, where the Rostovites and Suzdalians recognized him as their prince. There he founded the new Grand Duchy of Vladimir, which was destined to become the heart of the Russian state for almost two centuries. He undertook several successful military campaigns. The prince declared Vladimir the capital, and appropriated himself the title of Grand Duke of All Russia, and in Western historiography he is often called the first Russian tsar.
The only information about Bogolubskii’s birth date (1111) is in Vasily Tatishchev’s History written 600 years later. In 1146 Andrei together with his elder brother Rostislav expelled an ally of Izyaslav Mstislavich – Rostislav Yaroslavich from Ryazan.
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Orest Kiprensky – master of portrait

Orest Kiprensky. Self-portrait

Orest Kiprensky. Self-portrait


The Russian artist Orest Kiprensky, whose pictures excited the Russian public throughout the first half of the 19th century, was born on March 24, 1782. The boy was born in the estate of the poor nobleman A. Dyakonov. His mother was serf Anna Gavrilova. A year after the birth of the future artist, Dyakonov gave him the name Orest, but did not recognize him as a son. Anyway, he fully supported the boy, gave him freedom and took care of his future. According to the documents Orest became a member of serf Adam Schwalbe’s family.
At the age of six, Orest was sent to study at the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. He studied at the Academy until 1803 and continued to study painting under the leadership of the famous Russian artist G. Ugryumov.
The next few years Orest lived in the barracks, was humiliated. But strangely enough, an unhappy fate became an incentive for further creative development. The artist always took an album with drawings with him.
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