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Russian Personalities

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

Category Archive: Men

Pavel Trubetskoy – outstanding sculptor

Pavel Trubetskoy. Photo 1910

Pavel Trubetskoy. Photo 1910


Pavel Trubetskoy (Italian – Paolo Troubetzkoy) was a Russian sculptor and painter, worked in Italy, the US, Britain, Russia and France. His work was highly appreciated by famous sculptors, artists and writers of the time. His good friend well-known Russian writer Leo Tolstoy called him primitive and extraordinarily talented.
As early as 1863 the father of the famous sculptor Prince Peter Trubetskoy was sent as a diplomat to Florence by the order of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There he met his love and future wife singer Ada Vinans, who came from the USA to Italy to take singing lessons and develop her musical abilities. Despite the fact that he was already married to a Russian girl, Peter lived with Ada. To tell the truth, he could divorce his first wife only in 1870. When the information reached the royal court, Alexander II became very angry, forbidding Trubetskoy to return to his homeland.
At that time, Peter and Ada lived in the north of Italy in Intra under the name Stahl. There their three sons were born. Paolo was born on February 15, 1866.
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Fedor Tolstoy – Russian painter

Fedor Tolstoy

Sergey Zaryanko. Portrait of the artist and sculptor Fedor Petrovich Tolstoy, vice-president of the Academy of Arts, 1850. State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg


Fedor Tolstoy (1783 – 1873) was a Russian sculptor, painter, printmaker, and medal-designer. To tell the truth, he is one of the most influential figures in Russian Art. Unfortunately, there is much less information about him than, for example, about Repin, Shishkin or Vrubel.
Count Fedor Petrovich Tolstoy was born in St. Petersburg. The father of the future artist directed the military department to provide the army with uniforms and food. The boy’s parents were eager to see their son among the officers. However, the first education little Count Tolstoy received in the Polotsk Jesuit College, where he studied languages, theology and art.
Soon the count entered the Naval Corps. As a cadet, Fedor attended the Academy of Arts as a free listener. The dream of becoming a professional artist was so strong that Fedor Petrovich decided to leave military service forever. Despite of the discontent of relatives and the opinion of others, he resigned and fully devoted himself to art. Those were years of hardship, but not for a single moment the twenty-year-old listener of the Academy of Arts did not regret his decision. He mastered the skill of the sculptor, and made sketches of plaster models under the guidance of his friend Orest Kiprensky.
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Mysteries of Russian monarchs

Mysteries of monarchs

Mysteries of monarchs


Why did the eagle appear on the seal of Ivan III? Did Ivan the Terrible kill his son? The history of Russian monarchs is full of mysteries.

Who was Rurik?
Historians have not agreed on the fact who was Rurik. According to some sources, he could be a Danish Viking Jutland or Swede Eirik Emundarson. Is there a Slavic version of Rurik’s origin? The historian of the XIX century Stapan Gedeonov linked the name of Prince with the word “Rerek” (or “Rarog”), which meant falcon in Slavic tribe Obodrits. During the excavation of the early settlements of the Rurik dynasty many images of this bird were found.
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Fedot Shubin – Russian sculptor

Fedot Shubin

Fedot Shubin. Self-portrait


Fedot Shubin was the great Russian sculptor, one of the great masters of world art. You know, he studied not only in Russia, but also in France and Italy.
The boy was born in May 1740 into a peasant family. His father Arkhangelsk Pomor Ivan Afanasyevich had slightly different surname – Shubnoy. He was not serf, could read and write, and was fond of bone carving. It was thanks to his lessons that Fedot decided to become a sculptor. To tell the truth, his father taught young Mikhail Lomonosov.
In 1759, Ivan Afanasievich Shubnoy died, and his young son went to the capital. For two years the young man studied Petersburg, he did not live in poverty, as he easily carved fans, snuffboxes, combs and other trinkets. Lomonosov was happy to patronize the son of his first teacher, and in 1761 Fedot entered the Academy of Arts. The boy was very talented. Even Count Shuvalov was amazed by his first works and also willingly patronized him.
In 1766, he made a bas-relief The Murder of Askold and Dir, which not only was awarded the Great Gold Medal, but the author also received a personal nobility and the first officer’s rank. Unfortunately, many of his works were lost.
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Nikolai Yaroshenko – Russian painter

Nikolai Yaroshenko. Self-portrait

Nikolai Yaroshenko. Self-portrait


Nikolai Yaroshenko was a Russian painter and portraitist, active participant of the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions.
The future artist was born in December 1846 in Poltava into the family of a Russian officer, who later became a general. In 1855 the boy entered the Poltava Cadet Corps. Along with the daily military training, Nikolai was engaged in painting. Two years later, Yaroshenko was transferred to the First Cadet Corps in St. Petersburg. At the age of 14 Yaroshenko began to study in the studio of the artist Adrian Markovich Volkov.
Having graduated from the Cadet Corps Nikolai entered the Pavlov Military School and began attending evening classes at the Drawing School of the Society for the Encouragement of Artists. Ivan Kramskoy became his teacher.
In 1867 Yaroshenko entered the Artillery Academy, at the same time he began attending classes of the Academy of Arts as a free listener. Then he served in the St. Petersburg cartridge factory.
In the early 1870s, the first portraits of the artist The Old Man with the Snuffbox, Peasant, Old Jew appeared. Yarosheko became a frequent guest at the drawing evenings of Ivan Kramskoy and Pavel Bryullov.
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Silvestr Shchedrin – landscape painter

Silvestr Shchedrin. Self-portrait

Silvestr Shchedrin. Self-portrait


Silvestr Shchedrin stood at the origins of the Russian romantic landscape. Despite the fact that his life was short, he left behind a lot of wonderful works. The most famous cycle of the artist is The New Rome. Castle of the Holy Angel. Thanks to his works, the landscape in Russia became an independent genre.
Biography of the artist was mainly connected with Italy, where he created his best paintings. In Russia he spent only his youth. Despite the years spent abroad, the artist always felt like a Russian person and was interested in the fate of his homeland. He was born in February 1791 into the family of the rector of the Academy of Fine Arts, Feodosiy Fedorovich Shchedrin. His uncle, Semyon Fedorovich, was a professor at the Academy.
At the age of 9 Shchedrin became a pupil at the Academy. When it was time to choose a specialization, he entered the class of his uncle, specializing in sentimental landscapes. But Semyon Fedorovich unexpectedly died, and the young man chose Professor Mikhail Ivanov. In 1808 the student received a small silver medal. The following year, he was awarded a small gold medal for his success in painting. And in 1812 Shchedrin received a large gold medal for the picture View From The Petrovsky Island.
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Hrant Shahinian – Soviet gymnast

Hrant Shahinian – Soviet gymnast

Hrant Shahinian – Soviet gymnast

Hrant Shahinian was a Soviet gymnast, seven-time champion of the USSR, two-time world champion and Olympic champion. By the way, he was Honored Master of Sports of the USSR (1952), International Judge (1957), Honored coach of the Armenian SSR (1961). Also he was Honored Worker of Physical Culture and Sports of the Armenian SSR (1966).
Hrant Amazaspovich Shahinian was born on July 30, 1923 in Gyulagarak, Armenian SSR. His parents never thought that their son could become an outstanding athlete. They hoped that he would be able to succeed in the music world. From an early age Hrant learned to play the violin. However, the boy wasn’t fascinated by music.
In 1930 his family moved to Yerevan, where he began studying gymnastics. Harutyun Gargaloyan was his coach. In 1939 the boy became the absolute champion of the USSR among youths.
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