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Fedor Petrovich Tolstoy (1783-1873)

Tolstoy (Count Fedor Petrovich) - medalist, sculptor, painter and printmaker, one of the most influential figures in the field of Russian Art (1783 - 1873).

 He received his early education in the family home in St. Petersburg, and very early showed love and extraordinary ability to draw. Was given in Polotsk Jesuit colleges, where a strong influence on him had known Father Gruber, from there, Tolstoy joined a cadet in the Marine Corps, from which, in 1802, released a midshipman in the Baltic rowing fleet.

Without ceasing to be engaged in drawing a positive vocation for art felt only by its production to warrant officers. Having decided to study sculpture and medal art at the Academy of Fine Arts, Tolstoy began attending classes at the Academy as a student and volnoprihodyaschego for greater success in their studies it was released in 1804 to retire. Hard work in the classroom and academic study of literature and history quickly developed a talent of the young artist, so that in 1806, he drew the attention of the Emperor Alexander I, who defined it at the service of the Hermitage, and in 1809 in the coin department medalist .

In the same year, the Academy of Fine Arts elected him to the honorary members. In 1825 he was made a professor at the Academy class medal in 1828 was appointed its vice-president in 1842, he was elevated to the rank of professor of the art of medal, and a year after that - and the title of professor of sculpture. Vice President, he was followed up in 1859 by converting the academy, then was the rest of his life companion of the president. In 1854, solemnly celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his artistic activities and on this occasion medal was struck in his honor.

In the history of Russian art Count Tolstoy is one of the most prominent places, not only as a talented, educated and versatile artist, but as a person, his transition from the aristocratic art in the field of value shall be exalted artistic profession in the eyes of society and the long-term stay of his running mate President of the Academy greatly promote the development of young artists.

He was an ardent admirer of ancient Greece, which from an early age he studied in its history and works of art, in his works, he tried to get closer to the beauty and nobility of the Hellenic monuments sculptures and drawings on vases, but when it was a picture of Russian and religious subjects , was able to find for them the corresponding forms and types. Composition from him - strictly deliberate, drawing - correct technical execution - diligent and skillful. Our contemporary art lovers will find that the majority of the works of Count Tolstoy on classical themes blows cold, but in their time, these works much like the public to be more original and elegant than what came out from before the cutter, pencil and brush our psevdoklassikov academic school.

Talent Count Tolstoy had shown most clearly in the works on part of medal, what are the twenty medallions with allegorical images of the events of World War II 1812 - 14 years, twelve of similar medallions to commemorate the Persian and Turkish wars of 1826 - 29 years, the coin: presentation to the University of Vilna Earl F. Chapa , from St. Petersburg militia Prince Alexander of Württemberg, in memory of the election of Grand Duke Nicholas in Abosskogo chancellor of the University, to the death of Emperor Alexander I, on the suppression of the Hungarian uprising, in memory of Duke Maximilian of Leuchtenberg, and more. etc. The works of the same kind are perfectly sculpted by Count Tolstoy, and he himself carved in bas-relief metal four scenes from Homer's Odyssey.

 As part of the sculpture itself, the most important works of the graph - composed and modeled them four major and eight side entrance doors of the Moscow Cathedral of the Savior, with ornaments and huge round figures and busts of various saints, half-length statue of Christ, a bust of Morpheus in a wreath of Lupin, a bust of Emperor Nicholas I in Slavic armor and royal purple, and a statue of the nymph, pouring water from a jug in the Peterhof Palace Park.

As a draftsman and engraver, Earl showed his art in 63 engraved them (essay) with its own large-format drawings illustrations to the poem Bogdanovich's "Soul" in the pictures in the poems of N. Scherbiny (unfortunately published only in part and in a very mediocre woodcuts). Specimen of his art can serve as a painting depicting the prospect rooms with portraits of himself, his first wife and two daughters (located at the Museum of Emperor Alexander III). Finally, it should be mentioned that they were composed of the program for two ballets with designs sets, costumes and the whole mount. - Wed "Portrait Gallery of Russian leaders' ed. A. Munster (Vol. I, St. Petersburg, 1865), N. Ramazanov "Materials for the History of Art in Russia" (Part I, Moscow, 1863), "Report of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts for the 1871 - 72 years."; "Notes of Count Tolstoy FP" ("Russian Antiquities", ie VII).

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