Russian animalist sculptor Alexey Sotnikov
Sotnikov belongs to those masters of the 20th century who in a peculiar way managed to develop the principles of great realistic and humanistic art. Sotnikov’s activity began in the 1930s of the last century, during the period of outstanding achievements of Soviet sculpture in its various forms and genres. Art of A.G. Sotnikov is whole and holistic. It can be considered in any way: as a porcelain artist who knows the material perfectly, and as an original plastic with high professionalism. Also, an interesting and unexpected constructor. He is a national artist, and at the same time, of course, an artist of high European class. And yet, the main thing in the sculptor’s work is the deepest love of nature and the greatest naturalness and immediacy of approach to the depicted phenomena.
According to the sculptor, he translates talk and thoughts of animals into his own language. In animalistics, as in all art, there is a division into easel, decorative, and monumental forms. Sotnikov works in all three genres, and even wider. In particular, he uses more approaches to nature.
Throughout his life, he carried that compassion to the small birds and to the proud bird, and to a strong beast, and to the man who is so characteristic of a folk artist.
Category Archive: Animals
Russian animalist sculptor Alexey Sotnikov
Russian sculptor-animalist Dmitry Gorlov
Born in 1899 in St. Petersburg, Dmitry Vladimirovich Gorlov is a famous animal sculptor and graphic artist, honored Artist of Russia. Soon after birth, his family moved to Bogorodsk, where he spent his childhood and youth. There he graduated from the Bogorodsk Real College, in which he received his primary education. The young man was clearly attracted to art, but he was not going to become a professional artist. He dreamed of a “real business”, he wanted to create the material values necessary for the young Soviet republic. D.V. Gorlov changed many different professions, but at the same time constantly painted.
From 1921 to 1923, he received higher education at VKHUTEMAS (Higher Art and Technical Studios). The animal artist Vasily Vatagin helped him make the final choice of the path. Indeed, he greatly influenced Gorlov and took him as an assistant to the Darwin Museum. They were brought together by a love for the profession and an interest in animals. Also, they both believed in the humanistic significance of animalistic themes, and a serious, meaningful treatment of sculptural materials.
First launched into space dog Laika monument
Installed in front of the building of the Institute of Military Medicine (Moscow), the dog Laika monument stands on the Petrovsko-Razumovskaya alley in the area of the Dynamo stadium. It was here in 1957. Laika was trained to fly into space, knowing that she would not return to the Earth. The author of the monument – sculptor Pavel Medvedev, and the concept itself belongs to the famous artist Sergey Pakhomov. The monument appeared here just the day before the Day of Cosmonautics, April 11, 2008.
The two-meter-high monument is a space rocket transforming into the palm, on which Laika stands proudly (real life size). The poem on the pedestal reads:
Simple Russian mongrel,
She had a great honor.
From the heavy life of a stray dog
To crawl triumphantly into space.
But great Laika did not know.
After all, it is difficult for a dog to understand.
That life has become her feat
And no one can take away her fame.
She flew over the planet.
By sacrificing herrself honestly.
And for the sake of science burned,
Staying forever a star.
Behind the symbolic Bear monuments
Chosen as the animal symbol of Russia, the bear is truly the king of the forest. Although brown bear appears to be capable only of roaring, in fact, this is an intelligent beast. Having no equal in strength in the northern latitudes, the bear was worshiped by ancient Rusichs. They made multiple totems in the form of a bear and believed that such a guard would necessarily protect them from enemies, and would give strength in battle. In Russia and there was a cult of the bear.
Meanwhile, the cutest image of bear quite recently has become a famous character of the cartoon “Masha and Bear”.
Sculptures of Masha and the Bear are available in several regions of Russia and other countries. In particular, Sterlitamak (Bashkortostan), Kemerovo and Tashtagol (Kemerovo Region), Volgograd, Elani and Surovikin (Volgograd Region), Kuznetsk (Penza Region), Emanzhelinsk (Chelyabinsk Region), Vileyka (Minsk region, Byelorussia), and Bryansk (Bryansk region). Besides, in other cities featured here – Blagoveshchensk, Donetsk, Perm, Yevpatoria, and Sochi.
James Doran-Webb driftwood animal sculpture
Born in 1967, Doran-Webb is a British sculptor living in the Philippines. James spent his early childhood in Devon. Meanwhile, his parents, art historians and antique researchers, travelled a lot and took James with them. Accordingly, he spent his teenage years in various cities getting acquainted with the antiques restoration and, in particular, with art. In addition, he had to change cities and schools during his traveling. Basel, Switzerland, Italy, the US and France… Having returned to London he entered The Courtold Institute to study art. However, very soon he had started his own antiques business selling items at Portobello Market.
Mythological bird Sirin monuments
The sculpture of the mythological bird Sirin appeared in the Russian city of Sterlitamak in 2015. According to the Slavic and, in particular Russian mythology, Sirin is a wonderful bird of paradise, possessing a charming voice. In medieval Russian legends, sometimes it flies to earth and sings prophetic songs about the coming bliss, but sometimes these songs can prove harmful to a person – you can lose your mind. Therefore, in some legends, Sirin acquires a negative value, so that it even begins to be considered a dark bird, a messenger of the underworld. The Sirin bird is afraid of loud sounds, so to scare it off, people ring bells, shoot guns, and blow trumpets.
The author of the sculpture is Valentin Mikhailovich Rechikov, St. Petersburg. Born in 1954 in the village of Volovo, Moscow Region – Meshchera on the river Pra. He graduated from the Higher Art and Industrial School of VI Mukhina in 1991. Participant of more than 100 exhibitions and more than 10 symposia on stone, wood in Russia and abroad.
The history of deer sculpture in Smolensk is quite interesting. In 1909, during the hunt in the Rominsten forest, the German Kaiser Wilhelm II killed a deer. The animal made a very strong impression on him, and he decided to install a statue of a deer in his castle. For many years the monument adorned the courtyard of the hunting castle in East Prussia, but in 1944 the statue mysteriously disappeared. In 1945, the sculpture, found by Soviet soldiers at the dacha of Goering, moved to Smolensk.
By the way, one deer horn weighs 200 kg. Meanwhile, residents and visitors of the city of Smolensk have a fun tradition – to rub the genitals of a deer to attract good luck.