Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.

in the Paris Figaro competition for the figure which decorates the entrance to the offices of that journal, and carried off the second prize. They afterwards obtained the first prize in other competitions at Madrid and other Spanish centres. Their chief works are: “ Beauty dominating Strength, ” “ St Vincent de Paul, ” the large statue erected at Valencia to Don Taime Conquistador, and groups of Queen Isabella with the Prince of the Asturias, and Queen Marie Christine with Alfonso XIII.

Another sculptor of distinction is Andres Aleu, professor of the Barcelona School of Fine Arts, whose principal works are the “ St George and the Dragon ” on the facade of the Barcelona Chamber of Deputies, and Marshal Concha, the equestrian statue in Madrid. Kosendo Novas, of Catalan birth, like most modern Spanish sculptors of eminence, is best known by his masterpiece, “ The dead Torero." Manuel Oms, another Barcelona sculptor who leans to the naturalistic school, is the author of the monument to Isabella the Catholic, erected at the end of the Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid in 1883. Antonio Fabrés, who at the beginning of his career was an eminent sculptor, devoted himself subsequently to painting. Agustin Querol, and Mariano Benlliure, of Valencia, were for many years the official favourites of the Spanish government, who entrusted them with numerous important commissions, though their work was neither lofty in conception nor particularly remarkable as regards execution, and occasionally, as in Querol's monument of Alfonso XII.-especially in the completed sketch of it baroque in the extreme. Indeed, the genius of the Spanish race at all times, and particularly in the 19th century, found its expression in painting rather than in sculpture. Querol's group called “ Tradition ” is well imagined and expressive, and a good example of the best work achieved by a school in which freedom is the chief note.

Towards the end of the 19th and in the early years of the 20th centuries, Joseph Llimona y Brugena (“ The Communion ) and Blay, both of Catalan birth, were the most distinguished sculptors of Spain. The fame of Blay, who was a pupil of Chapu in Paris, has extended beyond the frontiers of his native country. His style has at the same time strength and delicacy. His chief works are the Miners' monument at Bilbao, and a group of an old man seated on a bench protecting a little girl from the cold. He also produced a great number of delicately wrought marble busts before his career was prematurely cut short. Joseph Llimona is the most personal and distinguished of all modern Spanish sculptors. His art ranges from the greatest delicacy to real power. At the International Exhibition at Barcelona in 1907 he was awarded the grand prize of honour for a group intended for the monument to Dr Robert in that city; and for a small marble figure of Pain, a work in which he has been thought to rival the Florentines of the best period. José Alcoverro, Pages y Serratora, José Gragera, Fuxa y Leal, Miguel Embil, and the brothers Osle are prominent members of the younger school and aim at giving “ the personal note." The vigour displayed by them illustrates the revivification and rejuvenation of Spanish sculpture.

Russian sculpture has practically no past to record. In its beginnings Russian art was entirely ruled by the Church, whose laws were inspired by Byzantinism, and who forced all ?;7;:, :e artists to submit to strictly fixed rules as regards form and formula. Before the 18th century, Russian sculpture was practically non-existent, except in the form of peasant wood-carving. The early stone idols (Kamenyia baby) and primitive bas-reliefs belong to the sphere of archaeology rather than of art. Real sculpture only appears at the end of the 18th century, when Peter the Great, to use his own expression, “ opened a window upon Europe ” and ordered, together with a radical change in Russian society, the introduction of western art in Russia.

From all European countries artists streamed into Russia and helped to educate native talent, and at the same time the tsar sent young artists abroad to study in foreign art centres. Among the foreign artists of this period were Conrad Hausner, Egelgrener and Schpekle; among the Russians Koulomjin, Issaeiv and Woynow. About 1776 Falconet and his wife arrived in Russia; then Gillet, whose pupil Schubin ranks among Russia's most gifted artists. Among his best-known works is the monument of Catherine II. His fame was rivalled by that of Schedrine. Kozlovski is known by his Souvorine monument. Other early sculptors of distinction were Demouth-Malinowski, the sculptor of the Soussaniev monument; Pimenow, Martos, and the medallist Count Theodore Tolstoi, who is also -known as an able illustrator. Orlovsky, Vitali and the whole preceding group represent the pseudo-classic character acquired at foreign academies. Among animal sculptors Baron Klodt is known by his horses which decorate the Anitschkine bridge at St Petersburg.

About the beginning of the 19th century the sculptor Kamenski inaugurated a more realistic tendency by his work which was inspired by contemporary life. He entered the academy after having exhibited a series of sculptures among which the most interesting were “ The First Step ” and “ Children in the Rain.” His contemporary Tschigoloif began his career in brilliant fashion, but devoted himself subsequently to the execution of commissions which did not give full scope to his gifts. The greatest talent of all was unquestionably Marc Antokolsk y (1845-1902), a Jewish sculptor permitted to work outside the Pale, of whom the Paris correspondent of The Times wrote, about 1888, that French sculptors would benefit by studying under Antokolsky, and by learning from him the power of the inspiration drawn from the study of nature. The artist himself held his statue of Spinoza to be his finest achievement. I have put into this statue, ” he wrote, “ all that is best in me. In the hard moments of life I can find peace only before this work.” Equally beautiful is “ The Christian Martyr, ” in the creation of which Antokolsky dehnitely broke all the fetters of tradition and strove no longer to express linear beauty, but intense truth. The martyr is an ugly, deformed woman, tortured and suffering, but of such beautiful sentiment that under the influence of religious extasis her very soul seems to rise to the surface. Among his other works few are better known than “ Mephistopheles ” (which he wanted to call “ The 19th Century ”) and the powerful “ Ivan the Terrible, ” which the Russian critic Starsoff called “ The Torturer Tortured.” The whole strange psychology of this ruler, whose compeer in history can only be found perhaps in the person of Louis XI., is strikingly expressed by Antokolsky. Very beautiful is the statue of Peter the Great, which breathes strength, intelligence, genius and devouring activity. To the works already mentioned must be added the statues of Ermak and of Nestor. Antokolsky has left to the world a gallery of the most striking figures in Russian history, giving to each one among them his proper psychology. His technique is always marked by perfect sureness and frequently by dazzling bravura.


Antokolsky was twenty-one years of age when he left St Petersburg. The academy at that time was in a state of complete decadence, under the rule of worthy old professors who remained strangers to their pupils, just as their pupils remained strangers to them. When Professors Piminoff and Raimers died, soon after, the academy seemed quite deserted; but just at that time a number of very gifted students began to work with energy, learning all they could from one another, fired by the same purpose and spirit. Antokolsky was in closing touch with his friend, the painter Repin, with whom he worked much; and so failed to come under the influence of the idealist M. V. Praklow, who soon began to deliver certain lectures on art which excited keen interest among the young workers. Antokolsky tried the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts, but finding it ruled by the same routine, he returned before long to St Petersburg, where within a short time he executed the statue of “ Ivan the Terrible " to which he owed his fame. ' This epoch became the starting-point of Russian sculpture, so that Antokolsky deserves an eminent position in the history of Russian art.

Among his upils was his faithful follower and friend Ilia Ginsbourg (b. 185953 who devoted himself to genre scenes and portraits in the spirit of his master, but with a degree of sincerity and enthusiasm which save him from the reproach of plagiarism. Lancéré (1848~1887) is known by his military statuett¢S, Libérich (1828-1883) has left few remarkable works. Léopold Bernstamm always practised in Paris; among his works are a great number of portraits and a few monuments that are not without merit. Among con# temporary sculptors, whose number is still restricted in Russia, and whose artistic merit remains stationary, without marked progress and with little evidence of evolution, are Beklemicheff, Bach, Brodsky, Mikechine, T ourgeneff, Auber and Bernstein. Prince Troubetzkoi, who is counted among the sculptors of Russia, though

he was educated and worked in Italy, acquired some reputation by