Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Anna Golubkina

Vartkes has sent me some more jpgs of interest to Armenian sculptors -- this time introducing me to Anna Golubkina (1864-1927) As is so often case, I had never heard of her, but she is well-known in Russia as the first famous female sculptor.

A Russian website for her can be found here

And a very interesting biography on Wikipedia is posted here

An uneducated, but literate, peasant ? Replacing Camille Claudel as Rodin's assistant ? Jailed as a revolutionary -- but disilllusioned with life under Stalin ? It's quite a life.

All of the pieces shown below were done between 1903 and 1913.

I can't think of any other scultpure quite like this -- it's 19th C. social realism rather than 20th century socialist realism -- and this peasant is a bit menacing -- and not at all elegant or charming.

He belongs in the realworld, rather than the art world -- and the piece seems more of a tragic historical document and less of something I would like to live with every day.

There's something tragic - and something ugly -- about all these pre-revolutionary pieces. And there's something hopeless -- or is poignant ? --about putting these rough people into poses appropriate for Classical sculpture.

But she does have a gentle side -- like the ones shown on the Russian website -- and like this portrait of a sculptor ( herself ? )-- with a just a touch of Romantic flair.

But I think the tragic-ugly ones are the ones I'll remember.


By way of contrast, consider Count Troubetsky -- a contemporary of hers who is also called a Russian Impressionist:

Troubetsky's work seems to have greater appeal to collectors: I've found it in many books of Russian sculpture -- while I'd never seen Golubkina until now.


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