Sculpture Pioneer. Model artist Yakov Troupyansky (19.12.1878, Odessa—02.02.1955, Leningrad. 1943, produced late 1940s. Bisque. Height: 25.5. No marks. Lomonosov State Porcelain Factory (?) The name of the famous sculptor Yakov Troupyansky is well known mostly due to his works in porcelain: Ballerina Elena Lyukom in the Role of Giselle (before 1923), Feodor Chaliapin in the Role of Boris Godunov (1922), and Pushkin with Nurse (1949), but the artist himself considered his main calling to be monumental decorative art. In 1891, Yakov Troupyansky graduated from the Odessa City Institute and in 1892, he entered the Odessa Art School. From 1897 to 1898, he was in Italy, studying at the Neapolitan School, and then again at the Odessa Art School, which he graduated from in 1891 with a lesser silver medal and was accepted without examination to the St. Petersburg Higher Institute at the Academy of Arts. He studied under Hugo Saleman and Vladimir Beklemishev. He was awarded the rank of artist for his diploma project, From the Hunt, in 1909. From 1910 through 1949, he worked at monumental decorative sculpture and participated in the design of a number of buildings in Leningrad, Kharkov, Kiev, and Odessa. From 1921 through 1934, he was in charge of a bronze casting factory in Leningrad, where under his supervision more than 40 monuments to leaders and prominent figures of the Soviet Union were carried out. From 1934 to 1941, he created sculptures for the Construction Office of the Navy. During the Great Patriotic War from 1941-1945, he renovated and preserved architectural monuments in the Leningrad: the Hermitage, the Admiralty, the Mining Institute, and the Senate and Synod buildings. He was awarded two medals, one ”For the Defense of Leningrad” and one “For Valiant Labor During the Great Patriotic War.”
From 1949-1955, he taught drawing, painting, and sculpture at the Leningrad Engineering and Construction Institute. For the Lomonosov State Porcelain Factory, he made models for a bust of Dostoyevsky (1922), a figurine of Feodor Chaliapin in the role of Boris Godunov in Modest Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov (1922 model, executed in 1923), Dmitry Donskoi in plaster (1942), and Pushkin and Nurse (1949). Troupyansky’s works can be found at the State Hermitage and the State Russian Museum, the State Museum of Ceramics and the Kuskovo Estate, the Odessa Painting Gallery, and in many other museums and private collections in Russia and abroad. From Troupyansky’s autobiography, it is known that in 1934 he created the bust Pioneer,1 and it was shown in its plaster version at the First Exhibition of Leningrad Artists in 1935.2 It is likely that in 1949, when Troupyansky was working on the sculpture Pushkin and Nurse, the bust Pioneer was being made in porcelain at the Lomonosov State Porcelain Factory. The difference in size between the plaster version (30 cm) and the porcelain one coincides with the 14% shrinkage of the item during firing. Until 2009, the sculpture Pioneer belonged to Troupyansky’s family. The sculpture Pioneer, presented for expert examination, is an authentic work by Troupyansky and has great historical and artistic significance as a unique work by a leading Soviet artist. 1 Central State Archive of Literature and Art, collection 78, inventory 2, file 10, sheet 9. 2 Katalog pervoy vystavki leningradskikh khudozhnikov. (Sostavlen nauchnymi sotrudnikami Gosudarstvennogo Russkogo muzeya. Vstupitel’naya stat’ya. I. V. Ginzburg). (Gosudarstvennyy Russkiy muzey zhivopisi, skul’ptury i grafiki). Leningrad, 1935, 54.
Art expert N. S. Petrova