Prince Paolo Petrovich Troubetzkoy (also known as Pavel or Paul; Russian: Павел Петрович Трубецкой, romanizedPavel Petrovich Trubetskoy; Intra, Italy, 15 February 1866 — Pallanza, 12 February 1938) was an artist and a sculptor who was described by George Bernard Shaw as "the most astonishing sculptor of modern times".[1][2] By birth, he was a member of the ancient House of Trubetskoy.

Portrait of Paolo Troubetzkoy by Valentin Serov
Portrait of Troubetzkoy, etching, by Anders Zorn, 1909
Portion of St. Louis Post-Dispatch page of March 17, 1912, shows reporter Marguerite Martyn, in the center, making sketches for her article on Troubetzkoy and his wife, Elin Sundström (drawing right and photo center). The layout also includes a caricature that Troubetzkoy did of Sundström and himself, as well as Troubetzkoy quotations that Martyn noted.

Life Edit

He was the son of Russian diplomat, Prince Peter Petrovich Troubetzkoy and his second wife, lyric singer Ada Winans (1831-1917). His paternal grandmother was Princess Emilie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn (1801-1869), which makes him great-grandson of famous Marshal Prince Peter zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg-Ludwigsburg. He worked in Italy, Russia, the United States, England and France. He was a self-taught artist, although he learned painture from Daniele Ranzoni during his childhood and sculpture from Giuseppe Grandi. He is associated with impressionism, due to his ability to grasp sketchy movements in his bronze works. He was heavily influenced by the work of Auguste Rodin and Medardo Rosso.[3] He depicted the society of the Belle Époque. Few of his bronzes are still available in the market. Quite famous is the 35 cm high portrait of Constance Stewart-Richardson called "The Dancer". His work was also part of the sculpture event in the art competition at the 1912 Summer Olympics.[4]

The largest and best known of his works is the monumental equestrian statue[5] of the Russian Tsar Alexander III in St. Petersburg, Russia. The monument was opened in 1909 on the Nevsky Prospekt near the Moskovsky Vokzal terminal. After the Russian revolution of 1917, the Soviet government removed the monument from the main street to the rear of the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, in 1994, the monument to Alexander was placed in front of the Marble Palace near the embankment of the Neva river, at the former site of the armoured car that transported Lenin from Finland Station.[6]

After his death, all the plaster works preserved in his ateliers in Neuilly-sur-Seine and Verbania Pallanza were donated by his heirs to Museo del Paesaggio in Verbania Pallanza. Currently the Museum preserves more than 300 Troubetzkoy's sculptures.

Vegetarianism Edit

Troubetzkoy was a vegetarian. His vegetarian friend George Bernard Shaw remarked: “Troubetzkoy is a gigantic and terrifying humanitarian who can do anything with an animal except eat it”.[1][7]

Alexandra Tolstoy, daughter of the great novelist Leo Tolstoy wrote in her father's biography: "From time to time he posed – a tiring obligation – for painters and sculptors: for Repin, Pasternak who did a study of the family, Aronson, and Paolo Troubetzkoy. Troubetzkoy, a Russian educated in Italy, did some splendid little statues of Tolstoy – one of him on horseback. Father was very fond of him. A sweet and childlike person in addition to his great gifts, he read practically nothing, spoke little, all his life was wrapped up in sculpture. As a convinced vegetarian he would not eat meat but cried: "Je ne mange pas de cadavre!" if anyone offered him some. In his studio in St. Petersburg there was a whole zoo: a bear, a fox, a horse, and a vegetarian wolf.[8]

Troubetzkoy once said “As I cannot kill I cannot authorize others to kill. Do you see? If you are buying from a butcher you are authorizing him to kill — kill helpless, dumb creatures, which neither I nor you could kill ourselves.”[9]

Personal life Edit

Troubetzkoy was married twice. His first marriage was to a Swedish woman, Elin Sundström (1883–1927) and his second marriage was to a British woman named Muriel Marie Boddam. His son Pierre died at the age of 2+12 years[10] - he sculpted in the same year the sculpture "Maternity"[clarification needed].

Gallery Edit

Expositions Edit

The Troubetzkoy Archive Project Edit

The Troubetzkoy Archive Project provides a central database for the works of Paul Troubetzkoy.[11] It was created by James Drake on behalf of the Museo del Paesaggio in Verbania, where more than 300 Troubetzkoy's plaster works are preserved.[12][13]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ a b G.B. Shaw, Preface to the catalogue of an exhibition of sculpture by Troubetzkoy at the P. & D. Colnaghi Galleries, London, 1931, in The Complete Prefaces: 1930-1950 (Allen Lane, 1997), pp. 97-98.
  2. ^ "Sale of the week: Troubetzkoy bronzes". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 2022-12-11.
  3. ^ Mackay, James, The Animaliers, E.P. Dutton & Co., 1973
  4. ^ "Paolo Troubetzkoy". Olympedia. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  5. ^ The night view of the equestrian monument to Tsar Alexander III: see here
  6. ^ Figes, Orlando: A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891–1924. The Bodley Head, London (2014). p. 15.
  7. ^ IVU Congress souvenir book (1957). Warriors for Vegetarianism.
  8. ^ Alexandra Tolstoy, Tolstoy: A Life of my Father, London, 1953, p. 413.
  9. ^ From an interview. Reported in The Vegetarian Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 2, 1907, p. 22. Also quoted in Gail Davis, Vegetarian Food for Thought, pp. 69, NewSage Press, 1999.
  10. ^ Sotheby's catalogue "Russian Works Of Art, Fabergé & Icons", 27 November 2018, London: photo of Troubetzkoy's bust of his son, 1915
  11. ^ "Home". The Troubetzkoy Archive Project. Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  12. ^ "James Drake | Philanthropy". James Drake. Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  13. ^ "Homepage". Museo del Paesaggio. Retrieved 2021-10-06.

Further reading Edit

  • Prince Paul Troubetzkoy: The Belle Epoque Captured in Bronze. London: Sladmore Gallery. 2008. ISBN 978-1901403312.

External links Edit