TOLSTOY, Fyodor Petrovich
(b. 1783, St. Petersburg, d. 1873, St. Petersburg)


Russian sculptor, medallist, painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He came from a distinguished family, and in 1802 he finished his studies in the Naval Cadet Corps in St Petersburg. In the same year he entered the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg as an occasional student and soon began a career as a professional artist. Most surviving examples of his early work are wax reliefs, such as the portrait of I. I. Golovin (c. 1805-10; St Petersburg, Russian Museum) and the Self-portrait with Family (1812; Moscow, Tretyakov Gallery), and drawings.

He was one of the most fashionable Russian drawers and painters of the 1820s. Although he prepared fine illustrations for Bogdanovich's Dushenka, his genuine vocation was wax modeling and design of medals. As he gradually went blind he had to give up drawing and started writing ballets and librettos for operas. He was appointed Vice-President of the Academy of Arts in 1828, and he served for forty years (1828-1868). His works - wax-reliefs, watercolours, medallions, and silhouettes - are distinguished by a cool detachment and spare and economical classicism. Many of his works may be seen in the Russian Museum, St Petersburg.

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