Ivan Martos

Born: 1754, Ichnia (Poltava Province)
Died: 1835, St Petersburg

Sculptor, teacher. Father-in-law of Alexei Yegorov. Studied under Nicolas-François Gillet and Louis Rolland at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1764–73). Fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts in Rome (1773–79), where he studied under Pompeo Batoni and Anton Raphael Mengs. Returned to Russia (1779) and sculpted marble tombstones for the Monastery of Our Lady of the Don in Moscow and the St Alexander Nevsky Monastery in St Petersburg. Married a beautiful young noblewoman called Matryona (c. 1780). After her early death, he married her impoverished half-Persian niece, Avdotia Spiridonova, after seeing her being mistreated by his daughter (c. 1815). Worked in various classical styles, ranging from Ancient Roman (1789) to Early Neoclassicism (1780s–90s), Empire (1800s–10s) and Romanticism (1820s–30s). Sculpted bronze-reliefs and a statue of St John the Baptist for the Kazan Cathedral in St Petersburg (1804–07). Designed the monument to Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky on Red Square in Moscow (1804–18) and the statues of Duc de Richelieu in Odessa (1823–28), Mikhail Lomonosov in Arkhangelsk (1826–29), Tsar Alexander I in Taganrog (1828–31) and Prince Grigory Potemkin in Kherson (1828–36). Taught sculpture at the Imperial Academy of Arts (from 1779), professor (1794), rector (1814), professor emeritus (1831). Honorary member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp (1827). Died in St Petersburg and buried at the St Alexander Nevsky Monastery (1835).

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