Dmitry Stelletsky

Born: 1875, Brest-Litovsk (Hrodno Province)
Died: 1947, Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois (near Paris)

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, applied artist, decorator, theatrical designer, illustrator, teacher. Born in Brest-Litovsk in the family of military engineer Semyon Stelletsky (1875). Grew up on his father’s estate near Bialowieza Forest (1880s). Moved with his family to St Petersburg (1896), where he studied architecture (1896–97) and sculpture under Hugo Salemann and Vladimir Beklemishev (1897–1903) at the Imperial Academy of Arts. Taught sculpture to fellow student Boris Kustodiev (1898) and travelled with him to Kostroma Province (1900) and Novgorod Province (1903). Worked at Princess Maria Tenisheva’s estate of Talashkino (1903–04), where he decorated balalaikas and designed the costumes for a performance of Nikolai Fomin’s opera based on Alexander Pushkin’s Tale of the Dead Princess and the Seven Knights (1904). Attended the Académie Julian in Paris (1904). Collaborated with satirical magazines (1905–06) and illustrated The Lay of Igor’s Host (1906). Sculpted subjects from medieval Russian history (1905–12) and polychrome portraits of Igor Stravinsky (1906), Boris von Anrep (1906–07), Alexander Golovin (1907), Leonardo da Vinci (1908), Valentin Serov (1913) and Eduard Nápravník (1913). Visited the St Therapontus Monastery of the Nativity of the Virgin and the St George (Yuriev) Monastery in Novgorod (1907). Travelled to Venice, Florence and Rome with Boris Kustodiev (1907). Designed the sets and costumes for Sergei Diaghilev’s productions of Modest Mussorgsky’s musical drama Boris Godunov at the Théâtre National de l’Opéra in Paris (1908) and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera The Maid of Pskov at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris (1909) and planned productions of Alexei Tolstoy’s drama Tsar Feodor Ioannovich at the Alexandrinsky Theatre in St Petersburg (1908–09) and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera The Snow Maiden at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg (1910–11). Member of the Union of Russian Artists (from 1910) and the World of Art (from 1912). Travelled across northern Russia (1912). Helped Vladimir Komarovsky to paint icons for Count Yury Olsufiev’s private chapel at his estate of Medem on the River Volga near the town of Khvalynsk in Saratov Province (1911–13) and the memorial church of St Sergei of Radonezh designed by Alexei Schusyev on the site of the Battle of Kulikovo in Tula Province (1913–14). Visited Italy and France (1914), where he was stranded following the outbreak of the First World War (1914). Rejected Sergei Diaghilev’s offer to design the costumes for Léonide Massine’s planned ballet Liturgie on religious grounds (1915). Illustrated Nikolai Gumilyov’s poem The Serpent (1915–16). Sketched portraits of soldiers and officers of the Russian Expeditionary Force in Champagne (1916), decorated field chapels and painted icons for the Chapelle Saint-Nicolas-le-Thaumaturge (1916, updated 1939–40). Settled in Mandelieu-la Napoule near Cannes, where he built a house and studio called Le Toit (1920s). Decorated private villas on the French Riviera and designed the Russian war monument in the Cimetière du Grand Jas at 205 Avenue de Grasse in Cannes (1920s–30s). Founding member of L’icône (1925, board member from 1927), board member of the Union of Russian Artists in France (1933). Painted icons for Église Saint-Serge-de-Radonège at 93 Rue de Crimée in Paris (1925–27), Église de l’Apparition-de-la-Vierge at 87 Boulevard Exelmans in Paris (1928), Église Saint-Vladimir, Sainte-Olga et Saint Alexandre-Nevsky at the Camp des Vitiaz in Laffrey (1935), Église Saint-Michel Archange at 36-40 Boulevard Alexandre III in Cannes (1930s) and Chapelle du Grand Martyre Georges at 16 Rue Clapier in Marseille (1930s), painted frescoes for Église Saint-Pierre and Chapelle Sainte-Anne on Rue du Jeu d’Arc in Chevincourt (1937). Designed the sets for the ballet Ivan Tsarevitch set to the music of Anton Eichenwald at the Théâtre Gamaïoun in Paris (1925) and the premiere of Le Mariage Rituel Russe after Mikhail Glinka’s opera Ruslan and Lyudmila at Nikita Balieff’s Théâtre de la Chauve-Souris and the Théâtre de la Madeleine in Paris (1926). Taught monumental and religious painting at the Russian Institute of Art and Industry at 12 Rue Victorien Sardou in Paris (1926–30) and helped to found the Ruské kulturn?-historické muzeum at Zámek Zbraslav in Prague (1935). Forced by the German authorities to move from Mandelieu-la Napoule to Paris during the Second World War (1940–42). Lost his eyesight and spent the final years of his life at the Russian retirement home established by Dorothy Paget at Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois (1942–47). Died in La maison russe and buried at the Russian cemetery in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois (1947). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1897). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1903, 1904, 1907), Leonardo da Vinci Society (1906–07), New Society of Artists (1906, 1907), World of Art (1906, 1911, 1912, 1913), Union of Russian Artists (1907–08, 1908, 1908–09, 1909, 1909–10, 1911–12, 1912–13, 1913), Sergei Makovsky Salon (1909), Sergei Diaghilev’s Exposition de l’Art russe at the Salon d’Automne in Paris (1906) and Russische Kunst-Ausstellung at the Kunstsalon Schulte in Berlin (1906), Sergei Makovsky’s Artistes russes at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune in Paris (1910), Salon d’Automne (1910s–30s), Salon de la Nationale (1910s–30s), Exposition des artistes russes à Paris en 1921 organisée par les membres et exposants de la Société Mir isskousstva (Monde artiste) at the Galerie de la Boétie in Paris (1921), exhibitions of Russian art in Paris (1921, 1931, 1932, 1948, 1967, 1972), Toronto (1925), Los Angeles (1925), Prague (1925), Brussels (1928), Belgrade (1930) and Philadelphia (1932), international exhibitions in Venice (1907, 1920), Malmö (1914) and Leipzig (1914), one-man shows at the offices of the Golden Fleece magazine in St Petersburg (1911) and the Galerie Mary-Elisabeth in Paris (1931) and a memorial exhibition at the Galerie du Faubourg in Valbonne (1991).

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