Séraphin Soudbinine

Born: 1867, Nizhny Novgorod
Died: 1944, Paris
Émigré Art

Sculptor, ceramicist. Real name: Seraphim Golovastikov. Worked in a telegraph office and took part in amateur theatrical productions. Joined the Nizhny Novgorod Theatre (1881–91), where he adopted the stage name of Sudbinin. Moved to Astrakhan (1892) and performed in provincial theatres (1890s). Joined the Moscow Art Theatre (1898), where he played the roles of both Basil Shuisky and Prince Mstislavsky in Alexei Tolstoy’s drama Tsar Feodor Ioannovich and Satin in Maxim Gorky’s play The Lower Depths (1898–1904). Took up drawing, sculpture and photography (1902) and moved to Paris (1904). Awarded a grant by Savva Morozov, which enabled him to study sculpture under Leopold Sinaeff-Bernstein (until 1906) and Auguste Rodin (from 1906). Member of the Union of Russian Artists (1906) and Salon d’Automne (1908). Exhibited a series of Sleeping Monsters at the Salon d’Automne (1906). Sculpted portraits of Konstantin Stanislavsky, Maxim Gorky, Fyodor Chaliapin, Alexander Scriabin and Auguste Rodin. Designed porcelain statuettes of Anna Pavlova and Tamara Karsavina for the Imperial Porcelain Factory in St Petersburg (1913–14). Emigrated after the revolution and lived in Paris. Visited the United States (1922–24), where he created ceramic vases and animal figurines (1930s). Suffered the destruction of his studio in an air raid during the Second World War. Contributed to the exhibitions of the Moscow Fellowship of Artists (1903), Salon d’Automne (from 1906), Salon de la Nationale, Sergei Makovsky Salon (1909), Union of Russian Artists (1906–16), Les Ballets Russes de Serge Diaghilev in Paris (1939), international exhibitions in Venice (1907), Munich (1909) and Rome (1911) and the exhibitions of Russian art in Paris (1906, 1920, 1932), Venice (1920), London (1921), New York (1923), Belgrade (1930) and Prague (1935). One-man shows in New York (1923), Paris (1934, 1939) and San Francisco (1935).

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