Portrait of Fyodor Sologub

Artist: Boris Kustodiev
Date: 1912
Media: Tinted plaster
Dimensions: 41 x 21.5 x 24 cm
Ownership: Russian Museum, St Petersburg
Property of the artist (until 1926)
Style: World of Art
Portrait of Fyodor Sologub


In November 1913, Boris Kustodiev wrote to Fyodor Sologub: “Dear Fyodor Kuzmich ... the secretary of the World of Art ... has informed me of the desire of the Tretyakov Gallery to have the bust of you that I exhibited, and namely this copy. You understand how flattering this is for me – especially so for a ʻnewly-born’ sculptor. I therefore implore you to give up your copy to the Tretyakov Gallery. In exchange, I ask you to take another copy, completely identical, from my studio...”

Boris Kustodiev is referring to the plaster version of the original model of his bust of the writer. This image has all the vivaciousness of a direct work from life and was the first ever sculpture by Kustodiev to be acquired by the Russian Museum.

Five years earlier, in 1907, Boris Kustodiev had already drawn a portrait of Fyodor Sologub for the Golden Fleece magazine.

Plaster casts: Pushkin House, St Petersburg; Pavel Dogadin Picture Gallery, Astrakhan

Marble version: 1912–14, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Exhibitions: World of Art, Moscow, 1913, No. 239; St Petersburg, 1913, No. 208; First Exhibition of Sculpture, Petrograd, 1922, No. 89

Literature: Rech’, St Petersburg, 25 February 1914, No. 54, p. 7; Solntse Rossii, 1914, No. 215, pp. 12–13; Katalog khudozhestvennykh proizvedenii Gorodskoi galerei Pavla i Sergeya Tret’yakovykh. Priobreteniya Soveta Galerei v period 1912–1915 gg., Moscow, 1916, p. 5; Katalog khudozhestvennykh proizvedenii Gorodskoi galerei Pavla i Sergeya Tret’yakovykh, Moscow, 1917, No. 4048; Vsevolod Voinov, B. M. Kustodiev, Leningrad, 1926, p. 89, table 1, reproduction

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