Mikhail Blokh (Moisei Bloch)

Mikhail Blokh (Moisei Bloch)
Born: 1885, Warsaw
Died: 1920, Petrograd
Selected works:
The Proletarian

Polish Jewish sculptor, teacher. Born in the family of Phoebus Bloch in Warsaw (1885). Studied at the Odessa School of Art (first half of 1900s) and under Vladimir Beklemishev at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St Petersburg (1906–13). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1907). Contributed to the spring exhibitions of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1907, 1911, 1913–16), Exhibition of Works of Art in Aid of Polish Invalids in Petrograd (1916), Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1916, 1917) and the Jewish Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1917, 1918). Awarded the title of artist (1913). Sculpted such compositions as Hungry (1907), Hunting (1912), Hoard (1914), After the Battle (1915), Defence (1916) and Prometheus (1917) and portraits of Vera Komissarzhevskaya (1910), Isaac Brodsky (1913), Ilya Repin (1916), Pavel Samoilov as Hamlet (1917), Maxim Gorky (1917–18), Kornei Chukovsky (1918), Vladimir Volodarsky (1918) and Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg (1920). Designed such unsurviving Communist monuments as Great (Red) Metalworker (1918), Worker and Peasant (1919) and The Proletarian (1920). Suffered a heart attack following a scandal over his statue of a naked worker (1920). Accused of spying for Poland after writing about the scandal to his family in Warsaw and executed by firing squad in Petrograd despite attempts by Grigory Zinoviev and other Bolsheviks to save him (1920).

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