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 Paul Petrovich Troubetzkoy  (1866 - 1938)

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Lived/Active: California/New York / Russian Federation/Unknown Country/Italy/France      Known for: small scale figure and monumental sculpture and portrait painting

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Prince Paolo Troubetzkoy is primarily known as Paul Petrovich Troubetzkoy

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Paolo Troubetzkoy
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Paolo or Paul Troubetzkoy was an artist and a sculptor of Russia's Troubetzkoy princely family, who was described by G.B. Shaw as "the most astonishing sculptor of modern times".

He worked in Russia, America, England and Italy.  He was a self taught artist, although he learned sculpture from Giuseppe Grandi.  He is associated with impressionism, due to his ability to grasp sketchy movements in his bronze works.  He "portraited" the society of the Belle Epoque.  Few of his bronzes are still available in the market.  Quite famous is the 35 cm high portrait of Costance Stewart Richardson called The Dancer.

The largest and best known of his works is the monumental equestrian statue of the Russian Tsar Alexander III in St. Petersburg, Russia.  The monument was opened in 1909 on the Nevsky Prospekt near the Moskovsky Vokzal terminal.  After the Russian revolution of 1917, the Soviet government removed the monument from the main street to the backyard of the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.  After the collapse of the Soviet Union the monument to Tsar Alexander III was placed in front of the Marble Palace near the embankment of the Neva river.

Troubetzkoy was a vegetarian.  His vegetarian friend Bernard Shaw remarked: “Troubetzkoy is a gigantic and terrifying humanitarian who can do anything with an animal except eat it”.

Alexandra Tolstoy, daughter of the great novelist Leo Tolstoy wrote in her father’s biography: "From time to time he posed – a tiring obligation – for painters and sculptors: for Repin, Pasternak who did a study of the family, Aronson, and Paolo Trubetskoy.  Trubetskoy, a Russian educated in Italy, did some splendid little statues of Tolstoy – one of him on horseback.  Father was very fond of him.  A sweet and childlike person in addition to his great gifts, he read practically nothing, spoke little, all his life was wrapped up in sculpture.  As a convinced vegetarian he would not eat meat but cried: “Je ne mange pas de cadavre!” if anyone offered him some. In his studio in St. Petersburg there was a whole zoo: a bear, a fox, a horse, and a vegetarian wolf."

Troubetzkoy once said “As I cannot kill, I cannot authorize others to kill. Do you see? If you are buying from a butcher you are authorizing him to kill – to kill helpless, dumb creatures which neither you nor I could kill ourselves.”


Biography from Crocker Art Museum Store:
Sculptor. Born in Lago Maggiore, Italy on Feb. 16, 1866, a member of a noble Russian family. Troubetzkoy studied in France, Italy, and Russia. His early career was spent in his native city; in 1897 he settled in Moscow where his family had been prominent for several centuries.

He was a close friend of Count Tolstoy and created several portrait busts of the Count.

After the revolution he made many trips to the U.S. and had studios in NYC and Los Angeles. Troubetzkoy died in Italy on Feb. 12, 1938.  He was the brother of portrait painter Pierre Troubetzkoy (1864-1936).

Paris Expo, 1900 (grand prize). In: AIC; De Young Museum (bust of Michael de Young); Natl Gallery (Rome); Luxembourg Museum. CD; Ben; Fld; WWAA 1938; NY Times, 2-14-1938 (obit).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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