In 1803, Admiral Kruzensten (1770–1846), a Corresponding Academician of the Petersburg Academy of Sciences, formed Russia’s first global expedition, and led the two ships “Hope” and “Neva” to set off around the world. During the inspection, it is necessary to have a young and promising assistant who knows how to sail. The admiral found Fedor Tolstoy, who was studying at the Naval Armament Academy in Petersburg. However, such a coveted assignment was rejected by the 20-year-old Tolstoy family boy. The reason for the rejection may be the boy Indifferent to fame and fortune, it may also be that he has another ambition – to devote himself to the art career.
A year later, Fedor retired and entered the Hermitage in 1806 to work. This is one of the largest art, culture and history museums in the world established in Russia in 1764. It has a large collection of ancient oriental, ancient Egyptian, ancient Roman, ancient Greek and medieval eastern and western cultural and artistic treasures, as well as a large number of 8– Precious cultural relics of 19th century Russia. Obviously, this extensive work laid a solid foundation for the artistic career of the future artist Fedor Tolstoy.
Few people now know that the 4 main doors and 8 side doors of the Cathedral of the Savior in Moscow were cast according to the design of Count Fedor Tolstoy. Believers often stop by the door to admire the exquisite patterns on the door, the huge circular figures and the busts of the Holy Spirit. In Pushkin’s long poem “Evgeny Onegin”, known as the Russian encyclopedia, Pushkin wrote when describing the memorial book of the heroine Olga: “The memorial book, you are luxurious and grand… Tolstoy uses the magic brush… to decorate you with a swipe…”
Although the great poet Pushkin only used the phrase “magic brush” when referring to Fedor Tolstoy, it is enough to show that Fedor’s art Extraordinary power.
At the age of 21, Fedor Tolstoy was faced with the choice of whether to join the official career. This is a reliable way to high-ranking officials and riches. Before Fedor, dozens of family members had spent their entire lives in the official career. . But Fedor was an exception, opting for an art career with an uncertain future. More than two hundred years ago, this kind of occupation was something that any disciple who cherished the status of his famous family would be ashamed to care about it.
The upper class did not support Fedor Tolstoy because he was artistically gifted, they opposed it, and they were ashamed that as an earl, he would do whatever art was reckless, and he had to work to earn money to support himself. occupation, which is incompatible with the dignity of the nobility.
A memoirist wrote that on one occasion, Fedor was a guest at his aunt’s house, and it happened that Tsar Alexander I (1777–1825) was there too. The hostess took the opportunity to present her nephew’s painting to the tsar for appreciation, and the tsar immediately called the painter and said, “I will ask you to serve in the Heavy Cavalry Regiment (the Guard of Honor of the Czar when the grand ceremony was held in the 18th century). I have many officers. , I can promote as many as I want, but I can’t create an artist like you, so I hope you can go your own way with your own artistic talent!”
But the Tsar’s appreciation could not change the prejudice of the society. : A nobleman with a title and a prominent social status, who is desperate to “be a ‘painter'”, has not only tarnished his aristocratic family, but also brought shame to the entire aristocratic class!
His fiancee’s father The daughter said: “I know you love him, but we don’t approve of this marriage. He has no public office, is not doing a proper job, and he will not be able to do anything.”
In this regard, the deviant Feiduo Count Er Tolstoy did not hesitate to engage in his artistic study and creation. As a result, some “decent families” in Petersburg “respected” him and turned him away. This shows the humble social status of artists in feudal society.
Although Fedor had a “magical brush”, he left few paintings. The most famous work is the long poem “Baby” for the poet Bogdanovich (1743–1803). The series of illustrations are now in the Research Museum of the Former Soviet Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. Fedor’s most prominent artistic achievement is the art of sculpture and medal model engraving. In 1804, he entered the medal model engraving class of the Academy of Fine Arts, under the tutelage of the famous classicist sculptor Ivan Prokofiev (1758–1828). In 1806, he worked in the Hermitage Museum, and in 1810 in the Mint. In 1809, he was awarded the title of honorary academician of the Academy of Fine Arts, and in 1842, he was awarded the title of professor of medal model engraving art. From 1828 to 18S9, he served as vice president of the Academy of Fine Arts and honorary academician of the Florence Academy of Fine Arts in Italy.
In March 1814, as a member of the anti-French Allies, the Russian army also entered Paris, Napoleon announced his abdication and was exiled to the island of Elmar in the Mediterranean. When the news reached Petersburg, Fedor rejoiced and decided to create a series of circular reliefs to commemorate the victory in the Great Patriotic War. Among them is a relief of a portrait of Tsar Alexander I, who portrayed the Tsar as a Slavic god who embodied both the temperament of the god of war and the temperament of the goddess of wisdom. However, due to the difficulty of production funds, and the tsar was busy in Paris dealing with the affairs of the alliance with France, no one in the country dared to decide whether to give funds to the artist, so Fedor’s work was temporarily put on hold. At this time, a medal model engraver named Lorenz Bosch in Berlin obtained a plaster sculpture of the above-mentioned Slavic god, and he immediately made a large number of pig iron replicas, which sold very well. At least the Russian soldiers who are about to return home. After they returned to China, someone asked Fedor to appreciate this exquisite replica. They thought that Fedor would also be amazed by the superb craftsmanship of the Prussian sculptor. Unexpectedly, the Russian artist looked at the visitor for a while Suggestion: If you are literate, take a close look at the inscription below the portrait and the author’s name. Then he showed his wax statue and bronze model, with an inscription in French: “Designed and made by Count Fedor Tolstoy.”
The shrewd Berlin boss not only earned 15,000 Reichsmark, but also paid to Russia The tsar offered a piece “of his own”, and the tsar gave back a diamond ring engraved with his initials, worth 5,000 rubles.
The tsar gave high marks to the German replica, and the real one presented by Fedor was also appreciated by the tsar. He gave Fedor a gemstone ring, but it was far less valuable than the one given to the Germans. The tsar favored one over the other, but made a far-sighted consideration, believing that the immediate priority was to allocate the necessary funds from the state treasury immediately, so that the artist could continue to work.
From then on, Fedor Tolstoy became famous not only in Russia but also in Europe as a sculptor. On May 18, 1918, the great German writer Goethe wrote to Sergei Uvalov (1786–1855), President of the Russian Academy of Sciences: “I see the art of Count Tolstoy on a plaster piece in the form of a medal. I am amazed at his accomplishments. I would be very grateful if you could give me a piece of this outstanding artist’s work, along with information about his life and artistic achievements.” The
dean sent a necklace, which was soon hosted by Goethe An article on the Russian artist was published in a magazine of Forgotten year’s turn.
In November 1820, Pushkin’s friend, the poet Wilhelm Chuhrbecker (1797–1846, a famous Decembrist), sent a letter to the poet Anton Jellivig (1798–1831, Pushkin’s friend) after visiting Goethe ) said: “Goethe knew our country’s Tolstoy from the works of Fedor Tolstoy, and he greatly admired this great Russian artist.”
There are many other Fedor’s other works in Goethe’s collection. He also published a paper on Fedor’s creation in the journal.
Following the Austrian Academy of Sciences, many European academies have elected him as an honorary academician. The British government also asked Fedor to design a medal to be awarded to the army and navy personnel who had served in the battle against Napoleon. Unexpectedly, the Russian artist flatly refused, and said rather inappropriately: “I only care about the honor of the motherland.”
In addition to the above-mentioned medals and souvenirs commemorating the Great Patriotic War of 1812-1814, Fedor also designed medals commemorating the Russo-Turkish War and the Russo-Persian War. He also left many excellent sculptures, the most famous of which are the plaster sculpture “The Militia of 1812”, the plaster relief “The Battle of Borodino in 1812”, the marble statue “Dream God Mo”
Like the rest of the Tolstoy family, Fedor Tolstoy was an excellent rider. As a 12-year-old, he was able to handle a horse so skillfully that even the sturdy soldiers who had galloped across the field were impressed. He was even able to tame wild mountain horses, earning him the nickname “Desperate Saburo on Horseback”.
Not only was Fedor Tolstoy enthusiastic, energetic, and romantic in his youth, he was still the same in old age. Once, he was a guest at the home of his successor fiancée (the ex-wife has died) in the town of Pargolo, not far north of Petersburg. When he saw that his fiancée had no sewing thread, he immediately put on his beloved without saying a word. The Arabian male Mahektor (the hero name in Homer’s epic “Iliad”), galloped 20 versts, came to Petersburg to buy the line, turned around and delivered it to his fiancée Anna. In the hands of Stacia, but he was already a half-old man of 55 years old.
What’s more, he still visited Dresden, Germany when he was 77 years old in 1860. In addition to visiting the famous local exhibition hall, he also rode horses through the tourist resort Saxony Switzerland for 3 days, which is the most beautiful scenery in Germany. one of the regions. An old man Jing Jing thought that the bumps and hard work on the horse’s back were “nothing to worry about”.
Fedor is energetic, loves life, and has a straightforward and serious personality. In the 1840s, the young sculptor Nikolai Ramzanov (1817–1867, famous for his Gogol statue) was studying in Italy. Tsar Nicholas I visited Rome with Fedor. One day, the tsar and his entourage were walking through the city, passing Ramazhanov’s studio, and he told his entourage that he would visit the studio in the evening. Fedor immediately explained to a minister that the sculptures in the room could only be seen clearly in the daylight hours, but none of the entourage dared to speak out. Come!” As he spoke, he grabbed the tsar and dragged the tsar to the studio.
Fedor’s frankness is also shown in his adherence to the principle of right and wrong. Once, he had a dispute with the tsar on an issue related to art. In front of the tsar’s attendants, he announced that he “doesn’t intend” to carry out the tsar’s will. He was calm. Facing Nicholas I’s pressing gaze, which is said to be fatal on the spot, he explained the reason for his disobedience. Fortunately, the Tsar finally said helplessly: “Forget it, you don’t have to explain any more, you can figure it out.” The matter ended satisfactorily.
The main reason why Fedor became a famous artist and passed away at the age of 90 is because of his open-mindedness and love of life. When he was young, he became acquainted with some antique dealers and museum archaeologists because of his love for ancient numismatics. Most of them were Germans who were very knowledgeable, but they did not speak Russian properly. In order to facilitate communication, Fedor learned to German.
”I learned German when I was with them. I came from the Navy’s secondary armament school, so I didn’t know anything about German. I also learned German because I often went to the German theater. I like the plays there very much, but it helped me learn German. The most important thing is that I met a young widow who was beautiful and moving, extremely intelligent, Baroness Steining, who did not know a word of Russian.” The
above paragraph is a memoir written by Fyodor Tolstoy, from which In the passage, we can see that this senile old man still retains the passion for pursuing beautiful emotions and life in his twilight years, which may be the source of the eternal youth of the artist’s art.