A SCULPTURE COMPOSITION “PETER I ON THE BOAT”
The sculptural composition was commissioned to M.Antokolsky by President of the Imperial Academy of Arts, Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich for the 200th anniversary of the Russian Navy.
Peter I is depicted in the uniform of the Preobrazhensky Regiment standing at the helm at the stern of the boat – “grandfather” of the Russian fleet in course of the ceremony of transferring of relics of the Saint Patron of St.Petersburg St.Alexander Nevsky from the Nativity monastery in Vladimir to the Alexander Nevsky Lavra. The boat is decorated with Double-headed Eagle, Imperial Crown, image of St.George and lion muzzles. It rests on a base made of scrolls and stylized waves. The inscription claims: M.Antokolsky skulp. L.Falize Orfevre.
Mark Matveevich Antokolsky (1843–1902), Professor, the largest expert of the Russian sculpture school of the 2nd half of the XIX Century.
The casting was made in Paris by the famous firm Falize.
It was exhibited at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris.
This sculpture was inspired by events of 1723 and 1724. On May 29, 11723 Peter I ordered to transfer the relics of the Saint Patron of the new capital of St.Alexander Nevsky from the Nativity monastery in Vladimir to the Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St.Petersburg. This event took place on August 30, 1724, on the 3rd Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Nystad. Peter I personally went on a boat to meet the relics in the ark, under a canopy covered with dark cherry velvet in Ust’ Izhora at the site of the Neva battle. Closer to the capital the Royal entourage was joined by a galley.
The sculpture was ordered to M.Antokolsky by the President of the Imperial Academy of Arts Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich for the Anniversary of the Russian Navy. Russian Navy met its 200th Anniversary at the Zenith of glory and power. In 1896 he firmly held the 3rd place among the largest fleets and in its history listed a number of very sound Victoris.
The casting was made in Paris by the famous firm Of L. Falize (founded by Alexis Falize (1811–1898) and dramatically enlarged by his son Lucien (1838–1897).
Antokolsky Mark Matveevich (Morduch Matysovich, 1843–1902), Professor, one of the greatest artists in Russian sculpture school of 2nd half of the XIX Century.
He studied at the Academy of Arts (1862–1868) in class of N.S.Pimenov, since 1865 a scholarship holder of his Majesty Alexander II. He lived in St. Petersburg and since 1871 in Italy, in the late 1870s in Paris. He participated in exhibitions of the Association of the Peredvizhniki (Wanderers), sharing their search for “truth in art”, rioting against the canons of academism.”
The main theme of his works was Russian history and its famous personalities. In 1871 for statue “Ivan the Terrible” he received the title of Academician. In 1872 he created the famous monument to Peter I (bronze statues were installed in Petrodvorets, Taganrog and Arkhangelsk). In his autobiography M.Antokolsky wrote: “He was not just one person, but “fusion” of several together. He was ALL extraordinary: his height was extraordinary, his strength was extraordinary; his mind was also extraordinary... His family was Russia”. According to B.Stasov “Peter I” by M.Antokolsky was the best of all existing images of this Great Man”, who is seen as a symbol of Russia, opening the New European stage of its history.