Boris Orlovskii

Orlovskii, Boris Ivanovich


(real surname Smirnov). Born in 1796 in the village of Stolbetskoe, in what is now Pokrovskoe Raion, Orel Oblast; died Dec. 16 (28), 1837, in St. Petersburg. Russian sculptor.

The son of a peasant, Orlovskii began studying sculpture with S. P. Kampioni in Moscow in 1809. He became a student of P. Triskorni in St. Petersburg in 1816, and in 1822 he also began studying with I. P. Martos at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. From 1823 to 1828 he studied in Rome on a scholarship. Beginning in 1831, he taught at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, becoming a professor in 1836.

During his Roman period, Orlovskii worked under the guidance of B. Thorvaldsen and was influenced by him. Examples of his work at this time are Paris (1824), executed in marble in 1838, and Faun and Bacchante (1826–28), executed in marble in 1837; both sculptures are now in the Russian Museum in Leningrad. In Orlovskii’s best works of his mature period, chiefly monumental sculptures on heroic national themes, exactitude of portrayal is combined with a dignified classical severity. An example is the monument to M. I. Kutuzov and M. B. Barclay de Tolly in front of the Kazan Cathedral in Leningrad (bronze, 1828–36; unveiled 1837).

Orlovskii’s work reveals a romantic interest in national history; an example is Ian Usmar’ (bronze, 1831), now housed in the Russian Museum. Some of his sculptures are inspired, for example, the figure of the angel on top of the Alexander Column (bronze, 1831–33).


Shurygin, la. I. B. I. Orlovskii. Leningrad-Moscow, 1962.