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Golubkina, Anna Semenovna
Born Jan. 16 (28). 1864, in Zaraisk, in present-day Moscow Oblast; died there Sept. 7, 1927. Soviet sculptress.
Golubkina studied in Moscow with S. M. Volnukhin (1889–90) and at the School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture (1891–94) with S. I. Ivanov; she also studied at the St. Petersburg Academy (1894) with V. A. Beklemishev. She took many trips to Paris, where, under the guidance of Rodin, she studied at the Colarossi Academy (1895–96) and worked in her own studio (1897–98). Her permanent residence was in Moscow. She taught at the Prechistenka Workers’ School (1913–16) and in the Free Art Studios of Vkhutemas (Higher State Studio of Art and Technology; 1918–22). She took part in the revolutionary movement (by storing and distributing illegal literature, and in 1905, by setting up a secret apartment and hospital for wounded druzhinniki (armed workers). She was the first Russian sculptor to model a portrait of K. Marx (plaster of paris. 1905, in the Tret’iakov Gallery) and to become interested in proletarian subjects, seeking to express the awakening of the masses of workers and their powerful spirit in the struggle for social justice in generalized images that often became symbols (Made of Iron, 1897. Onward, 1903. Seated, 1912, all plaster of paris, in the Russian Museum, Leningrad; The Slave, wood. 1909, Russian Museum; The Worker, plaster of paris. 1909. Tret’iakov Gallery). Golubkina’s decorative and autonomous compositions sometimes combine social subjects and dramatic content with abstract symbolism in the modernistic style—for example, the high-relief Swimmer (The Wave; plaster of paris, 1901, on the facade of the Moscow Art Theater) and Music and Lights Are Far Away (marble, 1910, Russian Museum). Golubkina’s most important works are her portraits; their psychological insight, spiritual qualities, and inner expressiveness embody the sitter’s external appearance as well as the contradictory spiritual world of man at the beginning of the 20th century (the portraits of Andrei Belyi, plaster of paris, E. P. Nosova, marble, 1912, and T. A. Ivanova, plaster of paris, 1925. all in the Russian Museum; of A. N. Tolstoi, wood, 1911, and A. M. Remizov, wood, 1911, both in the Tret’iakov Gallery; and of V. G. Chertkov, wood, 1926, in the L. N. Tolstoy Museum in Moscow). An impressionistic fluidity of forms and an abundance of light and shade contrasts, particularly characteristic of Golubkina’s early works, are united in her sculptures with the striving for a better constructiveness and the plastic lucidity of forms.
WORKSNeskol’ko slov o remesle skul’ptora. Moscow. 1923; reissued (Moscow] 1963.
REFERENCESA. S. Golubkina: Iubileinaia vystavka, katalog. Moscow, 1964.
Luk’ianov, S. Zhizn’ A. S. Golubkinoi. Moscow, 1969.
I. M. SHMIDT