Mamontov, Savvaivanovich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mamontov, Savvaivanovich


Born Oct. 3 (15), 1841, in lalutorovsk, in present-day Tiumen’ Oblast; died Apr. 6, 1918, in Moscow. Industrialist, patron of the arts, important figure in Russian art, theater, and music.

Mamontov attended the St. Petersburg Mining Institute; he was later a student in the law department of Moscow University. His great wealth came to him as a builder of railroads. He was the principal shareholder of the Moscow-Yaroslavl-Arkhangel’sk Railroad, the Neva Metalworking Company, and the East-Siberian Corporation of Iron Foundries. For several years, Mamontov lived in Italy, where he studied singing and painting.

Between 1870 and 1890, Mamontov’s estate near Moscow, Abramtsevo, became a center of artistic life, serving as the meeting place of the most prominent Russian artists (I. E. Repin, M. M. Antokol’skii, V. M. Vasnetsov, V. A. Serov, M. A. Vrubel’, M. V. Nesterov, V. D. Polenov, E. D. Polenov, and K. A. Korovin) and musicians (F. I. Chaliapin and others). Mamontov sponsored the establishment of art workshops that developed the traditions of folk art and handicrafts. In 1885, Mamontov founded at his own expense the Moscow Private Russian Opera (closed in the fall of 1904), which brought attention to the works of the leading figures of Russian music. It established new principles of artistic design for the opera and theater, as well as the concept of realistic opera (effective chorus and staging).


Polenova N. V. Abramtsevo: Vospominania. Moscow, 1922.
Shkafer V. P. Sorok let na stsene russkoi opery, 1890-1930. Leningrad, 1936.
Mamontov V. S. Vospominania o russkikh khudozhnikakh. Moscow, 1950.
Kogan D. Mamontovskii kruzhok. Moscow [1970].
Kopshitser M. Savva Mamontov. Moscow, 1972.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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