Sarra Dmitrievna Lebedeva

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lebedeva, Sarra Dmitrievna


Born Dec. 11 (23), 1892, in St. Petersburg; died Mar. 7, 1967, in Moscow. Soviet portrait sculptor. Corresponding member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1958); Honored Art Worker of the RSFSR (1945).

Between 1910 and 1915, Lebedeva studied in the workshops of M. D. Bernshtein, L. V. Shervud, and V. V. Kuznetsov. She helped carry out the plan of monument propaganda (utilizing monuments for propagandistic purposes). In 1926, Lebedeva became a member of the Society of Russian Sculptors. She worked mainly in bronze.

During the early years of her artistic development, Lebedeva was influenced by impressionism, traces of which were evident in her mature work. In the early 1920’s, after a period of experimentation with cubism, she sought to combine the artistic devices of both impressionism and cubism with realistic principles of representation (Portrait of F. E. Dzerzhinskii, 1925, Museum of the Revolution of the USSR, Moscow; Portrait of A. D. Tsiurupa, 1927, Russian Museum, Leningrad). Lebedeva’s works executed between 1920 and 1940 were keenly psychological yet at the same time brought out the model’s individual external features, treated the subject in an evocative and dynamic manner, and preserved a directness of approach (Portrait of V. P. Chkalov, 1936; Portrait of S. M. Mikhoels, 1939—both in the Tret’iakov Gallery).

During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 and in subsequent years, Lebedeva executed a virtual portrait gallery of her contemporaries (Portrait of A. T. Tvardovskii, 1943, Tret’iakov Gallery; Portrait of V. E. Tatlin, 1943–44, Russian Museum; Portrait of B. L. Pasternak, limestone, 1961–1963, Tret’iakov Gallery). Lebedeva also created series of portrait statuettes, figurines for porcelain and faience, and studies of nudes. In addition she conducted experiments in monumental sculpture and the decorative and applied arts.


Ternovets, B. S. Lebedeva. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
Posmertnaia vystavka proizvedenii … S. D. Lebedevoi: 1892–1967. Katalog. [Moscow, 1969.]
[Alpatov, M. V., et al.] Sarra Lebedeva. Moscow, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.