Vatagin, Vasilii Alekseevich
Born Dec. 20, 1883 (Jan. 1, 1884), in Moscow; died there May 31, 1969. Soviet sculptor and graphic artist; portrayer of animals. People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1964). Member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1957).
Vatagin studied in the department of natural sciences at Moscow University (1902-07) and attended the art school of N. A. Martynov (from 1899) and the studio of K. F. Iuon (1904-06). He taught in the Moscow Higher School of Arts and Industry (from 1963). Vatagin’s work is based on a deep knowledge of animal nature and animal habits. In his work, Vatagin strives to utilize fully the plastic possibilities of his material. His works include Walruses (wood, 1909), Tiger (bronze, 1925-26), Penguin With Young (wood, I960)—all in the Tret’iakov Gallery; the album of lithographs India (published 1922); illustrations of the works of L. Tolstoy (Stories About Animals, published 1933), Kipling (Mowgli, published 1926 and 1934; and other works), J. London, and Seton-Thompson, and for many scientific publications; and designs (panels, pictures) for the Darwinian, Anthropological, and Zoological museums in Moscow.