Thematic photo album for Stepan Erzya birth anniversary
Prominent Russian sculptor Stepan Dmitrievich Nefedov, better known by his creative pseudonym Stepan Erzya, was born on November 8, 1876. Few of the Russian sculptors received such wide recognition in the 20th century - the works of Stepan Erzya aroused admiration not only in Russia, but also far beyond its borders - in England, Italy, France and Argentina.
The future sculptor was fond of modeling and drawing since childhood. He studied icon painting, drawing and painting from famous masters of the late 19th - early 20th centuries, studied sculpture in Italy, worked with great variety of materials. Erzya carved his sculptures without preliminary sketches; the skilled artisan was called abroad "Russian Rodin". The sculptor was endowed with a bright personality and strong character. Artist-individualist, living a sheltered life, he was always obsessed with creativity, sculpture being his major love. Stepan Erzya traveled a lot around the world – he lived in Europe, Asia and Latin America. For almost a quarter of a century, the sculptor lived in Argentina, remaining the USSR citizen. Over the years of his life in Buenos Aires, Erzya learned to create sculptures from exotic wood species - quebracho and algarrobo*.
The unusually hard wood required a long and careful processing. Hence, it paid off with its qualities: expressive texture and beautiful shades - from almost white to reddish brown ones. Returning to his homeland in 1950, despite his age, and the artist was already over seventy, he continued to work hard in his Moscow workshop. The heroes of the master's works - mythological characters and real historical figures - strong, courageous characters and restless souls - personify the vigorous beauty and power of the human spirit.
Stepan Erzya embodies his ideal concept of a person and his soul, a complex perception of beauty in numerous female images. This is an enduring theme in the sculptor's work and one of the most important in world art. These images inconceivable in their polysemy, inexhaustible in their individual character, diverse in their plastic solution. Women from various countries and nationalities are presented in the portrait gallery of S. Erzya. The Mordovian and Russian faces, Spanish women, French women and almost all representatives of the American continent. In each portrait, the artist not only conveys national features, but also reveals a certain character, state of mind and mood, captures all benefits of materials decorative richness.
The works of the talented Mordovian artist are stored in the Russian Museum, the Tretyakov Gallery, in private collections. The Mordovian Republican Museum of Fine Arts, bearing his name and possessing the largest (over 200 works) and unique collection of his sculptures, has become a worthy tribute to the memory of Stepan Dmitrievich Erzya.
The remarkable works of the prominent sculptor are also presented in the section Sculpture section of the museum Collection. Thematic album comprised for the 145th birth anniversary of Stepan Erzya is in our "Photo Gallery".
* Algarrobo - a wood species obtained from the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua)