Antokolsky Mark Matveevich was born on October 21 (on November 2) 1843 in Vilno. He was the son of an innkeeper. Since youth, he was engaged in woodcarving, bone carving, in metalwork. In 1862-1868 as irregular student, he studied in the Imperial Academy of Arts at the department of sculpture. His teacher was N. S. Pimenov, and since 1863 – I. I. Reymers taught him.
In 1864 for a high relief "The Jewish Tailor. Evening Work of the Old Man" (wood, State Russian Museum) Antokolsky was awarded with a small silver medal, in 1865 for a haut-relief "Stingy Man" (ivory, wood, State Russian Museum) –with a big silver medal, in 1868 Antokolsky left for Berlin where he attended classes by German sculptor R. Begas. Simultaneously he was attending classes in the Royal Academy of Arts. In 1871 he was awarded by the rank of academician for creation of the statue "Joann The Terrible”, (plaster), The same year for health reasons he went abroad where he remained, having lodged at first in Rome, and since 1877 he lived in Paris.
He used to come to Russia on business related with creative and exhibition activities, visited St. Petersburg, Vilno, Savva Mamontov’s estate in Abramtsevo. In 1880, he was awarded with a title of Professor of sculpture. He was a member of the Imperial Academy of Arts since 1893.He was the member of Academy of fine arts in Paris, Royal Academy of Arts in Berlin and Institute of art in Urbino as well. Antokolsky was the author of compositions with historical and religious plots, the portraitist. Executed gravestones for the princess Yusupova (1888, marble, the Memorial estate "Arkhangelsk"), the princesse Obolenskaya at the Monte Testachcho cemetery in Rome (1875-1877, marble), the orientalist Hanykov at the Per-Laschez cemetery in Paris (1989), the daughter of the collector Tereshchenko (1888, variant in bronze was not preserved; variant in marble is in Kiev Museum of Russian art), for poet Nadson in the necropolis "The Literature planked footway" in Volkov cemetery (1891, bronze, the State museum of City Sculpture in St.-Petersburg).
In 1875, he participated in the contest for creation of a monument to Pushkin in Moscow, worked on sketches of equestrian statue for the unrealized project of Aleksandrovsky Bridge in St.-Petersburg. He wrote many articles on graphic art. Wrote the novel "Ben-Izsak" (this literary work is is in manuscript department in National Library of Russia).Died on June 26 (on July 9) 1902 in Bud-Gomburg, Germany.