Pozen, Leonid


Leonid Pozen was born in the family of a retired guard captain, in the village of Obolon, Khorol district (now Semenovskiy district, Poltava region), in the Pozen’s patrimonial estate. The future sculptor was tutored at home for primary education, later at the age of fifteen, he was enrolled in the fifth class of the Poltava provincial gymnasium.

In 1872, he graduated from the law faculty of St. Petersburg University. In 1876-1891, Pozen served as an assistant to the public Prosecutor in the Poltava district court. Beginning from 1891 worked in the public prosecution office of St. Petersburg district court. In 1912, he became a Senator.

Leonid Pozen did not receive artistic education. He was inspired from his early childhood by the painted clay toys in the form of figurines crated by Oposhnya potters. He tried to mold the copies of those toys using the rye bread. He was also fond of drawing. Leonid parents wanted him to enter the St. Petersburg Art Academy after he graduated from the grammar school. However, the young man did not take seriously his artistic inclinations .

He studied sculpture individually. Pozen resumed his art classes upon arrival to Poltava in 1876. At first, he copied plaster figurines of different politicians, using as templates for copying the works of contemporary sculptors: N. I. Liberikh, E. A. Lanceray, P.-J. Maine. Then he began to sculpt from life small portraits of friends and relatives, tried to create composite portraits. For example, in 1877, he molded wax sculpture group "the Horse-cab Driver".

In 1882, following the advice of G. G. Myasoedov, Leonid Pozen presented his sculptural group "On Oxen" at the 10th exhibition of the Wandering Exhibitions' society. The creative work of the beginning sculptor was very successful. In several days after the exhibition closing, the owner of the art-casting factory K. F. Werfel bought the sculptural group "On Oxen" with the aim to cast it in bronze. Afterwards, for a long time he used to buy works of Leonid Pozen for casting and arranged exhibitions not only in Russia but abroad as well: in Italy, England, Germany, Holland and America. At the regular 11th Wandering exhibition the works of Pozen "Shinkar" (“Pot-house Keeper”, "Lyre player", "Ox from Cherkassk", "Foal", "Red-footed Falcon" brought great success to the author.

In 1882-1918, he was a regular participant of exhibitions, organized by the Society of Wandering Exhibitions. In 1891, he became a full member of the Society. L. V. Pozen was a member of the Society of the Itinerants. From 1894, he was a full member of the Imperial Academy of Arts, and from 1900 a member of the Council of the Imperial Academy of Arts. In 1915, he refused the title of academician in the sphere sculpture "for principal reasons".

Bronze sculptures of L. V. Pozen were popular among amateurs of bronze sculpture. Connoisseurs of the works of the Itinerants ordered sculptures from the catalog or bought bronze sculptures directly from the author.

In 1894, due to illness of L. Pozen left for Rome, where he undertook treatment and simultaneously studied the museums’ collections. He was elected the academician of the Imperial Academy of Arts (IAA) the same year. In 1900 he was appointed a member of the Council of the IAA.

Leonid Pozen was known for his small statuary genre compositions narrating about the life and history of Ukrainian people: "Kobzar" (1883), "Migrants" (1884), "The Beggar" (1886), "Cossack on Reconnaissance " (1887), "Scythian" (1889), "Plowing in Ukraine" (1897), etc.

He created a number of portrait busts as well: G. Myasoedov (1890), I. F. Stravinsky (1897), N. Yaroshenko (1898, 1899), I. P. Kotlyarevsky (for Poltava school named after the writer), etc.

He worked on the monument to Nikolai Gogol in Poltava in 1914-1915 (opened in 1934). Works of Leonid Pozen are stored in museum's collections, including The State Tretyakov Gallery, The State Russian Museum, Kiev Museum of Russian Art, Poltava Art Museum and others.

Exhibits in the Museum Collection