Safonov Alexander Petrovich - sculptor, painter, watercolorist, Illustrator, retired Lieutenant General.
From the Simbirsk province nobility. After graduating from the Nikolayev Cavalry training school in 1872, was designated a cornet in the Lancers regiment. When he was not engaged in the service Safonov studied sculpture under the well-known artist N. I. Liberikh, studied painting individually. Was awarded with a small silver encouragement medal for casted from wax study "The Running Horse" by the Academy of Fine Arts in 1873.
Participated in the battle near Gorni Dubnik and Telish within the Pleven detachment during the Russian-Turkish war in 1877-1878, was wounded. Was awarded with the order of Saint Anna of the third degree for displayed courage and received the rank of the cavalry captain. Upon returning from the war, released album of drawings "Travel Sketches from Life". In the early 1900s, the artist participated in the publication of Suvorov's book for Russian soldiers, in illustration of the stories of Lancers, Chasseurs and other regiments, in the creation of albums of the officers’ uniforms.
Safonov was sent to the theater of war operations to the far East in 1904, where he participated in the battle of Shimadzu. He made a lot of photos and sketches during the trip. They were published in the magazine "The Reconnaissance Officer ". Was awarded with the order of Saint Vladimir of the IVth degree.
Military observations and experience underlied many of Safonov’s works. Members of the Imperial family bought Safonov’s works. The equestrian statue of the Emperor (1882), a wax figurine "Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna" (1887), model of a bronze figurine "Lancer, 1803" were among his works. Served as a field officer in the Quartermaster Main Administration service in the rank of Major General. He died and was buried in St. Petersburg.
P. Safonov is one of the brightest representatives of Russian officers, who were multi-talented and made a great contribution in the Russian art.
An interesting fact was revealed while studying the biographies of Russian painters and sculptors of the late XVIII – beginning of XX century – more than 150 of them served as officers of the Russian army.