Peter Clodt von Jürgensburg

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Peter Clodt von Jürgensburg

Baron Peter Clodt von Jürgensburg, known in Russian as Pyotr Karlovich Klodt (Russian: Пётр Карлович Клодт; 1805 – 1867), was a favourite sculptor of Nicholas I of Russia.


Stemming from a distinguished family of Baltic Germans, the Clodt von Jürgensburgs, Klodt started his career as a professional artillery officer and amateur sculptor. He attended the classes at the St.Petersburg Imperial Academy of Arts, where his mastery in depicting horses eventually won him the rank of academician and a praise of the tsar. As a legend has it, Nicholas I remarked to Klodt that he "creates horses finer than any prize stallion does".

Klodt's most famous group of horse sculptures, the Horse Tamers, was installed at the Anichkov Bridge in 1851. He was also responsible for the bronze statue of Ivan Krylov in the Summer Garden (1848–55). It was the first monument to a poet erected in the Russian Empire.

Klodt collaborated with Vasily Demut-Malinovsky on the statue of Saint Vladimir in Kiev and the statuary for the Narva Triumphal Gate. He also sculpted a quadriga above the portico of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

Klodt's last significant work was a posthumous tribute to his patron, a horse statue for the equestrian Monument to Nicholas I on Saint Isaac's Square, which has the distinction of being the first equestrian statue in the world with merely two support points (the rear feet of the horse). Even the Bolsheviks, who destroyed all the memorials to Nicholas I across Russia, did not dare to demolish this unique statue.

Klodt died in his estate in the Grand Duchy of Finland (Autonomous state of the Russian Empire) on 20 November 1867. His son and nephew Mikhail continued the artistic traditions of the family and became notable painters of the Peredvizhniki school.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Петров В. Н. Пётр Карлович Клодт, 1805—1867. Leningrad, 1985.
  • Клодт Г. А. Лепил и отливал Петр Клодт... Moscow, 1989.