An elegant female figure greets visitors in the yard of the ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ National Endowment Fund. The curious, who sought information in the Register of Monuments in Sofia, came across a laconic note that the artist who created the sculpture was Vasiliy Gavrilovich Stamov. It is listed there merely as a ‘sculpture of a nude woman’; however, more in-depth sources claim that the work was entitled ‘Morn’.
Like thousands of other works of art, it was donated to NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ by the artist himself.
This personality, although unknown in Bulgaria, is really intriguing. He was born in the small village of Koktebel in the Crimea, where the land has preserved remnants of the ancient Tauride and Hellenic cultures, while its weather-beaten working people possess a natural grace.
His father, Gavril Stamov, was a revolutionary of Bulgarian descent. He was killed, leaving Vasiliy and his three brothers orphans. Vasiliy’s mother managed to educate her children while running a kolkhoz [collective farm].
While drawing with passion in a fine arts study group, Stamov simultaneously acquired his primary technical education. Later, he even worked as a constructor at the Kerch Metallurgical Plant. There, he realised that his true vocation was painting, so he entered the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, but interrupted his studies to serve in the Second World War.
Vasiliy Stamov belonged to those Soviet artists who, in the 1950s and 1960s, rethought the art of the time, deepened and enriched their imagerial structure and spread their wings in stylistic pursuits.
He was best at sculpting images of women—mothers, graceful ballerinas, shy girls—formed in bronze, granite, marble, porcelain, or wood.
The female figure in the yard of the ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ National Endowment Fund is a glowing example of this feature of his oeuvre.
The sculptor visited Bulgaria time and again, even bringing along his daughter Vasilisa, also an artist. On one of his stays, he donated this work to the Fund.
Vasiliy Gavrilovich was awarded as a People’s Artist of the Russian Federation, and a corresponding member of the Academy of Fine Arts.