Soviet sculptor Vasily Alekseevich Vatagin
Born in Moscow in 1883, Vasily Alekseevich Vatagin – Russian animal painter, sculptor and scientist-zoologist. The founder of the Darwin Museum, Alexander Fedorovich Kotts, was one of the first to draw attention to the talent of the young artist. Practically from the very foundation of the museum in 1907, the collaboration of the painter and sculptor V.A. Vatagin and director of the museum A. F. Kotts began. Vatagin, rightfully considered co-founder of the Darwin Museum has created more than 400 paintings, as well as about 100 sculptural works for 40 years of work.
Since childhood he was fond of drawing, and aged 15 he attended the studio of watercolor artist NA Martynov. In 1902, Vasily entered the natural department of the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of Moscow University. Also, he studied at the studio of the painter K. Yuon.
After graduating from the university, the artist made several trips to the zoological gardens of Western Europe, visited Central Asia, India, and northern Russia. There he performed a large number of sketches of animals and birds, which later became indispensable helpers in various works. Among them – zoological illustration, easel painting, book illustration and sculpture.