Soviet sculptor Vladimir Efimovich Tsigal 1917-2013
Soviet sculptor Vladimir Efimovich Tsigal (17 September, 1917- 4 July, 2013) was Academician of the USSR Academy of Arts (1978, Corresponding Member 1964). People’s Artist of the USSR (1978), awarded the Lenin Prize (1984), the Stalin Prize of the First Degree (1950) and the RSFSR State Prize of the Repin (1966). Member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union since 1952.
Born on 17 September 1917 in Odessa, in the 1920s he lived in Penza, where he graduated from high school. In 1937-1942 he studied at the State Art Institute named after VI Surikov in Moscow. Being a graduate student, in 1942 Vladimir volunteered to the front. Until 1944 he served in the Navy as a military artist. Participated in the landing in Novorossiysk and Kerch, as well as in other combat operations of the Black Sea and Baltic fleets. In 1945, the Committee for the Arts sent him with the famous sculptor Kerbel to Berlin. Their task was to build monuments to the soldiers of the Red Army in Berlin, Zeelow, and Kiistrin.
After the dismissal, he continued his studies and in 1948 defended his diploma, having obtained the specialty of a sculptor. Since 1947 – a participant in all the all-Union and many foreign art exhibitions.
In the history of Soviet art, Vladimir Efimovich entered primarily as a sculptor-monumentalist. The first post-war monumental works of the sculptor were the bronze monument of Nikolay Ostrovsky and Alexander Makarenko, created in 1952 and installed in Moscow.
Experienced in the war, reflected in the sketches preserved in the sculptor’s archive – priceless documents of time, predetermined one of the leading themes of his work. The memory of the fallen in the fight against fascism is imprinted in granite and bronze in the Soviet-Polish military memorial (1967, Belarus). However, more complex, consistent in all its components with a landscape environment, are the Monuments to the heroes of the Civil and Great Patriotic Wars, built in 1972-1982 in Novorossiysk.
On the site of the former Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, in the spring of 1963, appeared a monument to Lieutenant-General Dmitry Karbyshev created by Tsygal to the International day of liberation of prisoners of fascist concentration camps. The monument to Karbyshev installed also in Moscow.
Special works of Vladimir Tsigal are portraits of contemporaries and relatives. Among them – composer Dmitry Kabalevsky (1967), children Tatyana and Alexander (1960).
During his 50-year creative career, Vladimir Efimovich Tsigal designed and erected 44 monuments dedicated to outstanding events and figures. Among which, in addition to the above-mentioned: VI Ulyanov-Lenin in Kazan and Ulyanovsk (1953-1954), Hero of the Soviet Union Fyodor Poletayev in Ryazan (1971), Ho Chi Minh in Moscow (1990), and the outstanding Soviet sculptor Nikolai Vasilievich Tomsky in Moscow. He is also the author of the bronze sculpture of St. George the Victorious, installed in the Kremlin on the dome of the Senate Palace.
The works of Vladimir Efimovich Tsigal are in the collections of many museums in the country and abroad, including the State Tretyakov Gallery, and the Central Museum of the Armed Forces.
Vladimir Efimovich loved to travel. Since 1956, he has made creative trips to more than 50 countries, including Italy, France, USA, Great Britain, Netherlands, Portugal, Japan, India, Nepal, and Vietnam. His personal exhibitions took place in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, and Morocco. In some countries, he lived and worked.
In his spare time he was fond of fishing, although time for this often was not enough. Among other addictions was reading, especially books and articles about the life of interesting people.
Passed away on July 4, 2013, Vladimir Yefimovich Tsigal was buried on July 9 at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, next to the grave of the sculptor, People’s Artist of the USSR Yevgeny Vuchetich.