1975 dated bust of Maxim Gorky, the famous author considered
the father of Soviet literature and the originator of
Large 9.5" tall x 7" wide size. Artistic rendering showing
him in his trademark fedora, in a thoughtful pose. Of the
wide array of official Soviet portrait sculptures, this one
stands out as unusual for being a civilian and in a relaxed
pose and dress. Likewise, it is a complicated casting, with
an open space under the forearm, which requires a special
mold that will release it. Uncommon.
Statue is in cast metal with heft. Artist signature
"Torich" and 1975 date on the reverse. Condition is
excellent showing little age.
Maxim Gorky (meaning Maxim the Bitter one) pen name of
Aleksey Maximovich Pyeshkov, 1868-1936. Gorky is considered
the father of Soviet literature and the founder of the
doctrine of socialist realism.
Instilled by his grandmother with a love of romantic tales,
Gorky began a nomadic life at 12, wandering the Volga area.
He educated himself, an experience he describes in My
He held dozens of menial jobs, publishing his first story in
1892. His articles exposed local corruption and he soon lost
In 1898 Gorky's collection Sketches and Stories was
published by a radical press and the author was an immediate
sensation. These romantic tales concern the vigor and
nobility of the Russian peasants and workers. About 1900 he
turned to writing novels of social realism. Of these, Mother
(1906) had the greatest impact on Soviet literature.
Describing the awakening of revolutionary feeling in an ill-
treated peasant woman, it became the prototype of the
At this time Gorky became close friends with Leo Tolstoy and
Chekhov, about both of whom he later wrote superb
Reminiscences. Gorky donated most of his income to the
revolutionary movement. He was arrested frequently but
treated carefully because of his popularity. The Czar
rescinded his election to the Academy of Sciences in 1902,
whereupon Chekhov and Korolenko resigned in protest.
Gorky wrote 15 plays, two of which, heavily censored, were
very successful at the Moscow Art Theatre. One of them, The
Lower Depths (1902), a study of the wretched lives of
derelicts, remains a classic. His plays, at first modeled on
Chekhov's, emphasized characterization over plot.
After the failure of the 1905 revolution, in which he took
part, Gorky sought to raise funds for the movement abroad.
Following an initial positive reception in the United States
(1906) he was insulted in the press, which portrayed him as
a man of questionable morals. Gorky held a grudge against
the United States, which he expressed in later writings.
Settling in Capri (1906-13), he set up a Bolshevik
propaganda school before he returned to Russia in 1914.
Exhausted from his work as head of the State Publishing
House, by bouts with tuberculosis, and a lung damaged in a
suicide attempt, he sought rest abroad (1921) and returned
in 1928. When Gorky returned to Russia he was greeted as a
great Soviet hero while earning the reputation of selling
out to Joseph Stalin's brutal regime.
His final, unfinished work, often considered his
masterpiece, is The Life of Klim Samgin (1927-36), a four-
volume novel of Russian social conditions from 1880 to 1917.
Gorky's death at 68 remains mysterious; he may have been
assasinated by the NKVD on Stalin's orders.
Gorky's work exerted a profound influence on Soviet