From February 18, 2009 till March 8, 2009, the exhibition “Bach’s Family in the Academy of Arts” will be held in the Catherine Hall of the Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts. This event has been scheduled to the 150th anniversary of the date of birthday of sculptor Robert Romanovich (Robertovich) Bach (1859 – 1933), the author of the well-known monuments «Pushkin the Lyceum Student» in Czarsky Selo and M. I. Glinka on the Theatre Square in St.-Petersburg.
He is one of the representatives of the big dynasty of artists, the “Russian” Germans, who studied and worked in the Academy of Arts in the second half of XIX century – first half of XX century.
The Bach’s family contribution to the development of the Russian culture is immense. The dynasty’s inception started from Robert-Henry Bach, the German by origin, who substituted his name for the Russian – Roman Ivanovich.
His family had five sons, who followed the father’s steps and engaged themselves in the art, with the Academy of Arts, and the three representatives of the dynasty received the title of academicians.
Bach Roman Ivanovich (Robert Henry)
1819, Riga – 1903, St.-Petersburg
The father of Eugene, Konstantin, Alexander, Nickolay and Robert Bach’s. At the end of 1830, he moves from Riga to St.-Petersburg. In 1840-1844, he studied at a Drawing School for irregular students under the guidance of the Russian Academy of Arts’ medallist course professor, P. P. Utkin. In 1844, he was admitted as externe to the Higher Art School under the Academy of Arts. From 1847 – a follower of I. P. Vitali. In 1850, R. I. Bach received the title of a non-collegiate artist for the bust of A. T. Markov (The Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts). In the same year, he graduated from the Academy of Arts. В 1852–1855 he was a teacher of «modeling» in «wax modeling courses additional to basic modeling course» of the Drawing School of the Art Promotion Society. During these years, he creates a lot of wax models – Our Lady, Ivan the Terrible, etc. In 1859 – Manager of the Nickols and Plenke’s Bronze and Silver Casting Plant in St.-Petersburg. In 1882 he received the title of honored free member of the Academy of Arts. All essential works had been stored in his son’s workshop – sculptor R. R. Bach, who handed them over to the Museum of the Academy of Arts in 1927–1933.
Bach Eugene Romanovich (Carl-Eugene)
1861, St.-Petersburg – 1905, St.-Petersburg
Architect and aquarellist.
Son of R. I. Bach. From 1883 studied at the Academy of Arts. In 1889 he received a big golden medal and the title of a first-grade artist for a Program «Project of Duma for St.-Petersburg». In 1890–1894 – a retiree of the Academy of Arts in Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland and Great Britain. On August 19, 1892 E. R. Bach sent a report for the first two years of staying abroad with attachment of 50 pictures and a big aquarelle depicting the Albani Villa. In 1894, when back from abroad, E. R. Bach submitted his retiree art works to the Academy of Arts on a competitive basis and received the title of academician.
He built commercial structures in St.-Petersburg (1898: 66 Sredny pr. Of V.I. 40 Dekabristov St.), industrial buildings, workshops and barracks of the Joint-Stock Company of Russian electric engineering plants «Siemens and Galske» at Vasilievsky Island, (6th Line, 59, Tannery Line 40, 1899-1900), buildings for state paper dispatch service (3, 5, 11 Rizhsky Ave., and 144a Fontanka Emb., 1900-1905), and a detached building of N. S. Stroganov (36 Mokhovaya St., 1902–1903).
Bach Konstantin Romanovich (Franc-Konstantin)
1857, Moscow – 1918, St.-Petersburg
Painter and drawer.
Son of R. I. Bach. In 1876–1886 studied at the Academy of Arts under the guidance of G. (B.) Villevalde. Received silver medals: in 1878 – small, in 1880 – big, and in 1883 – big and two small ones. In 1886 he graduated from with the title of a 3rd grade artist. He made model drawings for the Porcelain Plant’s items in 1880-90.
Bach Nickolay Romanovich (Iogann-Nickolay)
1853, St.-Petersburg – 1885, Kasli
Sculptor and aquarellist.
Son of sculptor R. I. Bach. Graduated from the German School of St. Ann in St.-Petersburg. Since 1870 studied at the Academy of Arts. From 1878 participated regularly in academic exhibitions. In 1879 graduated from the Academy having received the title of a 1st grade artist for a Program «The Spring» (allegory by F. Schiller’s poem). In 1880–1884 he taught at the Drawing School of the Art Promotion Society. He carved a bas-relief «St. Olga» for the Sergiev Monastery, sculptures «The Head of Prometheus», «Psyche», etc. In 1884 he received the title of academician for sculpture «Pythia» (Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts). In the same year, he left for Ural, to the City of Kasli, where he worked at cast-iron plant «with the aim to enhance the quality of art iron castings at the plant in Kasli». He made a lot of cast models for decorative casting items. As aquarellist, N. R. Bach made paintings by the works of M. Y. Lermontov, I. S. Turgenev and others, and a line of pictures «Across the Ural. Kasli Plant and its environs».
Bach Robert Romanovich (Robertovich)
1859, St.-Petersburg – 1933, Leningrad
Son of R. I. Bach. Spent a certain time studying at the German School of St. Ann in St.-Petersburg. In 1879-1885 was irregular student at the Academy of Arts in the department of sculpture, studied under the guidance of A. R. fon Bok, N. A. Laveretcky and I. I. Podozerov. In 1879 was praised for molding a group of bear cubs. In 1882 received a small incentive medal for the waxwork of a bas-relief «Elf» (ГРМ), and in 1885 – a big incentive medal and the title of a 3rd grade artist for the molding from nature. In 1884 attended home courses under the guidance of P. P. Chistyakov. In 1886, the sculptor received the title of a 2nd grade artist for a number of works, including the bas-relief “The Idyll”, and the portrait of P. P. Chistyakov (both in the Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts). In 1891, he was conferred the title of academician for the statue «The Genius of Art», which had been installed over the left part of the Imperial Art Promotion Society’s building in St.-Petersburg, and by repute in the field of art. Since 1906, he is a Fellow of the Academy of Arts. Working in the field of bench plastic arts, R. R. Bach created a gallery of portraits of artists, writers and composers: F. M. Dostoevsky (1886), I. A. Krylov (1886), I. S. Turgenev (1886) (all in the Pushkin House), R. I. Bach (1889), V. E. Savinsky (1901), V. E. Makovsky (1913) (all in the Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts), etc. Most of the portrait busts and animal painting («The Woodpecker», «The Aurochs», «The Greyhound», and «The Wood Grouses») and decorative things had been provided by the author to have produced their castings at Kasli Plant. In the field of monumental sculpture, the artist is known as author of the monuments of A. S. Pushkin in Czarskoe Selo (1900), M. I. Glinka on the Theatre Square in St.-Petersburg (1906), and Peter I in Tula (1910). He created several images of Alexander III: busts for the principal staircase of the Russian Museum (1898, bronze), the St.-Petersburg stock exchange (1903, marble), and the Moscow Historical Museum (1898, marble). In 1908, the sculptor provided a model for installment of the bronze monument of the Emperor in Irkutsk (lost, reproduced). R. R. Bach was actively involved in pedagogical activity, conducted sculpture courses at the Drawing School of the Art Promotion Society, and taught at the Higher Art School under the Academy of Arts. In 1900-1917 he was the professor of decorative sculpture, and in 1926-1929 – the professor of monumental sculpture chair of Leningrad Higher Art School (VHUTEIN) .
The Board of the Higher School The Workshop of the Sculpture Department
1913, among those standing, under the guidance of R. R. Bach (on the foreground,
R. R. Bach is the second from the right. in the centre, 1928).
The exhibition displays the sculpture works of Roman Ivanovich Bach, Nickolay and Robert Bach, the architectural graphics of Eugene Bach and the pictures of Konstantin Bach from the collection of the Research Museum of Russian Academy of Arts. The extremely interesting part of the exhibition is specimens of the Kasli Plant castings – a result of the work of sculptors Roman Ivanovich Bach, Nickolay and Robert Bach from the private collections. The productive work of the Museum’s restoring artists made possible displaying the haut-relief of Robert Bach «The Idyll» («The Nymph astride a deer»), only once exhibited at the Academic Show in 1886. Visitors may also introduce themselves with archive photos and postcards of 1900 depicting the lost monuments, the author of which was Robert Bach, and the photos of buildings erected in St.-Petersburg, and designed by the architect Eugene Bach.