He was born in 1752 in Ukraine in the town of Ichnya Chernigov province. At the age of twelve he was sent to the Academy of arts in St. Petersburg, where for eight years he studied "sculpture art".
After graduating from the Academy with a gold medal, Martos continued his education in Rome. On his return to Petersburg, he became a teacher at the sculpture class of the Academy of arts.
Martos is one of the most important representatives of classicism in Russian art. He owns a number of monuments and bas-reliefs. The most famous among them is the monument to K. Minin and D. Pozharsky in Moscow (1804-1818).
Violent creative activity Martos has placed him among the greatest masters of his time. Without him was not any significant official order.
In creating the monuments of the wizard reaches high purity of style and classical harmony. Among the most significant of his works can also be called a monument to Governor E. Richelieu in Odessa (1823-1828), effectively delivered over the descent to the sea, the monument to M. V. Lomonosov in Arkhangelsk (1826-1829, established in 1832; all these are works of bronze, granite), Alexander I in Taganrog (1831).
In early 1780-ies Martos has created a series of sculptural portraits. Of these the most famous portraits of N. I. Panin (1780) and A. V. Panina (1782).
In the last decades of the eighteenth century Martos mainly works in the genre of commemorative sculpture. At this time becoming widespread funerary sculpture. At the beginning of Martos created the marble reliefs, followed by expanded sculptural compositions. He sought to convey the tombstones tragedy of sorrow, but also a sense of enlightenment — the acceptance of death as a necessary completion of life. The sculptor varied composition, diverse combination of allegory and emblems of sadness, sorrow, death. These are the gravestones (mostly marble) of S. S. Volkonskaya (1782, Tretyakov gallery), M. P. Sobakina (1782, Donskoy monastery, Moscow), P. A. Bruce (1786-1790), E. I. Gagarina (bronze, 1803, the state Museum of urban sculpture, St.-Petersburg), Paul I (1807, Pavlovsk).
The simplicity and conciseness of style, a masterful composition in the highly complex bas-reliefs, correctness of drawing, expressive sculpting, artful draping are distinctive features of the classic art of Martos.
In 1800 years the master has also performed many monumental-decorative works (plastic decoration "Green dining room" of the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, the decor of the Throne room of the Pavlovsk Palace). Special mention deserves the relief of the "Shedding of Moses for water in the desert" on the attic of the Kazan Cathedral (limestone, 1804-1807), and a number of garden sculptures (the Monument to parents in Pavlovsk Park, marble, after 1798, the statue of Actaeon for the fountains of Peterhof, gilded bronze, 1801).
The big contribution to development of domestic art Martos has made as a teacher. In 1794 he was Professor, and from 1814 — rector of the Academy of arts.
Martos has worked tirelessly his entire life, developing flavor and improving as a sculptor. Already in his old age he said: "the Sculptor must know the whole details of all external human movement, anatomy, proportion, the perfect correctness of drawing and soulful passion."
Died Ivan Petrovich Martos in St Petersburg on 5 (17) April, 1835.
He was born in 1752 in Ukraine in the town of Ichnya Chernigov province. At the age of twelve he was sent to the Academy of fine arts, where for eight years he studied "sculpture art".. Gillet and illustrated by A. Losenko.
After graduating from the Academy with honors, he went to Rome to continue his education. Here the young artist carefully studying the ancient art; a deep understanding of antique sculpture made him subsequently the most prominent master of Russian classicism.
On his return to Petersburg Martos became a teacher at the Academy, progressing through the ranks: awarded the title of academician, the Professor, and later appointed by the rector.
Already the first works of the young sculptor was evidence of artistic maturity. Among the earliest products is a marble bust N. I. Panin (1780, TG). In an effort to significance and greatness in the transmission of the image, Martos depicted Panin in antique clothing, which is using the frontal pose of the figure.
Entirely new area of fine arts, which during these years began to work Martos, was a tombstone plastic. It was here that he was able to achieve the greatest success. Tombstones created by Martos in 1782, - S. S. Volkonskaya (TG) and M. P. Sobakina - true masterpieces of Russian sculpture. Tombstone M. P. Sebacinales reaches the musicality of the lines, the beauty of the rhythms and expressiveness of the composition. Placed at the base of the pyramid of the figures of the mourner and genius of death filled with sincere sadness. Despite the complicated statement of figures, an abundance of drapery, the composition looks complete and harmonious.
The tomb of S. S. Volkonskaya depicted the lonely figure of a mourner, imbued with understated and virile sorrow. Conciseness and clarity of imaginative solutions, a low relief of a figure closely associated with the plane of the tombstones, and subtle handling of marble make this monument one of the perfect works of Russian sculpture. The success was so great that Martos begins to receive numerous orders. Thus was created the tombstones: N. A. Bruce (1786 - 1790, Museum of architecture of the Academy of construction and architecture of the USSR), N. I. Panin (1790), E. S. Kurakina (1792), A. F. Turchaninov (1796), A. I. Lazarev (1803), E. I. Gagarina (1803, all at the Leningrad state Museum of urban sculpture). Tombstones different but the composite system, the nature of performance: the early tombs are intimacy, lyricism, later is monumental, sometimes pathetic.
Outstanding among the later works of the sculptor belongs the gravestone of E. Kurakina. Lying on the sarcophagus of the weeping woman as if asleep in tears, with his head resting on crossed arms. Difficult angle, tense restless rhythm heavy folds of the clothing reinforces the impression of tragedy. Win this statue sincerity suffering, depth, and humanity experiences. However, the image of a mourner's majestic power, internal energy. In this work Martos rose to the heights of true monumentality. The sculptor, in the words of one of his contemporaries, could make the marble "cry". Skill Martos and a great creative activity place it among the greatest artists of his time. Almost no significant order sculptural work is not without its participation. He created decorative stucco decorations for the Palace at Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) and Pavlovsk, has executed a statue of Actaeon for the Grand cascade of Peterhof.
At the beginning of the XIX century in St. Petersburg began the construction of the Kazan Cathedral, the decoration of which took part and Martos. He owns a bas-relief on the theme of the biblical account of the long wanderings of the Jewish people "After the waters by Moses in the desert" (on the attic of the East wing of the colonnade of the Cathedral) and the statue of John the Baptist, mounted in a recess of the portico. Bas demonstrated understanding of Martos the details of the decorative relief with the architecture. Most of the length of composition required skill in the construction of figures. The sculptor has successfully coped with a difficult task - to convey different human emotions and mental state thirsty people. This relief distinguishes the clarity of the arrangement of the groups, strictly thought out and yet complex rhythm.
The greatest fame and glory Martos has established a monument to Minin and Pozharsky in Moscow. The work coincided with the war of 1812, the Patriotic upsurge in the country, the growth of national consciousness. The idea is about the need to establish a monument to two outstanding characters of Russian and torii originated much earlier. In 1803, one of the active members of "Free (the society of Philology and arts", the most progressive educational organization of the time, Vasily Popugaev proposed to conduct a public subscription and raised money to erect a monument to the "Russian peasant" Minin and Prince Pozharsky. Martos enthusiastically started to work. "Who of famous heroes of antiquity, - he wrote - has surpassed the courage and exploits of Minin and Pozharsky?" But thoughts of I. Martos, expressed in first drafts, Minin and Pozharsky were one group, United by common feelings, Patriotic impulse. However, their standing figures in flowing cloaks, with a few pathetic gestures, was more theatrical and overly dramatic. In subsequent sketches underscore the importance of Minin its activity and willed discipline. "Here he was the first active force," wrote about the Minin Sergei Bobrovsky, one of the members of the "Free society of lovers of literature, Sciences and arts".
In 1808, the government has announced a contest in which, in addition to Martos, was attended by sculptors Shchedrin, Prokofiev, Demut-Malinovsky, Pimenov. First place was won by the project of Martos. Compared to the sketches, where the images of the characters remained the traces of the melodramatic, and the songs lacked the discipline, the monument impresses with a stern solemnity. A group of Martos with exceptional integrity, shape it United not only emotionally, but also closely linked composite. Minin immediately attracts the attention of the viewer with a sense of purpose, impulse. His image is full of great inner strength, activity and however moderation. This is achieved by the powerful modelling of the figure. Wide free his right hand, pointing to the Kremlin, clearly defined vertical line of the body claim the dominant position of Minin in the composition. Pozharsky is also determined and ready to exploit. Taking the sword from the hands of Minin, he rises from his couch, ready to follow him. Face Pozharsky spiritualized.
It bears traces of the recently experienced suffering and however bravely and courageously. The appearance of the characters Martos typically emphasizes Russian national characteristics, successfully combining in their costumes and elements of ancient Russian clothing. "The Russian clothing, - wrote contemporaries, was almost such and at the same time, what today we call the Russians; they were somewhat like the Greek and Roman... in short they were almost exactly like depicted in this monument."
Originally the monument was installed near a Shopping arcade, against the Kremlin wall. The opening took place in 1818 and was a big and important event.
The artist has managed to embody in his work the thoughts and feelings that have preoccupied the General public of Russia. The images of the heroes of Russian history, marked by great pathos, was perceived as modern. Their exploits recalled the recent events of world war II.
During these years, Martos takes a number of other works, a variety of purpose. So, in 1812, he created the statue of Catherine II, in 1813, sketch of the figures of the four evangelists for the Kazan Cathedral and many others. Creative activity of Martos is evident in subsequent years. Along with teaching at the Academy of arts, in 20E years he made several large monumental works: monument to Paul I in Georgian, Alexander I in Taganrog (1828-1831), Richelieu in Odessa (1823-1828), Lomonosov in Arkhangelsk (1826-1829). From documents it is known that Martos has also worked to create a monument to Dmitry Donskoy, to which, unfortunately, he failed.
The performance of the artist was amazing. "Can't be idle," he wrote. All contemporaries, who knew Martos, noted his hard work, selflessness, and the greatest modesty. In a report to the Minister of national education President of the Academy Olenin wrote about the artist: "due to his modesty Martos never burdened by requests for a government and has the contents of the Treasury what are some disciples of his disciples".
Martos lived most filled with work, a life entirely given to the service of art. He died in 1835.