Serge Youriévitch

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Serge Youriévitch (Russian, 1876–1969)

was born into a family of Belarusian nobility. His Russian name was Sergei Alexandrovich Yurevich, which was translated into French as Serge Youriévitch.

Youriévitch married Helene Lipovatz, daughter of Jovan Popović-Lipovac, a Montenegrin noble and Russian Imperial Army general. Serge and Helene had two daughters. In 1917, the Yurievich family lost their land in the Saratov Region after the downfall of Nicholas II and the monarchy. His family’s vast art collection is now at the Saratov State Art Museum.

The Sculpture Years

In 1903, Youriévitch met sculptor Auguste Rodin, with whom he began studying. Rodin was “enormous” with his influence, and in 1909 he began exhibiting his work at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris.

Youriévitch described his entry into sculpting as follows: “I had little or nothing to do with art until my health broke down in 1903. I had been doing all the organizing and secretarial work of the Institut and the strain was too heavy. I went to Switzerland and began to paint as a relaxation. I worked in oil, water color, pastel and etching and made some success at exhibitions. I got a studio in Rome. And one day while I was trying to master the anatomy of a foot for a painting, I decided to make it, first in clay. The impression I received on having the thing round and solid in my hand instead of flat on a canvas was so strong that I wondered why I had done no sculpture before. I immediately took up sculpture, and on coming back to Paris I got a studio in the Hotel Biron upstairs over Rodin.”

Youriévitch became an accomplished sculptor himself and in 1930 he made a bust of Franklin D. Roosevelt, then Governor of New York. Another bust he created was of Thomas Hardy, the English novelist and poet. Youriévitch also contributed to British art, including sporting art and modern sculpture.

Youriévitch taught sculpture at the Guildford School of Art in the 1950s, where Lorne McKean (b. 1939) took classes under him.

At Auction

One of his bronze sculptures called Morning Dew was put on auction at Christie’s in 2007. It was estimated to be worth $40,000-$60,000, with the realized price at $60,000.

 



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