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Topuridze Valentin

Sculptor, People’s Artist of Georgia, full member of the USSR Academy of Arts, laureate of the USSR State Prize and the Stalin Prize, Valentin Topuridze graduated from high school in Saratov and enrolled in the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics of the Saratov University. In 1924 he returned to Tbilisi and entered the Faculty of Sculpture of the newly established Tbilisi Academy of Arts, where he studied sculpture and academic drawing under direction of   Nikoloz Kandelaki, Yakob Nikoladze, Yevgeny Lanceray and Joseph Charlemagne.

After Sovietization, the Decree on Monumental Propaganda came into force in Georgia, under which sculptors were commissioned by the government to produce monumental sculptures thus  creating  icons of a new ideology – allegories, images of revolution heroes and leaders.

In the 1930s, Valentin Topuridze created two concrete sculptures of a man and a woman athletes for the Rustaveli cinema building, designed by Nikoloz Severov, which so far stand in the arched niches of the façade. During the same period, he sculptured a bust of the revolutionary Lado Ketskhoveli, which until the collapse of the Soviet Union was placed in the Garden of Communards (now the Garden of April 9) in the center of Tbilisi. In 1948, a sculptural allegory by Valentin Topuridze – a woman statue dedicated to the victory in WWII, was put  in Chiatura, for which a year later the sculptor was awarded a state prize.

On April 21, 1956, a monument to Lenin was solemnly erected on the central square of Tbilisi – it was the first monumental statue of the Soviet leader in the capital of Georgia. Before that, Lenin’s colossus was erected in Zahesi Power Plant, created by the Russian sculptor Ivan Shadr. Topuridze made the image of Lenin following a well-established iconography, and depicted the leader addressing the people. Valentin Topuridze worked on the statue together with the painter Ucha Japaridze. The 7.5 m high sculpture stood on an 11.5 m high granite pedestal, itself mounted on a granite platform with Shota Kavlashvili, Givi Melkadze, Konstantin Chkheidze and Konstantin Khechinashvili the architects.

In 1953, the Central Committee of the Georgian Communist Party  approved a five-year plan for the placement of sculptures for  Georgian writers and public figures as part of Monumental Propaganda. The poets Akaki Tsereteli and Ilia Chavchavadze were included in the memorization list. A pair of statue  by Valentin Topuridze was set up  in the garden of the school N1 in Tbilisi in 1958.

In 1955, Valentin Topuridze became a professor at the Tbilisi Academy of Arts.

Throughout his life  he was awarded the Order of Honor and many medals.

Valentin Topuridze
Date of Birth1908Date of Death1980Share