(Morsansk 1848 – S. Petersburg 1886)

Troika on the snow, 1881

bronze; original oval-shaped base

Signed and dated in Cyrillic: Lanceray 1881

cm. L 101 x H 476,5 x W 45,5

Provenance: Umberto I of Savoy, King of Italy from 1878 to 1900; the Count Domenico Farini, President of the Senate of the Italian Kingdom from 1887 to 1898 (received as royal gift); private collection.


Information about Evgeny Lanceray’s biography are very poor; we know for certain that he was not Russian but he was born in France then naturalized in Russia. The artist dedicated his carrier almost exclusively to bronze sculpture.

One of the subject he preferred for his works was the horse, represented in different situations. Troika on the snow, with its strong scenery impact, depicts three horses running on a snow-clad street and drawing a sledge (the so-called troika). Three figures are sculpted on it: a standing male figure driving the horse, a man and a woman embraced each other and sit down on the sledge, wearing the clothes typical of northern countries.

The entire composition shows a great attention paid to the details and naturalistic precise rendering of figures’ gestures; characteristics that give sculpture a strong dynamism and expressivity, as clearly expressed by an article published in “Harper’s” magazine in 1889 and dedicated to some Russian sculptors: «Lanceray’s bronzes unite a large flowing picturesque composition with a minuteness of detail in accessories, carried to a high point of mechanical finish, which yet preserves  the artistic accent»1



C. Cook, Russian bronzes, in «Harper’s New Monthly Magazine», n. 78, January 1889, p. 283.