Vasily Yakovlevich Grachev was born in 1831 into a family of simple peasants, but during his 74-year life he managed to become one of the famous sculptors of Russia. The creative activity of V. Ya. Grachev began with the fact that in childhood he was sent to study with a specialist in coinage V. Andreev. The study took place in St. Petersburg and lasted six years.
Later, Grachev entered the apprenticeship with silversmiths, among whom was I.S. Sazikov. During this period, Grachev became seriously interested in sculpture. The sculptor created his models from wax for such famous manufacturers as K.F. Werfel or I.P. Khlebnikov. He also worked as a chaser at P.A. Ovchinnikova, I.P. Sazikova, V.I. Safronov and a number of other well-known firms in the country. It was under the hallmarks of these factories that most of Grachev’s works were produced, cast in bronze or silver sculptures.
At the age of 54, Grachev managed to get on his feet and become famous enough to open his own workshop. Over the years, he repeatedly presented his work at various exhibitions and returned from there with well-deserved awards. V. Ya. Grachev liked to create sculptural compositions dedicated to military themes that were popular at that time or subjects involving horses. When reproducing people and animals, the sculptor paid great attention to detail, carefully processed every detail, so his sculptures are distinguished by great expressiveness and realistic plot.
Since the 1830s, the fashion for the so-called cabinet sculpture has been widespread in Russia. These could be bronze or silver writing utensils, miniature frames, bells, figurines, or other things purchased for practical purposes or to decorate an office. Grachev was one of the best masters who worked in the genre of cabinet sculpture in Russia.