Monument to Minin and Pozharsky

Last updated
Monument to Minin and Pozharsky
Па́мятник Ми́нину и Пожа́рскому
Moscow 05-2017 img07 Monument to Minin and Pozharsky.jpg
Pozharsky (sitting) and Minin (standing) monument in Moscow
Coordinates 55°45′10″N37°37′21″E / 55.752778°N 37.6225°E / 55.752778; 37.6225 Coordinates: 55°45′10″N37°37′21″E / 55.752778°N 37.6225°E / 55.752778; 37.6225
Location Red Square, Moscow, Russia
Designer Ivan Martos
Materialbronze
Beginning date1816
Completion date1818

The Monument to Minin and Pozharsky (Russian : Па́мятник Ми́нину и Пожа́рскому) is a bronze statue designed by Ivan Martos and located on the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, in front of Saint Basil's Cathedral. The statue commemorates Prince Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin, who gathered an all-Russian volunteer army and expelled the forces of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth under the command of King Sigismund III of Poland from Moscow, thus putting an end to the Time of Troubles in 1612.

The monument was conceived by the Free Society of Lovers of Literature, Science, and the Arts to commemorate the 200th anniversary of those events. Construction was funded by public conscription in Nizhny Novgorod, the city from where Minin and Pozharsky came to save Moscow. Tsar Alexander I, however, decided the monument should be installed on Red Square next to the Moscow Kremlin rather than in Nizhny Novgorod. The competition for the best design was won by the celebrated sculptor Ivan Martos in 1808. Martos completed a model, which was approved by Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna and the Russian Academy of Fine Arts in 1813. Casting work using 500 kilograms (1,100 lb) of copper was carried out in 1816 in St Petersburg. The base, made of three massive blocks of granite from Finland, was also carved at St Petersburg. Moving the statue and base to Moscow presented logistical challenges and was accomplished in winter by using the frozen waterways. However, in the wake of Napoleon's invasion of Russia, the monument could not be unveiled until 1818.

The front of the base carries a bronze plaque depicting a scene of patriotic citizens sacrificing their property for the benefit of the motherland. On the left is an image of the sculptor Martos giving away his two sons (one of whom was killed in 1813). The plaque reads "Гражданину Минину и Князю Пожарскому благодарная Россія. Лѣта 1818", or in English, "In memory of citizens Minin and Grand Duke Pozharsky, in 1818 by grateful Russians".

Originally, the statue stood in the centre of Red Square, with Minin extending his hand towards the Moscow Kremlin. However, after the 1917 Revolution, the Communist authorities found the monument was obstructing parades on the square and discussed its demolition or transfer to some indoor museum. In 1936, the statue was moved closer to the cathedral where it remains to the present day.

On the first celebration of the Unity Day (November 4, 2005) an almost exact copy of this monument by Zurab Tsereteli was erected in Nizhny Novgorod. The copy is 5 cm shorter than the Moscow original.

As it was originally conceived by the sculptor Martos, Prince Pozharsky and Minin were standing side by side. But nobility opposed the concept. It wasn't appropriate for people of different classes to be portrayed on equal terms. Martos redesigned the concept. He has turned the 17th-century heroes of the resistance into ancient history characters. Inequality is highlighted by clothing. Noble prince is in a toga, Minin is in a shirt and trousers. [1]

Related Research Articles

Nizhny Novgorod City in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia

Nizhny Novgorod, colloquially shortened to Nizhny, from the 13th to the 17th century Novgorod of the Lower Land, formerly known as Gorky (Горький) (1932–1990), is the administrative centre of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast and the Volga Federal District. The city is located at the confluence of the Oka and the Volga rivers in Central Russia, with a population of over 1.2 million residents, up to roughly 1.7 million residents in the urban agglomeration. Nizhny Novgorod is the sixth-largest city in Russia, the second-most populous city on the Volga, as well as the Volga Federal District. It is an important economic, transportation, scientific, educational and cultural center in Russia and the vast Volga-Vyatka economic region, and is the main center of river tourism in Russia. In the historic part of the city there are many universities, theaters, museums and churches.

Red Square Square in Moscow, Russia

Red Square is one of the oldest and largest squares in Moscow, the capital of Russia. Owing to its historical significance and the adjacent historical buildings, it is regarded as one of the most famous squares in Europe and the world. It is located in Moscow's historic centre, in the eastern walls of the Kremlin. It is the city landmark of Moscow, with iconic buildings such as Saint Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's Mausoleum and the GUM. In addition, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.

Tourism in Russia Overview of tourism in Russia

Tourism in Russia has seen rapid growth since the late Soviet times, first domestic tourism and then international tourism as well. Rich cultural heritage and natural variety place Russia among the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Not including Crimea, the country contains 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, while many more are on UNESCO's tentative lists.

Time of Troubles 1598–1613 chaotic period of Russian history

The Time of Troubles, or Smuta, was a period of political crisis during the Tsardom of Russia which began in 1598 with the death of Fyodor I and ended in 1613 with the accession of Michael I of the House of Romanov.

Dmitry Pozharsky 17th-century Muscovite prince

Dmitry Mikhaylovich Pozharsky was a Russian prince known for his military leadership during the Polish–Muscovite War from 1611 to 1612. Pozharsky formed the Second Volunteer Army with Kuzma Minin in Nizhny Novgorod against the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth's occupation of Russia during the Time of Troubles, resulting in Polish withdrawal after Russian victory at the Battle of Moscow in 1612. Pozharsky received the unprecedented title of Saviour of the Fatherland from Mikhail I of Russia, becoming a folk hero in Russian culture and honored in the Monument to Minin and Pozharsky in Moscow's Red Square.

Kuzma Minin

Kuzma (Kozma) Minin was a Russian merchant from Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, who, together with Prince Dmitry Pozharsky, became a national hero for his role in defending the country against the Polish invasion in the early 17th century.

Lobnoye Mesto Stone platform on Red Square in Moscow

Lobnoye mesto is a 13-meter-long stone platform situated on Red Square in Moscow in front of Saint Basil's Cathedral.

Ivan Martos Russian sculptor

Ivan Petrovich Martos was Ukrainian and Russian sculptor and art teacher who helped awaken Russian interest in Neoclassical sculpture.

Millennium of Russia Bronze monument in the Novgorod Kremlin of Veliky Novgorod, Novgorod Oblast, Russia

The Millennium of Russia is a bronze monument in the Novgorod Kremlin. It was erected in 1862 to celebrate the millennium of Rurik's arrival to Novgorod, an event traditionally taken as a starting point of the history of Russian statehood.

Unity Day (Russia) National holiday in Russian Federation

Unity Day is a national holiday in Russia held on 4 November [O.S. 22 October]. It commemorates the popular uprising which expelled Polish–Lithuanian occupation forces from Moscow by a militia from Nizhny Novgorod in November 1612, and more generally the end of the Time of Troubles and turning point of the Polish-Russian War (1605–1618).

Nikolai Tomsky Soviet artist and pedagogist (1900-1984)

Nikolai Vasilyevich Tomsky was a much-decorated Soviet sculptor, designer of many well-known ceremonial monuments of the Socialist Realism era.

Avraam Melnikov

Abram or Avraam Melnikov was a Russian Neoclassical architect associated with the late phase of the Empire style. His teachers at the Imperial Academy of Arts included Andreyan Zakharov. He graduated with a gold medal and went to further his studies in Italy. Melnikov became de facto Dean of the Academy in 1831 but was not officially appointed until 1843.

Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin Fortress in Nizhny Novgorod

The Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin is a fortress in Nizhny Novgorod, the historic city center.

Battle of Moscow (1612)

The Battle of Moscow was a series of two battles, which took place in Moscow, on September 1 and 3, 1612, during the Polish–Muscovite War (1605–18). Forces of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth were commanded by Field Hetman of Lithuania, Jan Karol Chodkiewicz, while Russians were led by Dmitry Pozharsky. The battles ended in tactical Russian victory.

Nizhegorodsky City District is a central administrative district (raion) in Upper City of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. The main strategic, historical, political and cultural district of the city.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Nizhny Novgorod Church in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox cathedral church located in the Kanavinsky city district of Nizhny Novgorod. The cathedral is located on the former territory of the Nizhny Novgorod Fair. It is one of the unofficial symbols of Nizhny Novgorod, along with the Dmitrovskaya Tower of the Kremlin, the Chkalov staircase and the fair.

Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street Main street of Nizhny Novgorod

Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street is the high street in the historical centre of Nizhny Novgorod and one of its oldest streets. Until 1917 it was considered a street for noblemen. Formed as the main street of the city by the end of the 18th century. It is considered an analogue of the Arbat in Moscow or 6-7 Lines of Vasilyevsky Island in St. Petersburg.

Minin and Pozharsky Square

The Minin and Pozharsky Square is the main square of Nizhny Novgorod. It is a social and cultural center of the city, the venue of the most important celebrations. It is located in the historical centre of the old town from the southeast side of the Kremlin.

History of Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod was founded by Prince Yuri II of Vladimir in 4 February 1221. Citizens organized an army to liberate Moscow from the Poles in 1611, led by Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky. During the Russian Empire, in 1817 Nizhny Novgorod became the country's main trading city. In 1896, the city hosted the largest All-Russia exhibition. In the Soviet era, Nizhny Novgorod was renamed Gorky, in honor of the writer Maxim Gorky. Then it was the industrial center of the Soviet Union. During the World War II, the city sent to the front a huge amount of military equipment and ammunition. Therefore, the German air force bombed the city for 3 years. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the city was renamed back to Nizhny Novgorod. In Russia, the city became a political center and the capital of the Volga Federal District. Now the city is the center of information technology and develops tourism.

Vasily Ekimov Russian sculptor (1758-1837)

Vasily Petrovich Ekimov, sometimes spelled as Yekimov or Yakimov, was a Russian Empire master founder.

References

  1. "О памятнике Минину и Пожарскому расскажет выставка в Историческом музее" [An exhibition in the Historical Museum will tell about the monument to Minin and Pozharsky]. tvkultura.ru (in Russian). Russia-K. January 30, 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2020.