Suvorov Monument (Saint Petersburg)

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Suvorov Monument
Памятник Суворову
Pamiatnik Suvorovu02.jpg
Suvorov Monument, Suvorov Square
Coordinates 59°56′45″N30°19′47″E / 59.94583°N 30.32972°E / 59.94583; 30.32972 Coordinates: 59°56′45″N30°19′47″E / 59.94583°N 30.32972°E / 59.94583; 30.32972
Location Saint Petersburg
Designer Mikhail Kozlovsky
Type Sculpture
Material Bronze (statue)
Granite (pedestal)
Height3.37 metres (11.1 ft) (statue)
4.05 metres (13.3 ft) (pedestal)
Beginning date1799
Completion date1801
Opening date1801
Dedicated to Alexander Suvorov

The Suvorov Monument (Russian : Памятник Суворову) is a bronze sculpture of Generalissimo Alexander Suvorov located in Saint Petersburg. It is at the centre of Suvorov Square , opposite the Field of Mars and the Trinity Bridge, and between the Marble Palace and the Saltykov Mansion.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although nearly three decades have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.

Bronze metal alloy

Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12–12.5% tin and often with the addition of other metals and sometimes non-metals or metalloids such as arsenic, phosphorus or silicon. These additions produce a range of alloys that may be harder than copper alone, or have other useful properties, such as stiffness, ductility, or machinability.

Generalissimo is a military rank of the highest degree, superior to field marshal and other five-star ranks in the states where they are used.

Contents

Commissioned in 1799 by Emperor Paul I to commemorate Suvorov's Italian expedition that year, the execution was entrusted to sculptor Mikhail Kozlovsky. His design was approved in early 1800, and depicted Suvorov in the allegorical guise of the god Mars. The sculpture was cast in bronze, but neither Paul nor Suvorov lived to see its unveiling, which took place in May 1801. The monument marked a number of firsts, it was the first monument in Russia to someone other than a member of the Imperial family, and the first time that a monument had been ordered during the subject's lifetime. It was also first major monument created entirely by Russian craftsmen.

Paul I of Russia Emperor of Russia

Paul I reigned as Emperor of Russia between 1796 and 1801. Officially, he was the only son of Peter III and Catherine the Great, though Catherine hinted that he was fathered by her lover Sergei Saltykov, who also had Romanov blood, being a descendant of the first Romanov tsar's sister, Tatiana Feodorovna Romanova.

Italian and Swiss expedition Bonapartes second campaign in Italy

The Italian and Swiss expeditions of 1799 and 1800 were undertaken by a combined Austro-Russian army under overall command of the Russian General Alexander Suvorov against French forces in Piedmont, Lombardy and Switzerland as part of the Italian campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars in general and the War of the Second Coalition in particular.

Mikhail Kozlovsky Russian sculptor (1753-1802)

Mikhail Ivanovich Kozlovsky was a Russian Neoclassical sculptor active during the Age of Enlightenment.

The monument was originally planned to be located in Gatchina, though the site was changed to the Tsaritsyn Meadows, later the Field of Mars. It was unveiled in the presence of Emperor Alexander I, many of his generals, and Suvorov's son Arkadi. The monument was moved to its present location in 1818 as part of a general reconstruction of the area by architect Carlo Rossi. It now stands at the centre of Suvorov Square. Its pedestal was replaced in the 1830s, and it survived the siege of Leningrad undamaged.

Gatchina Town in Leningrad Oblast, Russia

Gatchina is a town and the administrative center of Gatchinsky District in Leningrad Oblast, Russia. It is located 45 kilometers (28 mi) south of St. Petersburg, along the E95 highway leading to Pskov. Population: 92,937 (2010 Census); 88,420 (2002 Census); 79,714 (1989 Census).

Alexander I of Russia Emperor of Russia

Alexander I was the Emperor of Russia between 1801 and 1825. He was the eldest son of Paul I and Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg. Alexander was the first king of Congress Poland, reigning from 1815 to 1825, as well as the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland, reigning from 1809 to 1825.

Arkadi Suvorov Russian general

Arkadi Alexandrovich Suvorov, Count Rymniksky, was a Russian general. A son of Alexander Suvorov, he rose to the rank of lieutenant general.

Commission

The monument was developed by order of Emperor Paul I, to commemorate Suvorov's 1799 Italian expedition, for which he received the victory title of "Prince of Italy". [1] The granite pedestal bears the inscription: "The Prince of Italy, Count Suvorov-Rymniki. 1801." [2] [3]

A victory title is an honorific title adopted by a successful military commander to commemorate his defeat of an enemy nation. The practice was first used by Ancient Rome and is still most commonly associated with the Romans, but it was also adopted as a practice by many later empires, especially the French, British and Russian Empires.

Design and execution

The monument, at right, in its original location in 1807, in the Field of Mars Fieldmars.jpg
The monument, at right, in its original location in 1807, in the Field of Mars

The figure of Suvorov was sculpted in bronze by Mikhail Kozlovsky between 1799 to 1801, with his proposed design being approved in January 1800. [1] [2] Suvorov is depicted in the allegorical guise of the god Mars, with a raised sword in his right hand and with a shield in his left, in classical armour and helmet. [1] The face of the figure does not exactly resemble Suvorov, but is intended to be symbolic of a "heroic" figure. [3] [4] The figure stands beside an altar with reliefs of Faith, Hope and Love, on which the papal tiara and crowns of Austria and the Kingdom of Sardinia are placed, protected by the figure's shield, which bears the Russian coat of arms. [2] [3] The cartouche on the pedestal is supported by figures representing the genius of Glory. [2] [3]

Mars (mythology) Roman god of war, and guardian of agriculture

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. He was second in importance only to Jupiter and he was the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him, and in October, which began the season for military campaigning and ended the season for farming.

Papal tiara crown worn by popes of the Roman Catholic Church

The papal tiara is a crown that was worn by popes of the Catholic Church from as early as the 8th century to the mid-20th. It was last used by Pope Paul VI in 1963 and only at the beginning of his reign.

Habsburg Monarchy former Central European empire (1526–1804)

The Habsburg Monarchy, also Austrian Monarchy or Danube Monarchy, is an unofficial umbrella term among historians for the kingdoms and countries in personal union with the Habsburg Archduchy of Austria between 1526 and 1804, when it was succeeded by the Austrian Empire. The Monarchy was a composite state of territories within and outside the Holy Roman Empire, united only in the person of the monarch. The dynastic capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague. From 1804 to 1867 the Habsburg Monarchy was formally unified as the Austrian Empire, and from 1867 to 1918 as the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The monument was cast in bronze by Vasily Ekimov  [ ru ] in the foundry workshop of the Imperial Academy of Arts, with the bronze bas-relief on the pedestal sculpted by Fyodor Gordeyev  [ ru ]. [1] [2] In the agreement with Ekimov signed on 12 October 1800, it was arranged that the statue would be cast and polished by 1 April 1801. [5] The foundry however was experiencing a particularly heavy workload, with the gates for the Mikhailovsky Castle, and statues, bowls and vases for the Grand Cascade at the Peterhof Palace being cast there, resulting in some delays for the monument. [5] The pedestal was made of marble to the design of Andrey Voronikhin, using materials left over from the construction of Saint Isaac's Cathedral. [2] [4] [5] Kozlovsky made several complaints against the contractors building the pedestal, accusing them of poor workmanship. [5] As completed, the statue stands 3.37 metres (11.1 ft), with the pedestal 4.05 metres (13.3 ft) high. [1] [4] It was officially unveiled on 17 May [ O.S. 5 May] 1801. [1] [2] It was the first monument in Russia to someone other than a member of the Imperial family or its earlier predecessors, and the first time that a monument had been ordered during the subject's lifetime. [1] [3] [4] [5] It was also first major monument created entirely by Russian craftsmen. [1] [3] In the event, neither Suvorov nor Paul lived to see its completion. Suvorov died in May 1800, while Paul was killed during a palace coup in March 1801. [3] Instead the new emperor, Paul's son, Alexander I, attended the unveiling, along with many of his generals, and Suvorov's son Arkadi. [1] [3]

Imperial Academy of Arts art school in Russia

The Russian Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg, informally known as the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts, was founded in 1757 by the founder of the Imperial Moscow University Ivan Shuvalov under the name Academy of the Three Noblest Arts. Catherine the Great renamed it the Imperial Academy of Arts and commissioned a new building, completed 25 years later in 1789 by the Neva River. The academy promoted the neoclassical style and technique, and sent its promising students to European capitals for further study. Training at the academy was virtually required for artists to make successful careers.

Peterhof Palace palace in Russia

The Peterhof Palace is a series of palaces and gardens located in Petergof, Saint Petersburg, Russia, commissioned by Peter the Great as a direct response to the Palace of Versailles by Louis XIV of France. Originally intended in 1709 for country habitation, Peter the Great sought to expand the property as a result of his visit to the French royal court in 1717, inspiring the nickname used by tourists "The Russian Versailles". In the period between 1714 and 1728, the architecture was designed by Domenico Trezzini, and the style he employed became the foundation for the Petrine Baroque style favored throughout Saint Petersburg. Also in 1714, Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond designed the gardens, likely chosen due to his previous collaborations with Versailles landscaper André Le Nôtre. Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli completed an expansion from 1747 to 1756 for Elizabeth of Russia. The palace-ensemble along with the city center is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Andrey Voronikhin Russian architect and painter

Andrey (Andrei) Nikiforovich Voronikhin was a Russian architect and painter. As a representative of classicism he was also one of the founders of the monumental Russian Empire style. Born a serf of the Stroganov family, he is best known for his work on Kazan Cathedral in Saint Petersburg.

Location

An 1836 depiction of the monument ACHENBACH(1836) p049 COLLOSSALDENKMAL FUR SUWOROW.jpg
An 1836 depiction of the monument

The monument was initially to be placed in Gatchina, until Emperor Paul designated a new site so as to be close to his new residence at the Mikhailovsky Castle. [1] [2] [3] The monument was originally located in the southern part of the Tsaritsyn Meadows, now the Field of Mars, close to the Moyka River. In 1818 the area around the Mikhailovsky Castle was redeveloped by architect Carlo Rossi, who suggested moving the monument to a newly-created square facing the River Neva. [1] Emperor Alexander I approved the suggestion, and the square became known as Suvorov Square. [1] [2] At some point between 1801 and 1818 a chain fence supported by cannon balls was erected around the monument. [2] [4] In 1834 the original marble pedestal was found to be suffering from cracking, and was replaced with a pink granite pedestal of the same design between 1836 and 1838. [1] [2] [3]

During the siege of Leningrad plans were made to hide the monument in the cellar of a nearby house, but the window opening was too small and the plan to hide the monument was never carried out. [1] [3] A story arose that one of the numerous bombs dropped on the city narrowly missed the monument and instead struck the cellar of the house. [5] The monument was the subject of a 1941 poem by Vsevolod Rozhdestvensky, "Suvorov Monument", with its opening lines

"Among the Baltic sunny spaces,

Over the wide open Neva,
As the god of war, rose bronze Suvorov

A vision of Russian battle glory." [6]

The monument survived the siege of Leningrad undamaged. [1] [2]

Preliminary models of the monument are displayed in Moscow's Tretyakov Gallery and Saint Petersburg's Russian Museum. [3]

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References

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