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Entries / Catherine II, Monument to

Catherine II, Monument to

Categories / Architecture/Sculpture, Monuments

CATHERINE II, MONUMENT TO. Erected on Alexandrinskaya Square (from 1923, called Ostrovskogo Square) in front of the Alexandrinsky Theatre on 24 November 1873. The artist M.O. Mikeshin started work on the plans in 1860. The designs were accepted in 1872, at which point the erection of the pedestal, made of 600 Serdobolsk granite blocks, had already began. Special ships were built to from the stones, which weighed up to 50 tons, from the Valaam Archipelago Island. Special portable rails, made at the San Galli Factory, were laid from the ship landing to the construction site. The masonry was carried out by masters G.A. Balushkin and N.P. Osetrov; bronze casting was done at the Kokhun of the Nikols Factory and at the Plinke Trading Company. Architectural work was executed according to plans by D.I. Grimm and V.A. Schreter. The crowning memorial sculpture of Empress Catherine II was executed by sculptor M.A. Chizhov. Surrounding the pediment are nine sculptural portraits of nobles from Catherine the Great's time (sculptor A.M. Opekushin); these are organised into groups of generals (P.A. Rumyantsev, G.A. Potemkin, A.V. Suvorov), officials (A.A. Bezborodko, I.I. Betskoy), naval commanders (V.Y. Chichagov, A.G. Orlov) and cultural figures (G.R. Derzhavin, E.R. Dashkova). A plan for an additional ensemble with six sculptures and 23 busts for Catherine's park was not carried out. The monument is 14.9 metres high. The careful execution and expressiveness of the sculptures are characteristic of this form of realism from the second half of the 19th century. The monument's large shapes changed the scale of architectural ensembles previously created by K.I. Rossi. During the years of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45, the monument was not covered or safe-guarded, but luckily was not damaged by artillery fire and bombing. In 1972, restoration work was carried out.

References: Пирютко Ю. М. Под скипетром Екатерины: Памятник Екатерине II в С.-Петербурге. СПб.; Калининград, 2002.

Y. M. Piryutko.

Balushkin G.A.
Betskoy (Betsky) Ivan Ivanovich
Bezborodko Alexander Andreevich
Catherine II, Empress
Chichagov Vasily Yakovlevich
Chizhov Matvey Afanasievich
Dashkova Ekaterina Romanovna, Duchess
Derzhavin Gavriil Romanovich
Grimm David Ivanovich
Mikeshin Mikhail Osipovich
Opekushin Alexander Mikhailovich
Orlov Alexey Grigorievich, Count
Osetrov N.P.
Potemkin Grigory Alexandrovich, Gracious Prince of Tauride
Rossi Carl Ivanovich (Carlo Giovanni)
Rumyantsev Peter Alexandrovich, Count
Schreter Viktor Alexandrovich
Suvorov Alexander Arkadievich, Count

Ostrovsky Square/Saint Petersburg, city

Пирютко Ю. М. Под скипетром Екатерины: Памятник Екатерине II в С.-Петербурге. СПб.; Калининград, 2002

The subject Index
Alexandrinsky Theatre


Catherine II (1729-1796), Empress

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