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Entries / Decorative Monumental Sculpture (entry)

Decorative Monumental Sculpture (entry)

Categories / Architecture/Sculpture, Monuments

DECORATIVE MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE. The art of monumental sculpture dates back to the time of Peter the Great; its first examples appeared throughout St. Petersburg, at the Summer Garden and various suburb residences. These works of art, which had a mainly didactic character, were accomplished by Italian, Dutch and German masters, depicting ancient gods, and embodying natural elements, virtues, sins, and moods. Monumental reliefs included the Petrovskie Gate (sculptor K. Osner); the facades at the Summer Palace (sculptor A. Schluter); and the steps at the Grand Cascade (sculptor B. K. Rastrelli), which symbolically represent the events of the Northern War of 1700-1721. Among the first decorative sculptural works by Russian masters is the copper statue of Neptune in the Peterhof Lower Park (1716, cast by M. Arnolt). During the time of Empress Elizaveta, decorative ornamental reliefs, sculptures and vases were an essential part of the decoration of baroque palaces (Stroganov Palace, Shuvalov Palace, Winter Palace). I. Dunker, assistant to F. Rastrelli, worked in Russia from 1743, creating works characterized by their high level of skill. By the 18th century, parks filled with decorative sculptures had already been developed at Petrodvorets (Peter Palace), Oranienbaum, Tsarskoe Selo, Pavlovsk, and Gatchina. By the beginning of the 19th century, decorative-monumental sculpture played an important role in large municipal architectural ensembles, including the sculptures of rivers and sea gods in the ensemble on the Vasilievsky Island Spit, and sculptures at the Mining Institute and at Kazan Cathedral. The Main Admiralty's rich sculptural decoration, which has partly survived, symbolizes the Russia's triumph as a great sea power. Allegorical sculptures were as a rule used to decorate porticos of buildings made in the Classical style; figurative reliefs over building and pier windows were widely used, as were castle stones with Gorgon and lion-face masks. Stone sculptures were cut from limestone and granite at the S.K. Sukhanov Co-Operative (see figures at the bottom of the Rostral columns, near Kazan Cathedral), and by G. Balushkin (atlantes of the New Hermitage, from a model by A.I. Terebenev). In the 1810s, the Triskorni Workshop installed decorative marble sculptures (Dioskouroi near the Manege; lions near the Lobanov-Rostovsky Residence). Sculptural decoration of bridges and landings are also of artistic value, particularly the landing near the Academy of Fine Arts (1832-34, K. A. Ton, Amenhotep Sphinxes from the 4th-3rd centuries B. C.); a fence with 29 lions on the Kushelev-Bezborodko Family Estate, bordering on what is now Sverdlovskaya Embankment (middle of the 19th century); as well as Bankovsky Bridge, Lviny Bridge, Egyptian Bridge, and Anichkov Bridge; and the former lions and vases on Admiralteiskaya Embankment. Garden-park sculpture from the second half of the 19th – the early 20th centuries are exclusively decorative. In Soviet times, decorative sculpture existed at cultural and recreational parks, child's playgrounds, and sport complexes (works by E.A. Yanson-Manizer at the Central Park of Culture and Recreation, 1936; work by T.A. Diveeva at Moskovsky Victory Park, 1953). A stereotype exists that Soviet works consist only of girls with oars and pioneers with bugles. Since the 1990s, the city's central districts have been adorned with decorative sculptures (City Policeman, at Malaya Konyushennaya Street; Ostap Bender, at Italyanskaya Street; Cats, Dog and Photographer, at Malaya Sadovaya Street), which are contrary in aesthetic to the historical ensembles.

References: Люлина Р. Д., Раскин А. Г., Тубли М. П. Декоративная скульптура садов и парков Ленинграда и пригородов XVIII-XIX вв. Л., 1981; Монументальная и декоративная скульптура Ленинграда / Сост. Е. В. Плюхин, А. Г. Раскин. Л., 1991.

Y. M. Piryutko.

Arnolt M.
Balushkin G.A.
Diveeva Ts.A.
Dunker Johann Franz
Kushelev-Bezborodko Nikolay Alexandrovich, Count
Osner Konrad
Peter I, Emperor
Rastrelli Bartolomeo Carlo de
Rastrelli Francesco de
Schluter Andreas
Shuvalov Ivan Ivanovich, Count
Sukhanov Samson Xenofontovich
the Terebenevs
Ton Konstantin Andreevich
Triscorni Agostino
Yanson-Manizer Elena Alexandrovna

Раскин А. Г., Тубли М. П., Люлина Р. Д. Декоративная скульптура садов и парков Ленинграда и пригородов XVIII-XIX вв. Л., 1981
Монументальная и декоративная скульптура Ленинграда / Сост. Е. В. Плюхин, А. Г. Раскин. Л., 1991

The subject Index
Petrovskie Gate
Grand Cascade (Peterhof)
Great Northern War of 1700-21
Stroganov Palace
Shuvalov Palace
Winter Palace
Spit of Vasilievsky Island
Plekhanov State Mining Institute, St. Petersburg
Kazan Cathedral
Rostral Columns
Lobanov-Rostovsky, House of
Bankovsky Bridge
Lviny Bridge
Egyptian Bridge
Anichkov Bridge