Bronze, marble, granite
90 х 88 х 88
State Russian Museum
This is a reduced-scale copy of the monument to Catherine the Great that was put up in 1873 in front of the Alexandrinsky Theatre in St Petersburg; it was designed by Mikhail Mikeshin and was the most famous monument dedicated to the Empress’s reign. The figure of Catherine was moulded by Matvei Chizhov, and those of her associates that surround the pedestal by Alexander Opekushin. The group includes Grigory Potemkin and Alexander Bezborodko, important statesmen from Catherine’s time, the military leaders Alexander Suvorov and Pyotr Rumyantsev and the naval commanders Vasily Chichagov and Alexei Orlov, Ivan Betskoi and Ekaterina Dashkova, active in the enlightenment, and the poet Gavriil Derzhavin.
Mikeshin, Mikhail Osipovich
1835, Maximovka (Smolensk Province) – 1896, St Petersburg
Sculptor, draughtsman, illustrator, author of sculptural projects. Studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1852–1858). Awarded a major gold medal and title of first-class artist for painting Count of Tilly at Magdeburg in 1631 (1858). Won the competition to design the Millennium of Russia monument in Novgorod (1862). Academician (1869). Honorary member of the Escola Superior de BelasArtes in Lisbon (1864). Decorated ships of the Russian Navy. Published the artistic magazine Bee.