As batalay noted about my previous photo of The Bronze Horseman, its sculptor Etienne Maurice Falconet cheated in trying to balance the horse on two hind legs and used a very sturdy tail to create a tripod. So I decided to post a close-up of the statue where the trick that the sculptor used is very visible.
The monument was built by order of the Empress Catherine the Great as a tribute to her famous predecessor on the Russian throne, Peter the Great. Being a German princess by birth, having no legal claim to the Russian throne and having gained her position through a palace coup, she was eager to establish a line of continuity with the earlier Russian monarchs and to represent herself as Peter's rightful heir.
For that reason an inscription on the monument reads in Latin and Russian: Petro Primo Catharina Secunda - To Peter the First from Catherine the Second, as an expression of her admiration for her predecessor and her view of her own place in the line of great Russian rulers.
The pedestal is made of a single piece of red granite molded into the shape of a cliff. From the top of this "cliff" Peter gallantly leads Russia forward, while his horse steps on a snake, which represents the enemies of Peter and his reforms.
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Oceania (5202) 2013-03-11 8:36
The horse seems like jumping into the blue sky. Also, it was carved in greatly detailed.
siudzi (34141) 2013-03-11 8:36
What a superb monument you have decided to present! The clear blue sky is the best possible background for such a superb art. Well seen and cropped! Thanks for sharing.
lousat (97447) 2013-03-11 9:39
Hi Jenna,great tribute to Pietro and Caterina,and great pic.I like your choice of point of view so close the statue to create an imposing perspective,perfect exposure,details and colors too.Have a nice week and thanks,Luciano
batalay (40367) 2013-03-11 21:25
I'm flattered that you mentioned my note for your earlier post. The close-up indeed reveals that the sculptor, Monsieur Falconet, has used a bit of legerdemain, balancing the massive Czar and horse with a very sturdy tail. No doubt the tail is anchored into that monolithic red granite.
You set me straight on one other aspect of the Royal Family. I always thought that the Empress Catherine was the daughter of Peter the Great. Here the date 1782 is visible.
Warm regards, Jenna.
Noel_Byrne (33584) 2013-03-12 6:36
Really nice to see this close up of the statue, as well as the trick employed by the artist. He has done a fantastic job though in creaing a very imposing and meaningful statue.
the light you have captured bouncing off it here is superb, and that blue sky makes some background :)
All the best
serp2000 (45828) 2013-04-01 10:23
I was here and I know this this PoV. Good postcard style, good exposure, nice vivid colours.
Best wishes from Ural,