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A visitor is about to touch the feet of one of the Atlantes of Hermitage Museum, just for good luck.

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An atlas is, in classical European architecture, a support sculpted in the form of a man, which may take the place of a column, a pier or a pilaster.
The term atlantes is the Latin plural of the name Atlas – the Titan who was forced to hold the sky on his shoulders for eternity.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, many buildings were built with glorious atlantes that look much like the Greek ones. Their selection from the two proposed designs—the other design using Caryatids—for the entrance of the Hermitage Museum that was built for Tsar Nicholas I of Russia made atlantes become even more fashionable. The portico of this building has ten enormous atlantes, approximately three times life-size, carved from Serdobol granite, which were designed by Johann Halbig and executed by the sculptor, Alexander Terebenev.

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Additional Photos by Deniz Taskin (rigoletto) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3092 W: 400 N: 6731] (34255)
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