Topic: A Russian Moment
A previous statue of Alexander II by the Russian sculptor Alexander Opekushin was destroyed in 1918. Producing an exact copy of the previous monument--a superficial, lifeless imitation--would have been inappropriate. Nevertheless, surviving photographs and sketches of the first statue served to aid and direct the creators of the new work, the artists Alexander Rukavishnikov and Sergei Sharov, and the architect Igor Voskresensky.
Together these talented individuals developed their own vision of the statue. Their work combines elements of neoclassical monumental sculpture with new urban design. Facing the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, the monument is a sign of the respect that many Russians today feel for their national history and the noble virtues of the Russian statehood.
The statue was consecrated by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexei II (1929-2008).
© Tretyakov Gallery Magazine. 18 February, 2013