Belarusian Monumental Cult Sculpture
According to historians, the cult sculpture on the territory of Belarus origins in the Paleolithic times. To early samples of the monumental sculpture of the ancient Slavs belonged to the figures of pagan gods, destroyed with the adoption of Christianity. Noteworthy, for Orthodox churches, volumetric plastic for many centuries remained unacceptable. A sculpture of Christian content could appear in Belarus not earlier than the end of the 14th century. However, even in the 15-16th centuries it was still very rare. Traditionally, masters decorated churches, both Orthodox and Catholic, with painting.
The earliest sculptural plot was the “Crucifixion”, usually located on the prelattic arch (girder) or at the altar of the church. Quite often under the cross with Jesus depicted the future Mother of God and the Apostle John. The collection of the Museum of Old Belarusian Culture includes sculptures of the 16th century. In particular, “Our Lady” and “Apostle John” from Volkovysk. The subtle features of Mary’s face resemble Renaissance images. Deep large folds of clothes have a Gothic origin, and a calm straight figure and a canonical hand gesture tell us about the connection with the icon painting tradition.
Category Archive: History
Belarusian Monumental Cult Sculpture
The history of deer sculpture in Smolensk is quite interesting. In 1909, during the hunt in the Rominsten forest, the German Kaiser Wilhelm II killed a deer. The animal made a very strong impression on him, and he decided to install a statue of a deer in his castle. For many years the monument adorned the courtyard of the hunting castle in East Prussia, but in 1944 the statue mysteriously disappeared. In 1945, the sculpture, found by Soviet soldiers at the dacha of Goering, moved to Smolensk.
By the way, one deer horn weighs 200 kg. Meanwhile, residents and visitors of the city of Smolensk have a fun tradition – to rub the genitals of a deer to attract good luck.
Russian Empress Elizabeth Petrovna monuments
Built in 2004 monument to Elizabeth Petrovna of Russia is a part of Historical and cultural complex “Elizabeth Fort”. The work by sculptor G.V. Frangulyan depicts the Empress on horseback in the dress of the Colonel of the Life Guards of the Preobrazhensky Regiment. It as if meets all the ships entering the Kaliningrad Gulf. The height of the statue is 6.3 meters, the total height with the pedestal, made in the form of a fortification, is 14 meters. The weight of the statue is 12 tons. The idea belongs to the administration of the Kaliningrad region and the Ministry of Culture. Initially, it was planned to install it on the central square of Kaliningrad – in front of the cathedral. But the sculptor Georgy Frangulyan suggested the port city of Baltiysk (formerly Pillau), which stands at the break in the Baltic Spit. The sculptor justified this by the fact that the monument will have a symbolic meaning, like the Statue of Liberty in the USA: all ships coming to Russia and going to the Kaliningrad port, necessarily pass through this strait.
Vladimir Lenin monument-mausoleum in Chelyabinsk
Located on the Aloe pole (Scarlet field) in the city of Chelyabinsk mausoleum appeared on July 15, 1925. However, the authorities laid the first stone on the day of the funeral of Vladimir Ilyich, exactly the minute when in Moscow Lenin’s body was lowered into the crypt, on January 27, 1924, at 18:55.
In fact, it resembles the mausoleums of the East – a two-story granite monument with two side staircases leading from the central entrance to the second floor. The monument of gray granite, combines a torn stone with a hewn stone, processed to a small buchard (platbands, locks, and framing arches). On the balcony of the second floor, between the two columns there is a niche with the bronze bust of VI Lenin. On the sides of the monument – obelisks.
Noteworthy, the outstanding Soviet sculptor Vera Ignatyevna Mukhina herself lead the process. Meanwhile the author of the project is Nikolai Mikhailovich Chekasin, a simple librarian of the Chelyabinsk Bibliocollector, whose project won in a contest.
We demand peace sculptural composition by Mukhina
The famous Soviet sculptor Vera Mukhina created the monument “We demand peace!” in 1950 (creative team: N.V. Zelenskaya, Z.G. Ivanova, S.V. Kazakov, and A.M. Sergeev). Until 1994 it decorated VDNKh (Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy) near Mira (Peace) avenue. After the extension of the avenue, the sculpture moved to the park “Museon”. Meanwhile, the idea of creating a composition arose after the Korean War that began in 1950.
According to Mukhina’s plan, the sculpture was to draw attention to the need for peace on a planet that had recently survived the horrors of World War II. It consisted of six figures. Three men, symbolizing the main human races, trampled the banners of the German army, on each side were the figures of a one-armed blind man – a war invalid and a woman holding a dead child. Also, the front figure is a woman with a dove going to fly – a symbol of peace. This woman personified the future of mankind.
Monument to the children of Russian Tsar Nicholas II was solemnly unveiled on the territory of the Orthodox monastery of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers on Ganina Yama on November 16, 2011. Besides, it is the site of a mine in which the remains of the royal family and their confidants were discovered.
The author of the bronze monument – Igor Vladimirovich Akimov, Ural sculptor, teacher at the Ural State Architectural Academy. The height of the monument is about three meters, and the weight is almost three tons. According to the author’s intention, counted to the rank of holy martyrs, the royal children Princesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Prince Alexei as if descending from heaven with crosses in their hands on an inclined stone slab that serves as a pedestal. However, not exactly.
One of the most significant monuments in the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, is “Courage” – Monumental complex dedicated to 1966 earthquake. It stands at the intersection of Sharaf Rashidov avenue (in Soviet times Lenin Avenue) and Abdullah Kadiri street.
At 5:24, on April 26, 1966, an earthquake measuring 8,3 points on the Richter scale shook the city. The strongest seismic impact changed the face of the city forever. Noteworthy, the epicenter of the earthquake was at a depth of about ten kilometers right under the central districts of Tashkent. Accordingly, the “Courage” monument appeared later approximately on this place.
Interestingly, the tragic event which took place on 26 April 1966 has mystic symbols, I mean 26 April – Chernobyl tragedy (1986), and the year 1966 speaks for itself.