The monument to Pushkin in Moscow today is one of the outstanding symbols of the Russian capital. He appeared in 1880, its author – Alexander Opekushin. The figure of the poet is made of bronze. It is interesting that initially it appeared on Passion Square at the beginning of Tverskoy Boulevard, only in 1950 the monument was moved to the opposite side of the square.
Description of the monument
The monument to Pushkin in Moscow depicts the famous Russian poet in full growth. He is wearing a coat over which a raincoat is thrown over. In this case, his head tilted in thought. The viewer has a feeling that Pushkin is thinking over his new work.
The pose of the poet is familiar from his numerous images. The right hand is laid over the side of the coat, and the left hand, which is folded back, has a hat.
At the corners of the monument there are four cast-iron lamps, each of which has four lamps. Along the perimeter there are 20 small pedestals, which are twined with bronze wreaths. Between themselves, they are connected by a bronze chain.
Fundraising for the monument to Pushkin in Moscow on Tverskoy Boulevard began in 1860. The initiators were graduates of the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, in which the Russian poet received an education. A subscription to raise funds for the construction of the monument was announced.
They collected 30 000 rubles, ten years later another subscription was announced, which was initiated by the Lyceum student Jacob Grot. At this time, managed to get more than 160 thousand rubles.
In 1875, an open competition was announced for the design of the monument to Pushkin. The first prize was awarded to the sculptor Opekushin. At the same time, the project was changed several times, in particular, the shape of the pedestal was adjusted. Instead of two truncated cones, which were originally planned, a trapezium on a rectangular prism was used.
History of creation
To help Opekushin invited architect Ivan Bogomolov. A special commission for the construction of a monument was also set up, headed by the Prince of Oldenburg.
It took another five years to prepare the model of the statue. It was cast from bronze at the St. Petersburg plant, and the pedestal was made of dark red granite.
It was originally supposed that the monument would be opened in 1879, it was planned that this event would be timed to the anniversary of the beginning of the work of the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum.
Opening of the monument
But in time to open the monument failed. It turned out to be damaged by one of the corner monoliths located under the stairs. As a result, it was replaced by two others, which had to be joined together. All this led to a significant delay.
The construction of the monument to Pushkin was completed only in the spring of 1880. But after that the discovery was postponed several times. At first they wanted to open it on the birthday of the poet, May 26, but the date was canceled due to mourning for Empress Maria Alexandrovna. Only on June 6, to the jubilation of Muscovites who had gathered, despite the overcast weather, the monument to Pushkin in Moscow was solemnly opened.
On the same day, a solemn meeting devoted to this event was held at Moscow University. Presentations on the poet’s place in Russian literature were made by Klyuchevsky and Tikhonravov. Over the next three days, celebratory events were held in the Nobility Assembly, which included Dostoevsky, Turgenev and Aksakov.
The monument to Pushkin in Moscow, the photo of which is in this article, was originally set to face the Passionate Monastery. Only in 1950, it was moved to a new place, but in the same place on Passion Square, which by that time had been renamed Pushkin. He was put in place of the demolished monastery bell tower, turning exactly 180 degrees.
How to get there?
From this article you will also find out where the monument to Pushkin is located in Moscow. It is located in the Russian capital on Pushkin Square.
If you use public transport, then the easiest way is by metro to the stations "Tverskaya" or "Pushkinskaya". From there to the monument is at hand, it is the most visible object in the entire area. Bus # 10, 101 and 904 pass through the bus stop.
The author of the monument
The author of the monument to Pushkin in Moscow is the famous domestic sculptor Alexander Opekushin. He himself is from Yaroslavl province. Even in his childhood, he showed outstanding abilities, so he ended up in a sculptor’s workshop in St. Petersburg.
Interestingly, he was born a serf, therefore, to study at the Academy of Fine Arts, he had to buy off. He got free in 1859, when he was 21 years old, and two years later he married.
The description of the monument to Pushkin in Moscow, made by Opekushin, was most liked by the commission that determined the author of the sculpture. It has become one of his most famous projects. Among them, you can also highlight the monument to Admiral Greig, which was opened in 1873, a monument to the poet Lermontov, which appeared in Pyatigorsk in 1889, Alexander II in Czestochowa and Rybinsk.
Pushkin statues in other cities
It is noteworthy that Opekushin created several more monuments to Pushkin in other cities. For example, in St. Petersburg, the grand opening took place in 1884, and a year later – in Chisinau. Both were made of bronze and granite.
In 1913, a statue of Pushkin was installed in Ostafyevo, the author also became Opekushin.
It is worth noting that the sculptor was a staunch Orthodox Christian and monarchist. His work was highly valued at the court, he was patronized by emperors and grand dukes. Opekushin had a large family to adequately support it, he was constantly working on making decorative sculptures that adorned many Moscow mansions. Some of them can be seen today.
Inscriptions on the pedestal
The inscriptions that adorn the pedestal of the Moscow monument to the poet deserve special attention. In particular, on them you can see the lines from his poem "Monument".
An interesting and entertaining story is connected with this work. When it was published in the ninth volume of the posthumous edition, Zhukovsky, who served as a publisher and compiler, changed the text of the poem for censorship reasons. He replaced the dangerous, in his opinion, the line ("What in my cruel age I praised Freedom" more neutral "With the beauty of living poems I was helpful"). He also made a cosmetic revision of the thirteenth line in order to preserve the rhyme in the text. As a result, one of these changes made by Zhukovsky fell on the pedestal of the monument to the poet. It is obvious that the compilers of the text were not guided by lifetime editions, but by a posthumous collection, on which Zhukovsky worked.
As a result, instead of the text written by Pushkin:
And so long will I be amiable to the people
What good feelings I lyre awakened.
What in my cruel age I praised Freedom
And mercy for the fallen called.
The following lines appeared:
And for a long time I will be tempted to the people,
With kind feelings, I woke up,
With the beauty of living poem, I was useful
And mercy to the fallen ones called
The text was replaced with the original one in preparation for the celebration of the centenary of the poet’s birth. To do this, the old inscriptions were cut down, and the top was re-polished. The contours of the letters caused the master by the name of Bunegin and Makarov. The material around the letters was removed, so a semi-polished background of gray-light color appeared.
At the same time, the original font was retained, but the spelling was replaced with modern, and the couplets – with quatrains.
At the same time, on the back side of the pedestal, the inscription that the monument was erected in 1880 was kept unchanged.
Today, the monument to Pushkin is one of the most iconic and recognizable symbols of Moscow, without it it’s impossible to imagine this city. Near him often make appointments, hold meetings, and simply enjoy spending time walking in picturesque surroundings.