The Bronze Horseman is a statue of Peter the Great. In Russian language it has also received the name of the Copper Horseman (though being made of bronze) thanks to Alexander Pushkin’s poem, which is according to our director of Russian studies is the best one written by Pushkin.
The idea of creating it belongs to Catherine the Great. Considering Denis Diderot’s advice she called for a French sculptor Etienne Maurice Falconet who arrived in Russia in 1766.
The work took 12 years and it has become the greatest accomplishment in sculptor’s life. Though the face of Peter I was made by Marie-Anne Collot, Falconet’s apprentice of 17 years old. For her work she was given the title of Honorary Member of the Russian Academy of Arts.
The statue is remarkable for having only 3 support points. To keep its balance there was made thorough calculation of the front part thickness. It couldn’t be more than 1 cm.
The pedestal is called the Thunder Stone and it is the largest monolith ever moved by humans. It is 7 meters tall while the statue is about 6 meter. Altogether they make 13 meters that is quite impressive.