Alexander Pushkin Statue

Alexander Pushkin Statue, Moscow

Public Art : Alexander Pushkin Statue

Sculptor : © Alexander Opekushin (November 28, 1838 - March 4, 1923)

Date : 1880

Location : The Pushkin statue was originally located in the centre of Strastnaya Square (also known as Pushkin Square/ Pushkinskaya ploshchad) but was moved in 1950 by Stalin to other side of Tverskaya Street, where the Monastery of Christ's Passions once stood.

Commissioned : The Pushkin statue was funded by public subscription.

Description : The bronze statue of Pushkin stands high on a marble plinth, looking down on the busy square. His foot dangles just slight over the base while his right hand presses gently over his heart. A fitting image for Russia's greatest poet.

History of The Pushkin Statue : Russian sculptor Alexander Opekushin was commissioned to design and erect a bronze statue in honor of the poet in 1880. Money was raised by public subscription 43 years after his unfortunate and untimely death . The unveiling, in the centre of Strastnaya Square, was attended by playwright Ivan Turgenev and writer and philosopher Feodor Dostoevsky. In 1950 Joseph Stalin ordered the statue to be moved to the other side of the square where the Monastery of Christ's Passions once stood.

Alexander Pushkin : Alexander Pushkin was born in Moscow in 1799. Despite being raised to speak soley French in "high society" St Petersburg, his nanny told him fairy tales in Russian . He later adapted one of the her tales, Ruslan and Lyudmila, into a poem which soon became famous throughout the country. In 1812 ,when he was barely a teenager, he became inspired by Russia's defeat by Napoleon and began writing poetry. During his youth, Pushkin idled away his time by writing poems and odes and chasing women.  He later began writing for both official and underground press and used his wit and sarcasm as a way of expressing the horror and suppression of the Russian people. His constant criticism of the tsarist government earnt him an exile from St Petersburg, not once but three times. Sadly Pushkin's  life came to a tragic and untimely death, dying from the wounds he received in a duel over his  wife,  queen Natalia Goncharova. Pushkins most loved works include Ruslan and Ludmila, The Bronze Horseman, The Captain’s Daughter and Eugene Onegin.

Trivia : In 1986 an asteroid, 5055 Opekushin, was named in honor of the Russian sculptor.

Alexander Pushkin's great grandfather,Abraham Petrovich Hannibal, had been an African slave and American's often referred to him as a "black" writer.

Pushkin was Russia's first professional poet.

Pushkin, being an  avid dueller, would often carry a cane full of rocks to keep his arm in shape.


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