Atlantes of the Hermitage
Public Art: Atlantes of the Hermitage
Sculptor: © Alexander Terebenev (1815- 31st July,
1859) with the help of 150 masons.
Designed by: Johann Halbig
Description: Ten 5 meter high monolithic granite
Atlantes holding up the portico at the New Hermitage building in Russia.
Date Unveiled: 1849
Location: The Portico and Atlantes are located on
Millionnaya Street at the historical entrance to the New Hermitage, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Things You May Not Know About The Hermitage Atlantes:
In 1945 Terebenev was commissioned by the New Hermitage to create ten granite Atlantes for the
portico of the new building after presenting clay models of his concept.
The grey Serdobol granite was quarried near the shores of Lake Onega.
Alexander Terebenev only worked on the faces of the Atlantes leaving the
150 assistants and masons to finish the specific parts assigned to them.
The figures were carved on the ground floor of the Small Hermitage.
On three of the ten statues Terebenev has carved "Alexander Terebenev 1849".
Emperor Nicholas I was so pleased with the end result of the Atlantes he presented Alexander
Terebenev with a diamond ring. The Hermitage also awarded him the Order of St. Anne's III and a substantial
Emperor Nicholas I gifted an identical Atlas sculpture by Terebenev to Prussian king Friedrich
Tragic Demise of Terebenev: Terebenev was not good
with money and as soon as it came into his possession it was spent, forcing him to often sell his possessions. He
also liked to hold extravagant parties and with this he began to drink. Unfortunately the Hermitage were not
amused and sacked him from the position of head of sculptural works without so much as a pension. He was
forced to sell his house and eventually went bankrupt. To make matters worse, in 1858 Terebenev and his wife
contracted smallpox, leading to her death. Sadly, a year later the poverty stricken
Terebenev died from a cold in Obukhov hospital . One of the stonemasons, who he had trained, paid for his
burial at Volkovskoe Orthodox Cemetery.
References : welcome-petersburg.com