General Staff Building Quadriga

General Staff Building Quadriga, St Petersburg, public art

Public Art: General Staff Building Quadriga

Sculptors: © Stepan Pimenov (1784 - 1833)  and Vasily Ivanovich Demuth-Malinovsky (1779 – July 16, 1846)

Description: The sheet copper quadriga, which was commissioned to commemorate the Patriotic War of 1812 AD, features a winged Victory on a chariot which is being pulled by 6 bronze horses. The horses are being lead by two Roman soldiers on either side of the chariot. Victory is clutching a double-headed eagle sceptre.

Date Unveiled: 1827- 1832

Saint Petersburg quadriga, Stephan Pimenov, public artLocation: The General Staff Building and Quadriga is located on Palace Square in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in front of the Winter Palace. Look up, it's atop the arch.

General Staff Building : The crescent-shaped neoclassical building was designed by was designed by renowned St. Petersburg architect Carlo Rossi in 1827. Prior to the Revolution the building housed the General Staff in the East Wing and the Tsarist Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Finance in the West Wing.

What is a Quadriga? :

A quadriga is a chariot drawn by four horses which were often raced during the Ancient Olympic Games. Quadrigas became symbols of Victory and Triumph and are often depicted with either Victory (Victoria) or Fame (Pheme or Fama) behind the reigns of the chariot. Victory being the Roman Goddess and Fame being the Greek equivalent. In mythology the quadriga is the chariot of the gods. Apollo is often depicted driving his quadriga across the heavens.

All modern quadrigas are based on the Triumphal Quadriga or Horses of St Mark's in Venice.This being the only surviving quadriga from ancient times. The Venetian crusaders stole them in 1204 during the crusades from the Hippodrome of Constantinople. Nearly 500 years later Napoleon stole the horses from the Venetians and carted them off to Paris. They were later returned in 1815.

So Where are All The Quadrigas Around The World?

Brussels, Belgium - Quadriga of Brabant atop Parc du Cinquantenaire, by sculptors Thomas Vincotte and Jules Lagae.

London, England - Wellington Arch Quadriga atop the Wellington Arch, by sculptor Adrian Jones

Paris, France - Carrousel quadriga atop the Arc de Triomphe, by sculptor Baron François Joseph Bosio.

Paris , France - Two quadrigas atop the Grand Palais, Georges Récipon

Berlin, Germany - Quadriga of Victory atop the Brandenburg Gate, by sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow.

Braunschweig, Germany - Quadriga atop the Royal Palace

Dresden, Germany - Panther Quadriga atop the Semperoper

Munich, German - A lion quadriga atop the Siegestor (Victory Gate), by sculptor Martin von Wagner

Rome, Italy - Quadriga dell'Unità atop the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, by sculptor Carlo Fontana

Venice, Italy - Triumphal Quadriga, St Mark's Basilica, (Oldest surviving quadriga)

Moscow, Russia - Quadriga atop the Bolshoi Theatre, sculptor Peter Clodt von Jurgensburg

Saint Petersburg, Russia - Quadriga atop the General Staff building

Saint Petersburg, Russia - Quadriga atop the Alexandrinsky Theater

Brooklyn, New York, USA - Quadriga atop the arch at Grand Army Plaza, by sculptor Frederick William MacMonnies.

Detroit, Michigan, USA - Victory and Progress quadriga atop the Wayne County Building, by sculptor J. Massey Rhind

Minnesota, USA - Progress of the State quadriga atop the Minnesota State Capitol, by sculptors Daniel Chester French and Edward Clark Potter

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