Monument to Alexander III to be established in Gatchina

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Sculpture of Alexander III by Vladimir Brodarsky 

The Russian Historical Society (RIO) has announced the results of a competition to establish a monument to Emperor Alexander III, to be installed in the courtyard of Gatchina Palace, situated about 48 km south of St. Petersburg.

The winner of the competition is the Russian sculptor Vladimir Brodarsky, a graduate of the St. Petersburg State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture named after I. Ye. Repin. One of the works of the young artist was recently presented at the Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art – he embodied Rembrandt’s The Prodigal Son in sculpture for installation in the Russian pavilion.

Project competition

RIO Chairman Sergei Naryshkin, noted that it was the Gatchina Museum-Reserve who initiated the idea to install a monument to Alexander III in the courtyard of the restored Arsenal Square. The Russian Historical Society and the Russian Military Historical Society announced a competition in May of last year. Call for applications was opened on 1st June 2018, in which four applications were submitted to the competition.

According to the rules of the competition, entries were required to create a monument based on the surviving first sketches of the monument to Emperor Alexander III by sculptor Paolo Trubetskoy (1866-1938), depicting the monarch sitting in a chair. Trubetskoy is well known for his equestrian statue of the emperor, which is now located in the main courtyard of the Marble Palace in St. Petersburg.

Georgy Vilinbakhov, Deputy Director General of the State Hermitage Museum for Scientific Work, noted that the Brodarsky project is closer to Trubetskoy’s plan compared to other projects participating in the competition.

Alexander III in Gatchina 

“Alexander III spent a significant part of his life here, within the walls of Gatchina Palace: here he was engaged in public affairs, spent time with his family and was involved in the activities of the Russian Historical Society, of which he was honorary chairman”, said Naryshkin.

Vasily Pankratov, director of the Gatchina State Museum-Reserve, expressed the hope that the monument’s installation will be implemented by March 2020, when the 175th anniversary of the birth of Alexander III will be celebrated.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 15 May 2019