monument to Peter I was installed in the Fortress in June 1991 on the lawn
off the main alley.
sculpture of the Imperial founder of St. Petersburg was created by the
famous artist of the Russian descent living abroad Michael Shemyakin who
presented it as a gift to his native city. Building up on the “Wax
figure” by B.K Rastrelli the author gave a very personal interpretation
of the image – subjective and grotesque in its impressiveness. The
naturalistic head devoid of any wig (modeled on the death mask made by
Rastrelli) is in contrast with the impersonal mass of the whole figure,
the immobile torso only highlighting the long agile fingers of the sitter.
The whole image conveys the feeling of overwhelming power, concentrated
The monument itself and its installation in the center of the Fortress still remain the subject of an ongoing heated debate, giving rise to polar judgments. However, as Ernst Neizvestny remarked about this sculpture, “doubt is a compliment to art”. The unveiling of the monument coincided with the restoration of the city’s original name, thus manifesting the growing tendency for the modern culture to seek inspiration in the historic past of St. Petersburg.