The Alexander Column
A Monument to the Year 1812
The column is crowned by the figure of an angel created by the sculptor Boris Orlovsky who gave the face a portrait resemblance to Emperor Alexander I. On the side of the pedestal facing the Winter Palace is a bas-relief depicting winged figures holding up a plaque bearing the words "To Alexander I from a grateful Russia". The composition included figures representing the rivers Neman and Vistula that were associated with the events of the Patriotic War. Flanking these figures are depictions of old Russian armour - the shield of Prince Oleg, the helmet of Alexander Nevsky, the breastplate of Tsar Alexander Mikhailovich, the chain-mail of Yermak and other pieces recalling heroes whose martial feats brought glory to Russia.
The other three sides are decorated with bas-reliefs featuring allegorical figures of Wisdom and Abundance, Justice and Mercy, Peace and Victory, the last holding a shield bearing the dates 1812, 1813 and 1814. These compositions are enhanced by depictions of Ancient Roman military symbols and Russian armour.
The sketches for the bas-reliefs were produced by Montferrand. He superbly co-ordinated the scale of their compositions with the monumental forms of the monument. The panels were designed to the planned size by the artist Giovanni-Battista Scotti. The models were produced by the sculptors Piotr Svintsov and Ivan Lepee, the ornamental embellishments by another sculptor, Ye. Balin. The casting of the bronze was done at Charles Baird's works in St Petersburg.