Monument to Peter the Great
The majestic figure of Peter the Great stands on the edge of the bronze disc, rear part of which is raised by four angels. There’s a Flemish writing “Peter the great” at the raised part of the disc, along with two medallions with coats of arms of Russia and Antwerp. The disc is also a geographical map and a wax seal of European politics legislator. When you move around the sculpture, you feel a curious effect. No matter how many turns around the figure you have done, you’d always want to do another turn. The wish to continue movement appears because the statue is not just a bronze idol, it is dynamic. Such an effect is achieved by different arms of the Emperor: his one hand is twenty centimetres longer than the other. Though the whole appearance of the czar is absolutely harmonious.
Another interesting fact concerns the invisible part of the sculpture. The internal design of Peter is based on real ship shrouds. They are secured inside the monument between the bronze ring in the chest of Peter and underground supports. This creates internal tension and gives the monument additional stability.
“The memorial to Peter I in Antwerp is made to be close to people as possible. The figure of the tsar stands on an unusual podium: a circle of bronze, suggesting an official seal, that powerfully stamps the memorial to its concrete place at the bend of two streets. Everything about the statue, which is made for close and all-round viewing, is important: the head, the body, the shoes. That vision of a city sculpture was worked out in my studio in studies for “nowhere-in-particular.
For me, the composition in its space is a single sculpture, including the square, the trees, even the people walking past…”