"The Bronze Horseman" by Alexander M.              Schenker

The Bronze Horseman Falconet's Monument to Peter the Great Alexander M. Schenker

Publication date:
05 Aug 2014
Yale University Press
416 pages: 235 x 156mm
61 b-w illus.
Sales territories:
World -- in all languages except Russian (see revised agreement dated 20 December 2006)


This book is the first comprehensive treatment in any language of the most consequential work of art ever to be executed in Russia—the equestrian monument to Peter the Great, or The Bronze Horseman, as it has come to be known since it appeared in Alexander Pushkin’s poem bearing that title.

The author deals with the cultural setting that prepared the ground for the monument and provides life stories of those who were involved in its creation: the sculptors Etienne-Maurice Falconet and Marie-Anne Collot, the engineer Marin Carburi, the diplomat Dmitry Golitsyn, and Catherine’s “commissar” for culture, Ivan Betskoi. He also touches upon the extraordinary resonance of the monument in Russian culture, which, since the unveiling in 1782, has become the icon of St. Petersburg and has alimented the so-called “St. Petersburg theme” in Russian letters, familiar from the works of such writers as Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Gogol, and Bely.

Alexander M. Schenker is professor emeritus of Slavic linguistics at Yale University.

“As the most thorough and intelligent study of Russia’s most famous monument, a monument executed by a French Enlightenment sculptor, the book will have wide appeal among scholars of history, literature, and art.”—William Mills Todd III, Harvard University