Monument(redirected from Monuments)
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in sculpture and architecture, a memorial of substantial size honoring an important historical event or an eminent public figure. A monument often dominates an architectural ensemble conceptually and in terms of mass. Frequently a monument is designed in the form of a sculptural and architectural complex.
(1) In the broad sense, a monument is an object constituting part of the cultural heritage of a country or people. Historical and cultural monuments include both immovable objects and objects displayed or capable of being displayed in museums. There are four basic categories of monuments: archaeological remains, historical monuments, architectural landmarks, and monumental art (see). The Russian word for monument, pamiatnik, is also used to designate a literary work of historical-intellectual or historical-artistic importance. The preservation of historical and cultural monuments is a task of national importance and represents an essential part of ideological upbringing.
(2) In the narrow sense, a monument is a work of art intended to perpetuate the memory of persons and events. Such a monument, usually a means of propagating the ideas of the ruling order, characteristically has the function of actively influencing society. This function is manifested not only in the ideological content but also in the very location of the monument. Such a work of art is generally intended to be viewed by a large number of people. A monument plays a major role in organizing the space that surrounds it.
The prototypes of monuments were the burial structures of the earliest human societies. These structures included megaliths, burial mounds, obelisks, and pyramids. In later periods, although tombs and gravestones often fulfilled the role of monuments, a monument was usually understood to mean a work in which the memorial function distinctly predominated over the burial or religious function (even though the latter might not be excluded).
Basic compositional types of monuments appeared in antiquity and underwent further development in later periods. These included allegorical or portrait statuary (the sculptural group of the tyrannicide of Harmodius and Aristogitron, Athens, 477 B.C.), equestrian statues (the statue of Marcus Aurelius, bronze, between A.D.161 and 180; erected in the Capitoline Square, Rome, 1538), stelae, triumphal arches, and triumphal columns (the column of Trajan in Rome, A.D. 111–114, architect Apollodorus of Damascus). The wide use of statues glorifying a particular individual orignated in ancient Greece. In Hellenistic Greece and in Rome the figures in such monuments were already quite individualistic. Greek and Roman monuments were initially placed on sacred grounds; however, beginning in the sixth century B.C., they were also erected in secular centers, for example, in agoras. Ancient Roman monuments, especially triumphal arches and columns, became important elements in the spatial composition of squares and forums.
In medieval Europe the most characteristic monuments were crosses marking various notable sites and, particularly in the west, sculptural representations of donors placed in churches. A tradition in many countries, including pre-Petrine Rus’, was the commemoration of major events by erecting religious buildings. For example, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow was built in honor of the victory over the khanate of Kazan.
Italian quattrocento masters, working from the heritage of ancient Rome, erected purely secular monuments, some of which were free-standing. Works of this period include several equestrian statues of condottieri, including Donatello’s Gat-tamelata in Padua (bronze, 1447-53) and Andrea del Verroc-chio’s Colleoni in Venice (bronze, 1479-88, erected 1496). The tendency toward rich representation seen in mannerist monuments increased in the baroque and neoclassical periods, when monuments, usually glorifying monarchs or military commanders, often played a major role in urban architecture (for example, the Bronze Horseman—a monument to Peter I, St. Petersburg, bronze, 1768-78, unveiled 1782, sculptor E. M. Falconet).
In the late neoclassical, or Empire, period, architectural monuments, usually dedicated to military victories, became popular. Examples are the arch on the Place Charles de Gaulle in Paris (1806–37, architect J. F. Chalgrin) and the Alexander
Column in Leningrad (1830–34, architect A. A. Montferrand). From roughly 1750, the number of monuments to outstanding public figures and figures in the arts steadily increased—for example, the monument to I. A. Krylov in Leningrad (bronze, 1848–55, sculptor P. K. Klodt) and the monument to Goethe and Schiller in Weimar (bronze, 1857, sculptor E. Richel). Some of these are informal works intended for landscape surroundings.
In the 19th century, monuments to literary figures enjoyed great popularity. Whereas the erection of monuments formerly was exclusively the concern of state institutions (the Court Ministry in Russia), 19th-century monuments were built with funds collected by different social committees and commissions (for example, the monument to Pushkin in Moscow, bronze and granite, erected 1880, sculptor A. M. Opekushin, architect P. S. Bogomolov).
In the 19th century, an increase in the depth of psychological characterization was at times accompanied by decreased size and integration with architecture. However, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a number of gigantic monuments overwhelming in scale were produced, which reflected the growth of imperialistic tendencies. An example of such a work is the monument to Bismarck in Hamburg (stone, 1901–06, sculptor H. Lederer). The increase in the sociopolitical role of the proletariat is reflected in monuments glorifying labor—for example, the Monument to Labor in Brussels (bronze, begun in the 1880’s, sculptor C. Meunier, erected 1930).
In the 20th century, memorial buildings, most often dedicated to the victims of World War I and World War II, became widespread. The tragic events and heroic feats of the war years stimulated the design of a number of monuments that overcame the stylistic conservatism of many 19th- and 20th-century works and were distinguished by expressiveness and metaphorical images. Such works include the Destroyed City in Rotterdam (bronze, 1953, sculptor O. Zadkine) and the monument to the heroes of Warsaw, the “Warsaw Nike,” in Warsaw (bronze, 1964, sculptor M. Koneczny). A new type of nonrepresentational monument, which lacks allegorical figures or portraits and is close in spirit to minor architectural forms, has been developing extensively (for example, the monument to victims of World War II in Milan, stainless steel and plastic, 1948, the BPR architectural firm).
Beginning in the first years of Soviet power, one of the major tasks of art was deemed to be the production of monuments that graphically reflected the historical development of revolutionary ideas and conveyed the spirit of the socialist rebuilding of society. This view was most fully expressed in the Lenin plan of monument propaganda. Whereas early Soviet monuments were most often small in size, the monuments of the 1920’s and 1930’s were larger, enabling fuller integration with the urban environment or natural surroundings (for example. the monument to V. I. Lenin at the Zemo-Avchaly Hydroelectric Power Plant, bronze and granite, 1927, sculptor I. D. Shadr, architect S. E. Chernyshev). The many-figured compositions reinforced the basic theme of the monument (for example, the monument to T. G. Shevchenko in Kharkov, bronze and granite, unveiled 1935, sculptor M. G. Manizer, architect I. G. Langbard).
The program for the erection of monuments to the heroism of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 is especially extensive. In addition to the numerous memorial structures that have been erected, portrait monuments and monuments that include real objects (tanks, artillery, airplanes) have been produced. The sculpturing of busts of those twice decorated as Heroes of the Soviet Union or Heroes of Socialist Labor also plays an important role in patriotic upbringing. The growth of urban areas since 1960 has necessitated larger and more simple monuments, which sometimes consisted of symbolic, nonrepresentational forms. Soviet monuments are dedicated to outstanding persons and events of the past and present. They thereby constitute a chronicle of the most progressive currents in history and culture. Particularly noteworthy are the monuments to Pushkin in Leningrad (bronze and granite, unveiled 1957, sculptor M. K. Anikushin, architect V. A. Petrov), to Mayakovsky in Moscow (bronze and granite, unveiled 1958, sculptor A. P. Kibal’nikov), to Marx in Moscow (granite, 1961, sculptor L. E. Kerbel’, architects R. A. Begunts and others), to Lenin in the Moscow Kremlin (bronze, granite, and labradorite; 1967, sculptor V. B. Pinchuk, architect S. B. Speranskii), to Lenin on Il’ich Square in Moscow (bronze and granite, 1967, sculptor G. Iokubonis and architect V. Chekanauksas), and to Lenin in Berlin (granite, completed 1970, sculptor N. V. Tomskii, architect J. Näther).
REFERENCESBrinckmann, A. E. Ploshchad’ i monument kak problema khudozhestvennoi formy. Moscow, 1935. (Translated from German.)
Kruglova, M. Monumenty v arkhitekture gorodov. Moscow, 1952.
Monumenty SSSR (collection of photographs). Moscow, 1970.
Istoriko-revoliutsionnye pamiatniki SSSR: Kratkii spravochnik. Moscow, 1972.
Sovetskaia skul’ptura nashikh dnei (1960–70, collection of articles). Moscow, 1973.
Ellenius, A. Den offentliga konsten och ideologierna. Stockholm, 1971.
Keller, U. Reitermonumente absolütistische Fürsten. Munich-Zürich, 1971.
A. V. IKONNIKOV