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The Bronze Horseman was sculpted by Étienne Maurice Falconet and completed in 1782. Catherine the Great, a German princess that married into the Romanov family, commissioned the construction of the statue to legitimate her rule and claim to the throne to the Russian people.
Catherine came to power through an illegal palace coup after the death of her husband. She had the statue inscribed with the phrase, Петру перьвому Екатерина вторая, лѣта 1782, in both Latin and Russian, meaning Peter the first Catherine the second, both to show reverence to the ruler and indicate where she saw her place among Russia's rulers.

The statue took 12 years to create. It depicts Peter the Great astride his horse, his outstretched arm reaching toward the Neva River in the western part of the country. The statue is lauded for its ambiguity; it is said Pushkin felt the ambiguous message of the statue and was inspired to pen the poem. In a travelogue about Petersburg in 1821, the French statesman Joseph de Maistre commented that he did not know "whether Peter's bronze hand protects or threatens".From Wikiped

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Additional Photos by Piotr Fagasiewicz (PiotrF) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 4757 W: 2 N: 8657] (41670)
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