Mamayev Kurgan & The Motherland Calls, the last non-religious statue to be declared the largest.
The Motherland Calls, also called Mother Motherland, Mother Motherland Is Calling, simply The Motherland, or The Mamayev Monument, is a statue in Mamayev Kurgan in Volgograd, Russia, commemorating the Battle of Stalingrad. It was designed by sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich and structural engineer Nikolai Nikitin. Declared the largest statue in the world in 1967, it is the last non-religious statue to be declared the largest; every record holder since has been a Buddhism-related sculpture. Compared with the later higher statues, The Motherland Calls is significantly more complex from an engineering point of view, due to its characteristic posture with a sword raised high in the right hand and the left hand extended in a calling gesture. The technology behind the statue is based on a combination of prestressed concrete with wire ropes structure, a solution which can be found also in another work of Nikitin's, the super-tall Ostankino Tower in Moscow.
After the war, the Soviet authorities commissioned the enormous Mamayev Kurgan memorial complex. Vasily Chuikov, who led Soviet forces at Stalingrad, lies buried at Mamayev Kurgan, the first Marshal of the Soviet Union to be buried outside Moscow. Soviet sniper Vasily Zaytsev was also reburied there in 2006.
The monumental memorial was constructed between 1959 and 1967, and is crowned by a huge allegorical statue of the Motherland on the top of the hill. The monument, designed by Yevgeny Vuchetich, has the full name "The Motherland Calls!" (Russian: Родина-мать зовёт! Rodina Mat Zovyot!). It consists of a concrete sculpture, 52 metres tall, and 82 metres from the feet to the tip of the 27-metre sword, dominating the skyline of the city of Stalingrad (later renamed Volgograd).
The construction uses concrete, except for the stainless-steel blade of the sword. The statue is held on its plinth solely by its own weight. The statue is evocative of classical Greek representations of Nike, in particular the flowing drapery, similar to that of the Nike of Samothrace.
When the memorial was dedicated in 1967 it was the tallest sculpture in the world, measuring 87 metres (279 feet) from the tip of its sword to the top of the plinth. The figure itself measures 52 metres (170 feet), and the sword 33 metres (108 feet). Two hundred steps, symbolizing the 200 days of the Battle of Stalingrad, lead from the bottom of the hill to the monument. The lead sculptor was Yevgeny Vuchetich, and the significant structural engineering challenges of the 7,900 tonnes (7,800 long tons; 8,700 short tons) of concrete sculpture were handled by Nikolai Nikitin. The statue appears on both the current flag and coat of arms of Volgograd Oblast.
The duplication of the wording in the title "Mother Motherland" does not exist in the original. The Russian word for "Motherland", is derived from "birth" and can be literally translated as "birth place". The title The Motherland that gave Birth to me is Calling would be an alternative translation, but The Motherland Calls is probably better idiomatic English.
In sharp, rapid burst of woman stood on the mound. With sword in hand she encourages her sons to defend the homeland. Her right leg is a little laid back, torso and head vigorously deployed to the left. Face stern and resolute. Frown, wide open, screaming mouth, blow the wind short hair, strong hands, form-fitting body long dress wind fanned ends of scarf - all this creates a feeling of power, expression and compulsive forward. Against the background of the sky, it is like a bird soaring in the sky.
Mother Motherland sculpture looks great on all sides at any time of the year: in the summer, when the mound is covered with a continuous grass carpet, and a winter night - light, lit the rays of searchlights. The majestic statue, speaking against the dark blue sky, as if growing out of the mound, merging it with the snow cover.
68-year-old Valentina Izotov was a model for the creation of the famous Russian monument "Motherland." Almost 40 years, she did not say that was involved in its creation.
- How could I refuse, when the sculptor asked me to pose for a statue in memory of the huge losses suffered by the Red Army in Stalingrad? But I was shocked when they said that I have to pose nude.
It was the beginning of the 1960s, and good women do not undress in front of anyone other than their husbands. Artists, even such respected and known as Leo Maistrenko, who worked on the memorial for the 26-year-old woman did not mean anything.
I was contacted just Leo. I worked as a waitress in a restaurant in the main "Volgograd" - it is still there - and usually served room reserved for high-ranking party officials and delegations. Leo said, I am beautiful, and embodies all the physical and moral qualities of the ideal Soviet woman. Of course, I was flattered, what else?
Curiosity got the better, and I agreed to pose. None of us had no idea what would be the famous "Motherland." Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad), the sculpture known as the battle and play here.
My husband did not like that I'll pose a group of artists, sent from Moscow. He was terribly jealous and took me for each session in the studio, they put on an old factory gas appliances.
After a while it became a job like any other, I hardly thought of myself standing in a swimsuit, and was glad that I paid three rubles a day, as if it was a large amount. But only six months later, I finally gave way to the entreaties of sculptors to remove her bra and bare chest. But that was all. I was firm in its determination to preserve the remnants of modesty and does not pose nude. It was unthinkable.
No one other than family and close friends will not know. Shortly after the session is over, I went to get the first higher education: I have two degrees - an economist and engineer. Then I went from Volgograd and was living and working in Norilsk.
After the opening of the memorial in 1967, I thought about it a little, and lived their lives.
I came home in the early 90's. I well remember the long journey on the train, because hyperinflation has begun, and a substantial sum, which I got in the car, turned almost nothing until I get there.
The time was not easy. Like many others, I have trusted the pyramids and put back all the money and vouchers. Of course, it was a fraud, and many ordinary people have lost everything. So I took up the social and political activities. Today, I am Director of the Foundation, which defends the rights of defrauded investors, and participate in the December Duma elections as the candidate of the "United Russia". Perhaps for this reason, I decided to break the silence, which lasted nearly 40 years.
In recent years, the sculpture is becoming better known, its image can be seen everywhere. People recognize me on the streets, not once, I am not a slender girl, what was once, but the features are still recognizable. Motherland has been around for almost 40 years, the sword symbolizes the protection of our country, hand it sends soldiers to come. This is not exactly me, but I think a part of me in it.
I'm not ashamed of the fact that the undress, I am proud to have done, proud of the sacrifice which brought Russia to protect themselves in those terrible days. During the war I was very small, but I remember how we were with his mother evacuated from Stalingrad. We spent two years in Ukraine, sleeping in barns. Shock I experienced in 1943, after returning home, destroyed by war in the city, is still in me. I'll never forget the first winter, we went to school, where there was no roof.
Russians still need advocates. I do not think I am selected in December, but I use that piece of glory, which gives me the Motherland to fight for the rights of ordinary people.
Subsequently, features statues have been changed as a prototype called the wife of sculptor Vera and Vucetic thrower Nina Dumbadze, but the figure of the motherland - is poured Valentine Izotov.
In May 2009 it was reported that rising water levels had caused the monument's foundations to subside and that the statue was leaning to such a degree (by around 20 cm (8 inches)) it was in danger of collapse.
The model who posed for the statue, Valentina Izotova, a native of the city, is still recognized for her resemblance to the statue. She was recruited by Lev Maistrenko, an artist who was working on the memorial complex in the early 1960s.
According to some sources the statue was partially inspired by the Winged Victory of Samothrace, with somewhat more extended drapery. Marshal of the Soviet Union Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov is buried in the area of the monument, as is famous Soviet sniper Vasily Zaytsev, who killed 225 Axis soldiers in the battle of Stalingrad.
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