Statue of Goethe

Although Goethe never made it to Russia, his works are widely considered almost a part of the country's literature, largely thanks to the efforts of Russian poets including Vasily Zhukovsky, Mikhail Lermontov and Boris Pasternak, all of whom translated them into Russian. And it was Goethe's arguably most famous work that influenced Russia's greatest poet, Alexander Pushkin, to write his "Scenes from Faust".

Statue of Goethe next to St Peter's Church in St Petersburg, Russia
Statue of Goethe next to St Peter's Church

The bust was created by the outstanding Petersburg monumentalist sculptor and artist Levon Lazarev, whose works bring together the classical school and an occasionally experimental approach. Lazarev's works are portrait sculptures that aim not just at reflecting his subjects' physical image but also at capturing some of their inner, spiritual essence.

Sculptures by Lazarev - including his portrayals of Goethe, the Italian architect Giacomo Quarenghi, the Russian dissident academic Andrei Sakharov and a monument to those who died in the Second World War - can be found throughout the center of Petersburg. Another feature of Lazarev's work is the unusual harmony that his creations have with their surroundings, as Lazarev was always very sensitive to the location where his statues were placed.