Temujin


The massive and richly allegorical plinth invests this statue with a monumental quality, and the easily-recognizable pyramid shape of the figure enhances that impression. Nevertheless, the delicate distribution of weight prevents the figure from looking static and ponderous. Eschewing the classic contrapposto formula with most of the figure’s weight on one foot, the sculptor, however, skilfully conveys half-motion through the torso slightly inclined towards a leg, which is put forward, through the head sharply turned in the same direction, as if the subject is walking, and through the laboured gesture of the hands and the diagonals of the internal axes. Seemingly firmly-settled forms become filled with an inner mobility and the entangled currents of a life force. A fine treatment of individual elements, distinguished by an almost goldsmith-like precision, such as clothes, ornaments, and accessories provides for a contrast with the spareness of the big forms and not only enriches the surface with a picturesque play of light and dark but also lends fluidity and vivacity to the figure. The complexity of Temujin’s character is conveyed by a language of elaborate plastic contrasts inciting the viewers to ponder the turns and twists of his life. Thus, the symbolic public exposure and memorial implications of the monument become combined with a profound psychological immersion into the image typical for a static composition.

The statue is rooted in the classic tradition of Russian sculpture of the first half of the 19th century – in both its monumental and non-decorative versions, the differences between which were gradually disappearing precisely at that period in the history of Russian art.

 

Brief annotations to the image

TEMUJIN was the birth name of the great military commander Genghis Khan (1155 or 1162 — 25th August, 1227). Before becoming a monocratic ruler, he gained notoriety as a ruthless battler. His strategy and tactics were characterized by careful reconnaissance, suddenness of assault, the drive to splinter enemy’s force, ambushes using special units for decoying the enemy, manoeuvres with large cavalry units, etc. When he became an official ruler, he was relentlessly pushing to bring under his control as many lands as possible.