November 2012 - Monument to the Red Army soldier
Antun Augustincic (Klanjec 1900 – Zagreb 1979)
Dimensions: 81 cm x 87,5 cm x 249 cm
Inv. No. 41/01
Park, near the Royal Palace
Anturn Augustinicic’s Monument to the Red Army soldiers belongs to the group of public sculptures, a part of the Collection of the Royal Compound in Dedinje. The monument is located in the park, along the road that leads to the Royal Palace. According to the latest research it was placed in the ambiance of the park after 1947, probably as an acquisition of the Presidential Cabinet of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia.
Sculptural compositions made as monuments or memorials, intended for public spaces, are dominant in the artistic oeuvre of Antun Augustincic. One of his most important works is the Monument dedicated to the fallen soldiers of the Red and Yugoslav Armies built near the city of Batina on the river Danube, marking the location of a tragic World War II battle. Later this Monument became a part of the larger Memorial centre. The central motive of the Monument is a female figure, holding a torch, representing “Victory”. This figure is placed on a ten metre high obelisk, shaped as a star, with five massive figures of soldiers overlooking the ground. The sculpture located in the park of the Royal Compound in Dedinje and this Monument share the same theme and similar stylistic elements.
The monument to the Red Army soldiers, represented by a soldier on watch, is well blended with the ambiance of the park of the Royal Compound in Dedinje. With his head turned to the side, the soldier is shown while overlooking from above. Wearing a military coat and Russian hat, his left leg is on a step holding a rifle. The striking figure of Augustinicic’s universal soldier together with the base on which he is standing and the back from which he is emerging are made from the same massive stone block. This soldier, larger than he would be in the real life, is hidden behind the coat made without details. The attention of the spectator is primarily drawn by his wide chest and large hands that hold a rifle as a warning, while the hard lines of his face are calm but a serious look reveal power and inspired confidence.
The base on which the soldier stands, bares an inscription, almost destroyed, it reads: “To the fallen soldiers of the Red Army: Domovik, Merkulov, Bondarenko…Anašenko“, finished in the year “1947”.