The New Hermitage Museum's grand entrance has a magnificent portico. There stand ten giant atlases that were made of grey granite. 5️⃣ -meter-high sculptures are meant to support architrave of the portico, and what makes them look even taller are the contrasting pink granite pedestals. These monumental atlantes are now one of the main symbols of St. Petersburg but the thing is, they might have never been made, because it was initially planned to decorate the entrance with several caryatids.
It took 2 years to create these beautiful life-like sculptures. 150 stonecutters worked with statues, carving certain parts out of stone. But Alexander Terebenev, the sculptor and creator, always made the hard work himself, be it carving a face or hair.