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«The Tree of Life» by Ernst Neizvestny

"I think of sculpture not as a person, animal or other natural or geometrical form situated in space: the sculpture contains within itself a dialogue between spirit and flesh." Ernst Neizvestny Inside the trade footbridge Bagration, there is a big sculptural composition "The Tree of Life". Its author is a Soviet and American sculptor Ernst Neizvestny. This seven metre high sculpture is the height of his creation. According to the sculptor's explanation, the composition symbolizes the eternal conflict between good and evil and the victory of good over evil. The Tree of Life is "a celebration of human soul and knowledge", "affirming the inseparability of the spiritual from the mathematical, logical and scientific".


It was about 50 years ago when Ernst Neizvestny first conceptualized the idea of the composition. The creation has altered many times since then, but the shape of the tree crown has always looked like the form of human heart. Under the branches of this giant "plant" made from bronze and granite, there are hundreds of portraits of the most important historical figures, such as Adam and Eva, Buddha, Yuri Gagarin. The trunk and crown of the tree, braided with Mobius bands, create mystique and religious symbols, and not only of the basic religions, but also religious beliefs of small insular tribes. If you look all over the sculpture, you will understand its symbolism, as the author explains, but he states that the most important thing for him was to give people an opportunity to feel the essence of the sculpture with their hearts.

The sculpture was completed in 1998.

Interesting facts from Wikipedia:

His sculptures, often based on the forms of the human body, are noted for their expressionism and powerful plasticity. Although his preferred material is bronze, his larger, monumental installations are often executed in concrete. Most of his works are arranged in extensive cycles, the best known of which is The Tree of Life, a theme he has developed since 1956. Although Nikita Khrushchev famously derided Neizvestny's works as "degenerate" art at the Moscow Manege exhibition of 1962 ("Why do you disfigure the faces of Soviet people?"), the sculptor was later approached by Khruschev's family to design a tomb for the former Soviet leader at the Novodevichy Cemetery.

Author of the article and photos: prevedva

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