Monument to 4 faithful servants to Nicholas II installed in Ekaterinburg

On 13th June, a new monument to four faithful servants of Emperor Nicholas II, was installed and consecrated on the grounds of Novo-Tikhvin Convent.

The monument featuring four bas-reliefs, honours Prince Vasili Alexandrovich Dolgorukov (1868-1918), Lieutenant General Ilya Tatishchev (1859-1918), Tsesarevich Alexei’s “nanny” sailor Klimenty Grigorievich Nagorny (1887-1918) and boatswain Ivan Dmitriyevich Sednev (1881-1918). It was installed in Zelenaya Grove, of the convent, and the solemn consecration was performed by Metropolitan of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye Evgeny.

PHOTO: Metropolitan of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye Evgeny performing the act of consecration

After the 1917 Revolution, with Christian courage and nobility, these four men remained faithful to the Emperor. They voluntarily followed the Imperial family into exile, first to Tobolsk, and then Ekaterinburg, were they were all murdered by the Bolsheviks in the summer of 1918: Dolgorukov and Tatishchev were shot on 10th June 1918, while Nagorny and Sednev were shot on 28th June 1918.

They were all eventually buried in the cemetery of the Novo-Tikhvin Convent, although their respective graves were lost during the Soviet years. The necropolis is gradually being restored, sadly, however, the burial place of these four faithful servants has not yet been found.

PHOTO: detail of the four bas-relief images, from left to right: Ivan Sednev, Lieutenant General Ilya Tatishchev, Prince Vasily Dolgorukov and Klimenty Nagorny

The four-meter stone stele with relief images of the Tsar’s four faithful servants was made at the St. Petersburg workshop of Mikhail Parfentiev, the sketches for the monument were prepared by the sisters of the Novo-Tikhvin Convent.

Tatishchev, Dolgorukov, Nagorny and Sednev were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) in 1981, and rehabilitated by the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation on 16 October 2009. They have yet to be canonized by the Moscow Patriarchate. 

Memory Eternal! Вечная Память!

PHOTO: sculptor prepares bas-relief model of Lieutenant General Ilya Tatishchev

The sketches for the monument were prepared in the icon-painting workshop by the sisters of the Novo-Tikhvin Convent Striving for historical accuracy, the sisters consulted on archival documents and photographs of the uniforms and respective awards worn by Prince V. A. Dolgorukov, I. L. Tatishchev, K. G. Nagorny and I. D. Sednev. In addition, they consulted with historians and other experts on the history of the uniforms of the Russian Empire. At the same time, in order to show the height of the feat of the Tsar’s faithful subjects, who in fact were martyred, the sisters supplemented the images with details characteristic of icons: holding Orthodox crosses in their hands, and fluttering cloaks worn on their shoulders – this is customary for depicting Orthodox martyrs on icons. General Ilya Tatishchev is depicted holding the Gospel, which he knew by heart.

PHOTO: drawings and photos of Lieutenant General Ilya Tatishchev

PHOTO: plaster and stone bas-relief of Lieutenant General Ilya Tatishchev

When the sketches were ready, the sculptors got down to work. First, it was necessary to make models from plasticine – a putty-like modelling material made from calcium salts, petroleum jelly and aliphatic acids. In order to “turn” a drawing into a three-dimensional figure, the sculptor constantly checks it with photographs. From the plasticine model, an exact plaster copy is made, and from that, the stone carvers copy the image. The talented masters of the St. Petersburg workshop of Mikhail Parfentiev carefully worked on every detail of the four-meter stele with relief images of the Tsar’s subjects. Work on the monument took nearly three years to complete.

PHOTO: sketches, photos and stone bas-relief of Klimenty Grigorievich Nagorny

© Paul Gilbert. 13 June 2022