The monument to the great son of the Ukrainian people Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861) was opened in Kharkiv on March, 25, 1935. Its authors are sculptor M. G. Manizer (1891-1966) and architect I. G. Langbard (1882-1951). The monument is a multi-form composition while at the same time it is perceived as the integral whole. The bronze figure of T. Shevchenko is towering on the granite three-edged pylon over 16 other figures.
These figures stand on the projections of the architectural spiral which twines round the eleven meter high pylon. They symbolize the continuous raising of the people's struggle against oppressors. A mighty figure of the Kobzar (5.5 m high) dominates over the monument. The statue is full of dynamics. Resolution and powerful inner force are seen in the whole statue. The great poet-democrat was fighting for the liberation of his people from social and national oppression. This is convincingly shown in the monument.
The figures which twine round the pedestal are two times smaller than that of the statue of Shevchenko. They are seen better from a short distance. Actors of Kharkov theatre "Beresil" N. Uzhviy, A. Buchma, I. Maryanen-ko, A. Serdyuk and other outstanding masters of the Ukrainian stage helped the sculptor a lot in creating the figures similar to Shevchenko's images.The first statue in the sculptural group is that of a serf woman with a child, in her arms. She is known under the name of Katerina depicted by T. Shevchenko in a poem of the same name. Katerina is the embodiment of a charming image of a mother. Kat-erina's statue is followed by a figure of a rebel with a scythe. The image of a dying Gaidamak is full of dramatism. The sculpture "breaking chains" is compositionally united with the two previous figures. Then we can see the statue of a sitting Zaporozhets (a Dnieper Cossack). The second group of statues is a symbol of the working people suffering under tsarist oppression. This thought is expressively shown in a statue of a man bearing a heavy weight on his shoulders: the image calls for a protest against the oppression of a man. We can see also the sculpture of a peasant woman, the statue of a recruit-soldier of the tsarist army, a worker with a rifle, a sailor, a Red Army soldier. There are also figures of a worker with a lowered banner and of a student symbolizing the participants of the first Russian revolution of 1905-1907. The three concluding sculptures are these of a coal-miner, of a collective farmer and of a woman with a book.
The pedestal of the monument is made of polished labradorite. The statues are made of dark bronze. Due to the efforts of many artists, sculptors, actors and builders the monument was made during one year. It is difficult today to imagine Kharkiv without this monument. The grand monument is organically connected with surrounding scenery of the Shevchenko garden and the architectural ensemble of the city.