The Bronze Horseman is an iconic monument to Peter the Great at Senatskaya Ploshchad (Senate Square). This huge sculpture by Étienne Maurice Falconet demonstrated the absolutism (supreme central power) established by Peter I toward the end of the Tsardom of Russia and strengthened when he founded the Russian Empire in 1721. This tribute to Peter Alexeyevich was commissioned by Catherine the Great. In 1782, it was erected atop Thunder Stone. The boulder originally weighed over 1,650 tons. The name Bronze Horseman is a misnomer. The sculpture is cast from copper.