In classical European architecture a column is often replaced by a sculpture in the form of a man supporting whatever is above him. This is called an atlas (plural atlantes)although the figure is not portrayed with the world on his shoulders.
The portico of the final addition to the Hermitage complex of buildings in St Petersburg has ten atlantes carved from dark gray granite holding the ceiling at head level. They were carved by the sculptor Alexander Terebenev, who needed one hundred and fifty assistants to complete this task. Terebenev himself worked on the faces and assistants were assigned specific parts of the figures.
The figures are very detailed and realistic with well defined muscles. Even the veins of the feet are delineated. The Portico is located on Millionaires Street a short distance from the Palace Square.