The tall granite Rumyantsev Obelisk in the middle of the small garden next to the Academy of Arts on the bank of the Neva was designed by V. Brenna in honor of the victories scored by Field Marshall Rumyantsev in 1768-1776. Originally, it stood on the Fields of Mars, but in the 1820s it was moved to Vasilievsky Island and set up in front of the former Cadet Corps where Rumyantsev was educated.
This monument is composed of half a dozen diﬁerent-colored stones, and is ornamented with patches of metal besides. The obelisk itself is of black granite. It stands in a socket of red marble, whose base is of another color, in addition to which there are several strata of white marble; and the whole bears on its extreme point a golden ball, with an eagle hovering over it.
Robert Sears, An Illustrated Description of Russia, 1852