Commissioned in 1799 by Emperor Paul I to commemorate Suvorov's Italian expedition that year, the execution was entrusted to sculptor Mikhail Kozlovsky. His design was approved in early 1800, and depicted Suvorov in the allegorical guise of the god Mars. The sculpture was cast in bronze, but neither Paul nor Suvorov lived to see its unveiling, which took place in May 1801. The monument marked a number of firsts, it was the first monument in Russia to someone other than a member of the Imperial family, and the first time that a monument had been ordered during the subject's lifetime. It was also first major monument created entirely by Russian craftsmen.
The monument was originally planned to be located in Gatchina, though the site was changed to the Tsaritsyn Meadows, later the Field of Mars. It was unveiled in the presence of Emperor Alexander I, many of his generals, and Suvorov's son Arkadi. The monument was moved to its present location in 1818 as part of a general reconstruction of the area by architect Carlo Rossi. It now stands at the centre of Suvorov Square. Its pedestal was replaced in the 1830s, and it survived the siege of Leningrad undamaged.