“Feeding pigeons in Red Square in 1890-1900” by Konstantin Yuon (1946).
Red square in 2012.
What are the differences?
1. Two towers which are to the right from the Historical museum (on the opposite side of the square from us) were demolished in 1931. The Resurrection Gate with two chapels was considered to be an obstacle for military parades and demonstrations on the way to Red Square. The gate was reconstructed in the 90s.
2. St. Nicholas tower looks to be white-washed.
3. Lenin’s Mausoleum was built in 1930.
4. There are no chapels next to the Spasskaya Tower. They were destroyed in 1925 and therefore did not exist in 1946 like the Resurrection Gate when Yuon painted them.
5. We can not see in the picture by Yuon such details as any of the double headed eagles on the Kremlin towers. They were replaced by the stars in 1935. The stars are clearly visible in my photo.
Konstantin Yuon “Lubyanskaya square in winter”, 1905
Lubyanka in 2012.
The walls of Kitay-gorod, the Vladimir tower, St. Panteleimon chapel, and an old fountain with drinking water no longer exist.
The Iron Felix (statue of KGB founder F.Dzherzhinsky erected on the square in 1958) was pulled down in 1991.
Moskvoretsky bridge by Konstantin Yuon, 1911.
Moskvoretsky bridge by Konstantin Korovin, 1914.
Boris Yakovlev “The view on the Kremlin from the side of an old Moskvoretsky bridge”, 1936.
Konstantin Yuon “Utro Moskvy. 1942.”
The view from Bolshoi Moskvoretsky bridge today.
They started to decorate Christ the Savior Cathedral with murals in 1860. During the next twenty years forty artists took part in the work, among them – H. Siemiradzki, V. Surikov, Vl.Makovsky, V.P. Vereshchagin, I.Pryanishnikov, N.Koshelev, M. Vasiliev, and many others.
When the cathedral of Christ the Savior built on the same place in the late 20th century was to be painted there existed just black and white photographs of the original interior. It turned out that the picture of Fyodor Klages “Internal view of Christ the Savior cathedral in Moscow” (1883) was the only survived “document”, executed in color.
Aleksey Bogolyubov “View of Christ the Savior cathedral from Prechistenka street in Moscow”, 1880.
Christ the Savior cathedral is shown almost completed.
Behind the cathedral is the church of the Praise of the Mother of God and All the Saints (1694).
The cathedral was blown up in December of 1931.
The church was demolished in 1932.
I would like to draw your attention to some details of the painting by P.Vereshchagin “View of the Moscow Kremlin” (1879):
1. Double-headed eagles on the top of two towers. Currently you would see there red stars.
2. The Imperial standard over the Palace.
3. The church next to the third tower from the left. The Annunciation church was built in 1731 and demolished in 1932-33.
4. The forth tower from the left is the Secret (Tainitskaya) tower. It is shown with a decorative side bastion, projected out from the line of the curtain wall. It imitated an old one of the XVII century, was attached to the tower in 1862 and dismantled during the renovation of 1930-1933.
5. Color of the Grand Kremlin Palace and the Armory Chamber facades is not the same as today.
6. The Kremlin wall was whitewashed.
7. In the wall of the embankment across the river you can notice a round arched hole. It is the place of confluence of two rivers, where the Neglinnaya river, entubed in 1820, joins the Moscow river.
Exhibition in Moscow (Oct 15 to Mar 20)
ISAAK LEVITAN. To the 150th anniversary.
State Tretyakov Gallery, Krymsky Val
Isaak Levitan a classic Russian landscape painter is considered to be a creator of mood landscape genre. “Levitan’s landscape” is an understandable term both to art specialists and art lovers. The exhibition shows approximately 300 works by Levitan, presenting the most famous masterpieces as well as less known paintings. Among the latter for me was his last unfinished painting “Lake. Russia” full of light and spring hopes and his bouquets of flowers. Flowers, painted by I.Levitan, are not the most luxurious flowers in the world. These are lilacs with their first scent of spring, wild flowers, cornflowers, and dandelions as an enduring metaphor for fleeting nature of life. Similar to his mood landscapes these are flowers for the heart and soul.