In my opinion, one of the most beautiful metro stations in Moscow is Arbatskaya (dark blue line). Completed in 1953, the year of Stalin's death, it was intended to be used as a bomb shelter, if necessary. Look at that bomb shelter! The long 250 meter platform is also very deep - 41 meters underground. The station represents an example of Stalinist baroque style, its opera clothes include white arched ceilings, bronze chandeliers, ceramic bouquets of flowers, red marble decorations, and glazed tiles. Arbatskaya station can boast a unique design. It was not yet time for austerity and criticism of luxury in Soviet architecture. Up to 1955 metro stations were built on the individual projects. They looked like palaces. Later, between 1955 and 1970 mostly functional aspects prevailed.
Before 1955 in one of the escalator vestibules one could see a mosaic portrait of Stalin (sculptor G. Opryshko).
The same place today:
The exhibition of Konstantin Korovin (1861-1939), Russian Impressionist painter, dedicated to his 150th birth anniversary is open till August, 12 at the Tretyakov Gallery on Krymsky Val, 10. The last exhibition like this took place in Moscow in 1922.
Konstantin Korovin. Gurzuf, 1914
The Tsar Nicholas II presented this Easter egg to his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna in 1908. It was made of Sayan jade and decorated with miniature watercolor portraits of the tsar’s daughters and Tsarevich Alexei. Portraits frames and the first letters of the names over them were lined with diamonds. The surprise inside was the exact gold model of the Alexander Palace with rock crystal windows and a roof of green enamel. Originally this country residence was built by order of Catherine II as a wedding gift to her beloved grandson, Alexander. In the reign of Nicholas II the royal family mostly lived in Tsarskoye Selo at this palace. Jade was considered a symbol of love, hope, and happiness.
The Armoury Chamber collection, Moscow
I was asked, when Maslenitsa starts this year in Russia.
This year, Maslenitsa week starts tomorrow on February, 20, and will last till Sunday, February 26. It always takes place during the week before Lent. Maslenitsa is a celebration of the end of winter and welcoming the approaching spring, and hence of warmth, hope, and joy. I believe nobody painted Maslenitsa better than Boris Kustodiyev.
The Caravaggio exhibition at the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum runs until February 19, 2012.
If you want to escape long queueing and freezing come at 10am.
An exhibition dedicated to the 120th anniversary of one of the most famous Soviet architects Boris Iofan at the Schusev State Museum of Architecture, Vozdvizhenka St., 5 (M. Biblioteka imeni Lenina, Alexandrovsky sad, Arbatskaya) will be opened until February 26, 2012.
Boris Iofan is mainly known as an author of the “House on the Embankment” and the Soviet Pavilion with a sculpture of the "Worker and Collective Farm Girl" by V. Mukhina created for the World’s Fair of 1937. Although never realized, the ambitious Palace of Soviets, became the project of his life. For me, the initial project of Moscow State University and those interior designs for the Palace of Soviets halls looking like Pantheon or a Christian church proved to be particularly interesting.
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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.
Year of Spain in Russia. Salvador Dalí retrospective will be held at the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts from 3 September until 13 November 2011. The exhibition repesents 25 oil paintings, 20 watercolours, 70 drawings, and many photographs from the collection of Dalí Theatre and Museum in Figueres.
I invite you to visit an estate and house, designed by the famous Russian painter Vasily Polenov for himself and his family and built on the bank of the Oka river 130 km south of Moscow in 1892. You will love well preserved artist’s collections, the views from the house windows and from surrounding hills.