View of the monument to Peter I on Senate Square in St. Petersburg, Surikov

View of the monument to Peter I on Senate Square in St. Petersburg, Surikov
View of the monument to Peter I on Senate Square in St. Petersburg, Surikov - 1

  • Posted by Vasily Ivanovich Surikov
  • Museum: Russian Museum
  • Year: 1870

Overview of the painting :

The appearance of the monument to Peter I on Senate Square in St. Petersburg is Vasily Ivanovich Surikov. 1870. Oil on canvas. 285 x 599 cm

   It is hard to believe that this monumental canvas was created by the artist in the era of his student being. There are a number of points in the picture that could have baffled a more mature master, but the young artist brilliantly dealt with them. First of all, this double lighting – the dark time of day is captured on the canvas, the area is illuminated by the cold spilled light of the full moon and the rare lights of the lanterns located next to the fence surrounding the monument to the great king. The artist was perfectly able to convey the feeling of a cold and wet St. Petersburg winter night, with its haze air, leveling colors and smoothing volumes.

   Another exceptionally successful technique used by the young master in this picture is the presentation of the image from the bottom, so the grandma of the St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the Copper Horseman literally hangs over the audience, creating an almost physical sensation of their serious mass. The characteristic grayish-blue haze gives the canvas a special appeal, enveloping everything depicted in the picture, smoothing the contrasts a little and at the same time combining all the details. It is so well executed that it leaves just a physical sensation of river moisture emanating from the picture.

   There are many small ones in the work, but important for the realism of the image of details — Senate Square with footprints and sleds covered with snow, a distant prospect of the city, light clouds in the sky, illuminated by cold moonlight, a duct of light on the dome of Isaac, a mighty figure in the counter-jection, clear lines of the fence and snow-dapped Thunder-stone at the base of the monument. The image seems very natural, like a photograph, due to the exact distribution and different density of shadows in the snow. From this picture we can immediately say that her great master wrote.