Sketches of the domestic paintings at the Tretyakov gallery recreate the interiors of the past

A.V. Shusev, M.V. Nesterov, The Deesis, Photo: E.A.Bogatyreva

Exhibition dedicated to the wall paintings opened in the graphics halls of the Tretyakov gallery, entitled “Sketches of monumental murals of the XIX – early XX century”. The exhibits allow us to see the interiors at the stage of design. This is what we lost, at least in its original form.

In the center of the story we find 200 sketches by A. Benoit, K. Bryullov, V. Vasnetsov, M. Vrubel, N. Nesterov, A. Serov and other major Russian artists, intended for the decoration of temples, mansions and public buildings of the XIX-XX century, including those that were never built.

The watercolor works of A. Ivanov from the “Bible axisy”, which was supposed to create a picturesque biblical story of the 500 subjects, are of unrealized projects. Located in the first room of the exhibition, these small sketches, without final drawing, were created by an artist for himself, with no hope for implementation in the Church. They were written in such numbers that would not be placed in one temple… Another jewel of a hall and the only picture that has survived from the frescoes of the dome of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, is Sabaoth by A. Markov.

The other rooms also keep significant monuments. Work on the famous St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg, built in honor of patron Saint of Peter the great St. Isaac, was made in 1840-1850 by academics F. A. Bruni, K. P. Briullov, A. T. Markov, and others in the classic manner.

В.М. Васнецов, Серафим со сложенными руками. Серафим с поднятыми руками., Фото: Е.А. Богатырёвой
В.М. Васнецов, Серафим со сложенными руками. Серафим с поднятыми руками., Фото: Е.А. Богатырёвой

The painting of the Cathedral of St. Vladimir in Kiev, provided in 1885-1896 by V. Vasnetsov, M. Vrubel, N. Nesterov and other artists in the “Byzantine style”, show how the same story can be different, but beautifully redesigned by two major Russian artists. According to the plan of A. Prahov, painting returns to Byzantine sources, and in art work the artel principle was recreated too.

The third temple sketches by Alexei Shchusev’s and M. V. Nesterov show how the Intercession Cathedral of the Martha and Mary convent in Moscow was decorated.

Sketches of interior decoration of buildings and structures are represented by works of V. Serov, M. Vrubel and others. They are more free in solution. It combines different philosophical trends, styles and solutions: East and West, Baroque and art Nouveau, easel and monumental painting. Lockets 51*50, called here as “the Sketch panels for the Kazan railway station”, tempera on cardboard by Z. Serebryakova, still hang in the restaurant at the Kazan railway station.

The exhibition will be available from 02 December 2016 to 14 may 2017. Place is Lavrushinsky lane.