18 June, 2012

Санкт-Петербург ...The Grandeur Continues

This is the second installment from St. Petersburg, Russia, day number one. I want to let the photos speak for themselves to give you a feel for the opulence (thanks, Nancy, for the word!) of these interiors. I will simply identify the places and let you feast  your eyes on the magnificence of the ornate workmanship. These first four photos are inside the Usupov Palace as we concluded our tour there.

Another type of feasting! We had lunch at Stolle a distinctive pie restaurant, recreating pie delicacies from recipes that were popular in the 19th century. We each ate a slice of the meat pie for our main course  followed closely by a piece of strawberry pie for dessert. They were positively delicious!
St. Isaac's Cathedral

A model of the foundation for St. Isaac's Cathedral. Forty years under construction, the first ten years   were spent on the foundation, which failed; this model was then proposed and the building continued.

The Bronze Horseman, a monument to Peter the Great in Senatskaia Ploschad (Senate Square).

The Hermitage... my advice to anyone visiting would be to look UP!

...but if you only looked UP, you'd miss the floors! 

This and the next three photographs were my favorite pieces,
ones I never imagined viewing up close and personal.
Canova: The Three Graces

Rembrandt: Flora

Rembrandt: Descent From the Cross

Matisse: The Painter's Family

And last but certainly not least, my husband and what can only
 be described as the world's largest, and finest, bird bath!

Life is Good!

Tomorrow: St. Petersburg, day two:
Peterhof and Catherine Palace

Observations from my journal:
1.  Amid all the grandeur enjoyed by Russian nobility the remainder
 of Russians lived as peasants, there was no middle class.
2.  A stop at a small gift shop was made even more comfortable by English speaking 
clerks who offered a historical perspective on lacquered boxes as well as coffee or vodka!
3.  Many statues (including The Three Graces) had been moved to The Hermitage from
Usupov Palace for safekeeping during Nazi occupation and were never returned.
4.  It's hard to fathom the massive reconstruction following the complete ruins that were left after WWII.


Janet O. said...

It is amazing, Mrs. G. Such workmanship!
But it is hard to wrap my mind around all of this opulence, knowing the circumstances of so many of the people as you mentioned in your #1 observation. What a contrast!

Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

1. The opulence continues.
2. Of COURSE you would have strawberry pie!
3. Love the birdbath shot.....

Quiltdivajulie said...

Truly a breathtaking experience . . . "hard to fathom" for so many different reasons!

Carrie P. said...

simply amazing! such works of art. what an awesome experience for you.

LizA. said...

Breathtaking. I'd love to know the process they used to design that octagonal floor design with the face in the middle. Do you suppose they drew it all out first?

LizA. said...

Breathtaking. I'd love to know the process they used to design that octagonal floor design with the face in the middle. Do you suppose they drew it all out first?

regan said...

What an amazing stop on this already incredible trip! It must seem like a dream to you! Thank you for taking us along!

Ancestor Collector said...

Amazing art, architecture, and splendor, but how sad that the wealth was all spent in this way while so many suffered. What a wonderful trip this is, especially with a tour guide devoted just to you!

AnnieO said...

Opulence indeed, just look at all that gold! The incredible detail everywhere is mind-blowing. The Three Graces are beautiful. I always love Matisse because he uses lots of textiles and patterns in his paintings :) Thanks for sharing!

cityquilter grace said...

simply breathtakingly beautiful...and the statue is a masterpiece...what a sense of awe being surrounded by unfathomable beauty

Nane said...

Wow. I think I saw an appliqué quilt in that tw floor. Was Russian coffee good?