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VIEW OF THE NORTH SIDE OF REVOLUTION SQUARE (FORMERLY EKATERINOSLAV SQUARE) IN KOSTROMA

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VIEW OF THE NORTH SIDE OF REVOLUTION SQUARE (FORMERLY EKATERINOSLAV SQUARE) IN KOSTROMA

Made by: Georgii Kreskent'evich Lukomskii

Currently in storage


About this object

Kostroma had been almost entirely destroyed in an enormous fire in May 1773. Catherine II used Kostroma as a laboratory in which her architects could initiate plans to redesign and rebuild Russia’s provincial cities following principles of neoclassical design. Work had been going on for many years on the space, originally named Ekaterinoslav Square (Ekaterinoslavskaia ploshchad’), when architect Petr Ivanovich Fursov began work on the complex of important municipal and state buildings on the north side of the square. On the right is the Gauptvakht (from the German Hauptwache), or Main Garrison, built between 1823 and 1826. Fursov designed it to harmonize with the city’s overall neoclassical design, completing the building with a classical façade of six Doric columns. (In Lukomsky's sketch, the building is topped with a prominent scultpure of the Romanov eagles, but the sculpture does not appear in 1908 photos of the city and such architectural decoration was removed after the 1917 revolution.) To the left is Fursov’s Main Fire Station and Tower (Pozharnaia kalancha), also completed between 1823 and 1826. Its classically-inspired design of a cubic temple with a portico of six Doric order columns echoed essential elements of the Gauptvakht. Lukomsky’s image is a preservationist’s poignant view of the aesthetic effects the Soviet government had had on one of Russia’s most important nineteenth-century architectural ensembles. The classical lines of Fursov’s buildings have been obstructed by prominent electrical lines and perhaps signify Lukomsky’s subtle criticism of what was ostensibly one of the new government’s most important accomplishments. Provincial and rural electrification have come at the expense architectural and historical preservation. The grand square itself has been reduced to ruin, with sows and their piglets drinking from dirty puddles.

Category:
paintings
Object name:
VIEW OF THE NORTH SIDE OF REVOLUTION SQUARE (FORMERLY EKATERINOSLAV SQUARE) IN KOSTROMA
Made from:
Watercolor and charcoal on paper
Made in:
Russia
Date made:
ca. 1920
Size:
18 5/16 × 25 1/4 in. (46.5 × 64.1 cm) Without Frame: 11 3/4 × 18 in. (29.8 × 45.7 cm)

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
51.242
Signature marks:
Signature G. LOUKOMSKI In black in lower left corner. inscription [Cyrillic] KOSTROMSKAIA GAUPTVAKHTA On façade of building on the cornice. Translation: Kostroma Main Garrison
Credit line:
Anonymous Gift, 2005