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Title: Emperor Peter the Great
Artist: Dmitriev Sergey
Size (cm): 24x18x4
Size (inches): 9.75x7.25x1.75
Price : $2950 SOLD!





Now an academician, now a hero, Now a seafare, now a carpenter, He , with an all- encompassing soul, Was on the throne an etrnal worker. Aleksander Pushkin on Russia's Greatest Monarch, Peter I (The Great). At a time when Europe was just swimming out of the wake of the Renaissance, and England, Spain, and France were clamoring to North America, Peter the Great did as he pleased. He was born in 1672 to Tsar Alexis, and from the very start of his life he heard the calling of cannon fire and explosions. Peter's father, Alexis was so pleased he ordered large salutes with fireworks, guns, and cannons to celebrate his son's birth. As a child Peter was a healthy boy, very curious and intelligent. It seemed like he wanted to know everything, and was constantly questioning everything he saw that he did not understand. When he grew older this stayed with him, especially on his travels in Europe where he himself, disguised, worked in shipyards in England and Holland where he learned the art of shipbuilding. This was not change shoes on a learned while tripping around Europe. He took on masonary, carpentry, knew how to change shoes on horse, cast cannons, make boots, and to top all off, if a person had a sick tooth Peter the Great could pull it himself. He grew into a gaint, between 6'6' and 6'7', and his strength matched his grand stature. He was able to chop trees down with great efficiency, dig heavy loads og ore from mines, but his mind was intricate and his talents were delicate enough that he could disassemble clocks, navigational instruments, and precise mechanical devices, then put them back together as if they had never been touched. He was a renaissance man in the truest sense, and this is what Alexander Pushkin referred to in his verse italicized above. However, he was not only a gifted and a talented person, he grew into a natural leader. His father's temper was quite fierce, and when was something needing attention or completion, he knew how to exercise power to swiftly get the job done. From here Peter gathered of his sheer will that would allow him to see one of the world's architectural gems built before his eyes, the construction of a naval fleet, and the transformation of the upper echelon Russian cuture. It was all to take place at the beginning of the !*th centure, when Peter was only in his late twenties. He desperately wanted to build a city that rivaled all others he saw in Europe, including London and Amsterdam. His love for the sea, his desire to strengthen the military force of Russia, and the desire to be closer to Europe convinced him that a spot on the Gulf of Finland, where the Neva flows out to, shold be the site where his city would be built. The first stone was laid on an island where today the St. Peter and Paul Fortress guards St. Petersburg on the Neva. He called the city after his patron saint, Peter, but many like to refer to it as the city that Peter himself built. In a mere nine years (1703-1712) his team of workers and architects built something rivaling Versailles, which was built in colossal forty-seven years. What followed this was Peter's succession and improvements made to the city with architecture and sculpture. Centered in the background of this lacquer miniature miniature is St. Isaac's Cathedral, which is one of the heaviest buildings in the world, and has the third largest dome in the world behind St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and St.Paul's Cathedral in London. To its left is the Admiralty, which is the headquarters of the Russian Navy. In between it and the red cathedral in the corner is the Kazan Cathedral. The red cathedral is the Savior on the Blood Cathedral that was built on the spot of the assassination of Alexander II. This is one of the gems of Russian cathedral building as it was completed just a few short years before the October revolution. Along the banks of the Neva from the left is the Winter Palace, which today is referred to as the Hermitage that house one of the greatest art collection in the world. On the opposute side of the Neva, behind Peter, is the Vasiliyevski Spit with the two famous Rostal Columns flanking the Stock Exchange. The Rostral Columns were once used to light the entrance into the city on the Neva. It was Peter's vision to build a great city with canals, world class architecture, and beautiful gardens. When he passed away in 1725 this vision was not left alone, but prolonged in a string of projects that define the city even today. Cathedral the Great commissioned a statue of Petr to be built on the Neva behind St.Isaac's cathedral. Today it is one the most famous sculptures in all of Russia, made so by Alexander Pushkin in his poem "The Bronze Horseman" It is no wonder that Sergey Dmitriev painted Peter on his horse quite similarly to the statue. All in all the composition is symbolic in the respect that this is an honest dedication to the greatest Tsar who ever ruled the Russian people. The foundations he made are represented below his right hand, while his succession is represented behind him on the horizon. The painting is dramatic to say the least, but is also a well planned panorama that blends icon painting techniques to manipulate perspectives and space, with avery realistic interpretation of the figure and architecture in the scene. Egg-tempera paint is the main medium used to paint this composition. The colors taken from the artist's palette are bold and he makes the most striking color play within his depiction of Peter and his horse. The periphery and background is more subdued in tone, but the linear movement has greater animation with which to tempt the viewer's eye. Gold and aluminum are used extensively, but with complete compositional integrity being held intact. The detailed amazingly is picture perfect with all of the angels, proportions and colors where they need to be in the architecture. The box is made out of paper-mache made in Kholuy. Black lacquer covers the interior of the box; clear lacquer is added in numerous layers and polished down to give the box its ideally smooth and reflective surface. Gold scrollwork frames the scene, while ornamentation done in gold and aluminum wraps around the sides of the box. This decoration is so exquisite the only other painting in this world worthy of its accompaniment is the painting on the lid. The box has hinge above the composition and rests on four rounded feet. Dmitriev leaves Kholuy, the title, and his signature at the bottom of the composition in gold paint. He also does so on the interior of the lid, but adds that he is a member of the Union of Artist in Russia, that this piece is an artistic original, writes 2002, and leaves a more personalized signature.