• The Admiralty Square, St Petersburg -
    Price on request

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour

    24.4 by 37.3 cm., 9 ¾ by 14 ¾ in.

     

    Engraved:

    By E. Radcliffe for A Journey to St Petersburg and Moscow through Courland and Livonia by Leitch Ritchie, 1836, opp. p.68

     

    Vickers was sent to Russia by the publisher Charles Heath in 1833 to produce illustrations for Leitch Ritchie’s book. Ritchie describes the Admiralty Square as follows: `This is an immense oblong space in the very heart of the city. The spectators stands near the manege, the building which projects at the left-hand corner. Beyond that is the Admiralty, with its gilded spire, which is visible from almost all parts of the metropolis. Further on is the Winter Palace, distinguished by a flag, in front of which, near the bottom of the vista, is the column raised to the memory of Alexander. Opposite this, on the right hand, is the palace of the Etat Major, and returning towards the foreground, the War Office. The group in front are employed in dragging stones for the new Isaak’s church, which stands on the left hand corner, although the view is not wide enough to admit it. This is to be the richest and most splendid building in the world; but it has been so long in progress, and is now so little advanced, that a notice of it must fall to the lot of some future traveller’ (Ritchie, Op. Cit., pp. 67-68).

     

    St Isaac’s Cathedral took forty years to construct and was eventually finished in 1858.

  • The Hermitage Bridge, St Petersburg, Russia -
    Price on request

    Watercolour heightened with bodycolour and gum arabic

    23.2 by 36.2 cm., 9 ¼ by 14 ½ in.

     

    This watercolour was not engraved by Heath for Ritchie’s book but he describes the Hermitage as follows: `The Hermitage, the favourite haunt of Catherine II, when she wished to retire to as much solitude as an Empress surrounded by a brilliant court could desire, is connected with the Winter Palace by a covered gallery. It is now chiefly remarkable as being the repository of a museum of paintings…’ (see Leitch Ritchie, A Journey to St Petersburg and Moscow through Courland and Livonia, 1836, p.129). The Hermitage Bridge which connects two part of the Hermitage Palace was built in 1763-66.

  • The Convent of the Ascension and the Holy Gate, Moscow -
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    Inscribed lower right: Moscow and in the sky: Convent of Ascension/Holy Gate

    Pencil

    25 by 40.4 cm., 10 by 16 in.

     

    Provenance:

    With the Albany Gallery

     

    This is presumably an on-the-spot sketch dating from Vickers’ visit to Russia in 1833. It does not relate directly to a plate in Heath’s publication but Ritchie describes the view: `….the Spaskoi, or Holy Gate, conducts us direct into the middle of the group of palaces and cathedrals….. On entering the gate the scene is splendid beyond description. On the left the view is open. A part of the esplanade is railed in for the exercise of the troops, and beyond them, at a great depth, you see the thousand domes of the city. On your right stands the convent of the nuns of the Ascension adjoining the new palace, and in front are tall tower of Ivan Velikoi, and a numerous group of other buildings surmounted by gilded domes and cupolas. The convent contains two churches, one of which is modern, and forms a nameless jumble of the Grecian and Gothic. The establishment was founded in 1389…..’ (see Leitch Ritchie, A Journey to St Petersburg and Moscow through Courland and Livonia, 1836, p.201-2).

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