St Petersburg. The Izmailovsky RegimentArtist: Dobuzhinsky, Mstislav Valerianovich (1875-1957)
Place of Publication: St Petersburg
Publisher: Community of St. Eugenia
Date of Publication: 1909
Technique: Colour half-tone
Size: 9 х 14,1 cm
From the Series:Exhibition of the Union of Russian Artists
Part of: Postcards Collection
Mstislav Dobuzhinsky is a notable graphic artist, illustrator and gifted scenographer. Cityscapes, especially, urban views of St Petersburg were the major themes for his works. At the turn of the twentieth century, when much was done in Saint Petersburg toward celebrating 200 years of the city, the artist joined the World of Art, an artistic group which aimed at reviving interest in the baroque and classical St Petersburg of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Dobuzhinsky was distinguished from other members of this artistic movement: "…I took a strong concern in the seamy side of urban life …, I painted the city, its nooks, and, although, I admired grand spots of St Petersburg but felt no desire for depicting them". Dobuzhinsky's city is the place of "grimaces and curious things". His works employ bold color combinations and contrasting compositions. They produce the image of the city as a living organism which collect together the past and the present, the prose and the poetry.
Dobuzhinsky represents a view of the Izmailovsky regiment settlement in his postcard. The Izmailovsky regiment of Imperial guards was located at the city's outskirts, beyond the Fontanka Riva. Since 1731, the central avenue of this district was Izmaylovskiy Prospekt, situated between the banks of the Fontanka Riva and the Obvodny Canal. Streets branching away from the avenue were named after numbers of military companies settled them. The regiment settlement was built up with officer houses of the same type. The Trinity Cathedral became the regimental church, constructed on Izmaylovskiy Prospekt between 1828 and 1835 to a design by Vasily Stasov. Its bright-blue domes adorned with gold stars can be seen on the postcards.
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