Petersburg mosaics — pages in history


Construction of St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg began at the beginning of the 19th century. Architects and designers initially planned for the interior to include a great collection of paintings. The best artists of the time were invited to work on the project in order to achieve this goal.

Construction of St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg began at the beginning of the 19th century. Architects and designers initially planned for the interior to include a great collection of paintings. The best artists of the time were invited to work on the project in order to achieve this goal. After several years of painting, the artists encountered a serious problem – the paint began to flake and peel off due to the drop in temperature, the high level of humidity and the lack of ventilation. Luckily, the problem was solved: the strategy used to preserve the canvas on which the work was painted in St. Petersburg’s cold, damp climate was discovered by Auguste de Montferrand during his travels abroad. During a trip to Italy Montferrand noticed how closely Roman mosaics resembled actual paintings. It was then that the gifted architect came up with the idea to use the timeless paints of mosaics in the art decorating the interior of St. Isaac’s Cathedral. Tune in to RTG TV to learn more about the history and development of mosaic arts in St. Petersburg and Russia as a whole.