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The Iconostasis of Peter the Great in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St Petersburg (1722-1729)
This is the first comprehensive study of the superb Iconostasis
in the Peter and Paul Cathedral, commissioned by Peter the Great
(1682-1725). This tsar also contributed to the choice of the subjects
depicted on the iconostasis and certainly determined the architectonic
form, i.e., that resembling Western triumphal gates. This form was given
to this sacral construction in order to commemorate his final victory
in the Northern War against Sweden (1700-1721). The subjects depicted
on the iconostasis were chosen to glorify Peter the Great and his family,
and justify his decision to abolish the patriarchate and become head of
the Russian church.
“In summary this is a worthwhile book for any one interested in Russian art and culture from the time of Peter the Great. In her study of the construction of the Peter and Paul iconostasis, Gerasimova offers a fascinating story of Russian cultural transformation during the time of Peter the Great.” Michael Pesenson, in Slavic and East European Journal, 50 (2006), 737-738.
tracing the evolution and significance of both the iconostasis's structure
and the icons displayed there, Gerasimova presents an important case study
of how Western motifs infiltrated the imagery of Russian Orthodoxy in
response to Peter the Great's imperial and dynastic vision." ....
"The value of the book is greatly increased by the inclusion of so
many excellent illustrations." Wendy Salmond, in The Russian
Review, 67 (2008), 397-398.
The Presentation of Christ in the Temple
Left: Peter and Paul Iconostasis, St Petersburg 1726-29 Right: Engraving by Pontius after P.P. Rubens, 1638, Hermitage