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Alexey Petrovich Bogolyubov (16 March 1824  3 February 1896) Illumination of the Kremlin Oil on canvas, 1883 132 x 240 cm Omsk Regional Museum of Fine Arts of M.A. Vrubel, Russia
Goback 23 / 454 Forward

Title: Illumination of the Kremlin
Description:

Alexey Petrovich Bogolyubov (16 March 1824 – 3 February 1896)
Illumination of the Kremlin
Oil on canvas, 1883
132 x 240 cm
Omsk Regional Museum of Fine Arts of M.A. Vrubel, Russia


In 1883 Moscow hosted the coronation of Alexander III. The entire center of Moscow and especially the Kremlin, the venue of the celebrations were illuminated.

MOSCOW KREMLIN:

Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the world, a global city. Moscow is the most populous city on the continent of Europe and the seventh largest city proper in the world, a megacity. The population of Moscow (as of 1 January 2010) is 10.563.038.

It is located by the Moskva River in the Central Federal District, in the European part of Russia. Moscow sits on the junction of three large geological platforms. Historically, it was the capital of the former Soviet Union, Russian Empire (for three years in 1728–31), the Tsardom of Russia, and the Grand Duchy of Moscow. It is the site of the Moscow Kremlin, one of the World Heritage Sites in the city, which serves as the residence of the President of Russia. The Russian parliament (State Duma and the Federation Council) and the Government of Russia also sit in Moscow.

Moscow is a major economic centre. It is home to many scientific and educational institutions, as well as numerous sport facilities. It possesses a complex transport system that includes four international airports, nine railroad terminals, and the world's second busiest (after Tokyo) metro system which is famous for its architecture and artwork. Its metro is the busiest single-operator subway in the world.

Over time, the city has earned a variety of nicknames, most referring to its preeminent status in the nation: The Third Rome, Whitestone, The First Throne, The Forty Forties.

The city is named after the river. The first Russian reference to Moscow dates from 1147 when Yury Dolgorukiy called upon the prince of the Novgorod-Severski to "come to me, brother, to Moscow."

Moscow Kremlin sometimes referred to as simply The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River (to the south), Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square (to the east) and the Alexander Garden (to the west). It is the best known of kremlins (Russian citadels) and includes four palaces, four cathedrals and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers. The complex serves as the official residence of the President of Russia.

The name Kremlin is often used as a metonym to refer to the government of the Soviet Union (1922–1991) and its highest members (such as general secretaries, premiers, presidents, ministers, and commissars), in the same way that the metronym Quai d'Orsay refers to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs or White House refers to the Executive Office of the President of the United States. It is still used in reference to the government of the Russian Federation. "Kremlinology" referred to the study of Soviet and Russian policies.

The site has been continuously inhabited since the 2nd century BC, and originates from a Vyatich fortified structure (or "grad") on Borovitsky Hill where the Neglinnaya River flowed into the Moskva River. The Slavs occupied the south-western portion of the hill as early as the 11th century, as testifies a metropolitan seal from the 1090s, which was unearthed by Soviet archaeologists on the spot.

Until the 14th century, the site was known as the grad of Moscow. The word "kremlin" was first recorded in 1331 and its etymology is disputed. The grad was greatly extended by Prince Yury Dolgorukiy in 1156, destroyed by the Mongols in 1237 and rebuilt in oak in 1339.

The first recorded stone structures in the Kremlin were built at the behest of Ivan Kalita in the late 1320s and early 1330s, after Peter, Metropolitan of Rus was forced to move his seat from Kiev to Moscow. The new ecclesiastical capital needed permanent churches. These included the Dormition Cathedral (1327, with St. Peter's Chapel, 1329), the church-belltower of St. John Climacus (1329), the monastery church of the Saviour's Transfiguration (1330), and the Archangel Cathedral (1333) — all built of limestone and decorated with elaborate carving, each crowned by a single dome. Of these churches, the reconstructed Saviour Cathedral alone survived into the 20th century, only to be pulled down at the urging of Stalin in 1933.

Dmitry Donskoy replaced the oaken walls with a strong citadel of white limestone in 1366–1368 on the basic foundations of the current walls; this fortification withstood a siege by Khan Tokhtamysh. Dmitri's son Vasily I resumed construction of churches and cloisters in the Kremlin. The newly built Annunciation Cathedral was painted by Theophanes the Greek, Andrey Rublev, and Prokhor in 1405. The Chudov Monastery was founded by Dmitry's tutor, Metropolitan Alexis; while his widow, Eudoxia, established the Ascension Convent in 1397.

Grand Prince Ivan III organised the reconstruction of the Kremlin, inviting a number of skilled architects from Renaissance Italy, like Petrus Antonius Solarius, who designed the new Kremlin wall and its towers, and Marcus Ruffus who designed the new palace for the prince. It was during his reign that three extant cathedrals of the Kremlin, the Deposition Church, and the Palace of Facets were constructed. The highest building of the city and Muscovite Russia was the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, built in 1505–08 and augmented to its present height in 1600. The Kremlin walls as they now appear were built between 1485 and 1495. Spasskie gates of the wall still bear a dedication in Latin praising Petrus Antonius Solarius for the design.

After construction of the new kremlin walls and churches was complete, the monarch decreed that no structures should be built in the immediate vicinity of the citadel. The Kremlin was separated from the walled merchant town (Kitay-gorod) by a 30-metre-wide moat, over which the Intercession Cathedral on the Moat was constructed during the reign of Ivan the Terrible. The same tsar also renovated some of his grandfather's palaces, added a new palace and cathedral for his sons, and endowed the Trinity metochion inside the Kremlin. The metochion was administrated by the Trinity Monastery and boasted the graceful tower church of St. Sergius, which was described by foreigners as one of the finest in the country.

During the Time of Troubles, the Kremlin was held by the Polish forces for two years, between 21 September 1610 and 26 October 1612. The Kremlin's liberation by the volunteer army of prince Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin paved the way for the election of Mikhail Romanov as the new tsar. During his reign and that of his son Alexis, the eleven-domed Upper Saviour Cathedral, Armorial Gate, Terem Palace, Amusement Palace and the palace of Patriarch Nikon were built. Following the death of Alexis, the Kremlin witnessed the Moscow Uprising of 1682, from which tsar Peter barely escaped, causing him to dislike the Kremlin. Three decades later, Peter abandoned the residence of his forefathers for his new capital, Saint Petersburg.

Although still used for coronation ceremonies, the Kremlin was abandoned and neglected until 1773, when Catherine the Great engaged Vasily Bazhenov to build her new residence there. Bazhenov produced a bombastic Neoclassical design on a heroic scale, which involved the demolition of several churches and palaces, as well as a portion of the Kremlin wall. After the preparations were over, construction halted due to lack of funds. Several years later, the architect Matvey Kazakov supervised the reconstruction of the dismantled sections of the wall and of some structures of the Chudov Monastery, and constructed the spacious and luxurious offices of the Senate, since adapted for use as the principal workplace of the President of Russia.

Following the French invasion of Russia in 1812, the French forces occupied the Kremlin from 2 September to 11 October. When Napoleon fled Moscow, he ordered the whole Kremlin to be blown up. The Kremlin Arsenal, several portions of the Kremlin Wall and several wall towers were destroyed by explosions and fires damaged the Faceted Chamber and churches. Explosions continued for three days, from 21 to 23 October. Fortunately, the rain damaged the fuses, and the damage was less severe than intended. Restoration works were held in 1816–19, supervised by Osip Bove. During the remainder of Alexander I's reign, several ancient structures were renovated in a fanciful neo-Gothic style, but many others were condemned as "disused" or "dilapidated" (including all the buildings of the Trinity metochion) and simply torn down.

On visiting Moscow for his coronation festivities, Nicholas I was not satisfied with the Grand, or Winter, Palace, which had been erected to Rastrelli's design in the 1750s. The elaborate Baroque structure was demolished, as was the nearby church of St. John the Precursor, built by Aloisio the New in 1508 in place of the first church constructed in Moscow. The architect Konstantin Thon was commissioned to replace them with the Grand Kremlin Palace, which was to rival the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg in its dimensions and the opulence of its interiors. The palace was constructed in 1839–49, followed by the new building of the Kremlin Armoury in 1851.

After 1851, the Kremlin changed little until the Russian Revolution of 1917; the only new features added during this period were the Monument to Alexander II and a stone cross marking the spot where Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich of Russia was assassinated by Ivan Kalyayev in 1905. These monuments were destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

The Soviet government moved from Petrograd to Moscow on 12 March 1918. Lenin selected the Kremlin Senate as his residence, and his room is still preserved as a museum. Stalin also had his personal rooms in the Kremlin. He was eager to remove from his headquarters all the "relics of the tsarist regime". Golden eagles on the towers were replaced by shining Kremlin stars, while the wall near Lenin's Mausoleum was turned into the Kremlin Wall Necropolis.

The Chudov Monastery and Ascension Convent, with their magnificent 16th-century cathedrals, were dismantled to make room for the military school and Palace of Congresses. The Little Nicholas Palace and the old Saviour Cathedral were pulled down as well. The residence of the Soviet government was closed to tourists until 1955. It was not until the Khrushchev Thaw that the Kremlin was reopened to foreign visitors. The Kremlin Museums were established in 1961 and the complex was among the first Soviet patrimonies inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1990.

Although the current director of the Kremlin Museums, Elena Gagarina (Yury Gagarin's daughter) advocates a full-scale restoration of the destroyed cloisters, recent developments have been confined to expensive restoration of the original interiors of the Grand Kremlin Palace, which were altered during Stalin's rule. The Patriarch of Moscow has a suite of rooms in the Kremlin, but divine service in the Kremlin cathedrals is held irregularly, because they are still administrated as museums.

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Goback 23 / 454 Forward
Alexey Petrovich Bogolyubov (16 March 1824  3 February 1896) Pilots Biscay Bay Oil on canvas, 1857-1859 66 x 93 cm Nizhny Tagil Museum of Fine Arts Fine Arts, RussiaAlexey Petrovich Bogolyubov (16 March 1824  3 February 1896) Illumination of the Kremlin Oil on canvas, 1883 132 x 240 cm Omsk Regional Museum of Fine Arts of M.A. Vrubel, RussiaAlexey Petrovich Bogolyubov (16 March 1824  3 February 1896) Venice at night Oil on canvas, 1850 105 x 150 cm Regional Art Museum, Tula, Russia
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