SUMMER GARDEN SCULPTURE COLLECTION
We are starting a series of publications about the sculpture of the Summer Garden.
In accordance with the European fashion of the 17th-18th centuries, the Summer Garden was decorated with decorative sculptures depicting ancient gods, Roman emperors, allegories of virtues, elements, seasons and days. In 1710, according to the descriptions of the Danish envoy under Peter I, Justa Julia: “… in his newly built garden, where there are more than 30 large marble statues of artwork.”
92 marble sculptures of Peter’s time have survived to our time: statues, sculptural groups and busts.
Most of them were purchased by orders of Peter I by his representatives S. Raguzinsky and Y. Kologrivov and delivered to St. Petersburg from Venice and Rome. The authors of the works are famous Italian sculptors: Antonio Corradini, Pietro Baratta, Giovanni Bonazza, Antonio Tarsia and others.
Among the first to appear in the garden are sculptural portraits of the Polish king Jan Sobieski and his wife Maria Kazimira.
The group “Peace and Victory” (“Peace of Nystad”), sculpted by the Venetian sculptor Pietro Baratta according to the instructions and “program” drawn up by Peter I, is dedicated to the victory of Russia in the Northern War.
The masterpiece of the Peter’s collection is an antique sculpture of Venus brought from Rome. She stood in a special gallery of the garden on the banks of the Neva. (Now the statue is called the Venus of Tauride and is in the State Hermitage).
The Peter’s collection of marble sculptures was housed in the open air for about 300 years.
In 2009 – 2012, in order to preserve the monuments, they were copied. The original works have been moved to the Mikhailovsky Castle, and their copies are displayed on the alleys of the garden. The best Russian specialists in the restoration and copying of stone sculptures were involved in the implementation of the project. To be continued…
Enjoy your walks in the gardens of the Russian Museum.