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Messages - Cathy

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Palaces in St. Petersburg / Re: Winter Palace State Rooms
« on: July 16, 2017, 09:26:13 AM »
The phrase is Latin, numine afflatur and means "inspired by the spirit". The usual word for the Holy Spirit is "spiritus" and "numen"


инок Николай - I love your story. It puts a lovely human touch to the picture and to the area of the Twelve Colleges. I love these buildings.

Here is a little background information:

"...The largest structure in St. Petersburg surviving from the Petrine era, the Twelve Colleges were at the centre of Peter the Great's fundamental reforms of the Russian state in the 18th century. In the 19th century, as the main campus of St. Petersburg University, the building became the site of historic research and discoveries by Russian academics including Dmitry Mendeleev, Alexander Popov, and Ivan Pavlov.

The building, which is over 400 meters long, was commissioned by Peter in 1718 to house the new structures of government - the Senate, the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, and the nine Colleges, which served the function of modern ministries. The original architect of the project was Domenico Trezzini, who had also designed the Peter and Paul Fortress, and building began 1722. It took 20 years to complete the building, during which time construction was supervised by Theodor Schwertfeger, Mikhail Zemtsov, and Domenico Trezzini's nephew (and son-in-law) Giuseppe Trezzini.

Originally twelve separate buildings, with trading premises on the first floors and the offices of government above, the structure was unusual for St. Petersburg in that its main facade faced away from the Neva River, forming one side of what Peter the Great planned to be the central square of his new city. As the 18th century progressed and the centre of the city gradually became established on the left bank of the river, with no permanent bridge connecting to Vasilevskiy Island, the site of the Twelve Colleges became increasingly inconvenient, part of the reason why the higher departments of government began to seek new premises on the opposite bank.

In 1804, part of the Twelve Colleges was assigned to the Pedagogical Institute, the precursor of St. Petersburg University, which was officially founded in 1819. At that time, the building was significantly altered to suit its new role. Of the original interiors, only the sculptures, frieze, ceiling murals and fireplaces in the Petrovsky Hall have survived. Of note from the early 19th century reconstruction are the grand staircase and the magnificent Assembly Hall.
To this day, the Twelve Colleges house the university's administrative offices, as well as the Faculties of Geology and Earth Sciences. Widely considered the second best university in Russia after Moscow State, St. Petersburg State counts amongst its alumni eight Nobel Prize winners, including Ivan Pavlov and the poet Joseph Brodsky and the Russian-American novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand.
Visitors have access to some of the public halls of the Twelve Colleges, which also regularly host concerts, and the building also houses two museums - the Museum of the History of St. Petersburg University and the Dmitry Mendeleev Apartment Museum.

Dmitry Mendeleev's Memorial Museum Apartment is a museum apartment of the Russian chemist Dmitry Mendeleev, who is famous for establishing the Periodic law of arranging chemical elements by their atomic masses, which allowed the prediction of properties of elements (i.e. simple substances) yet to be discovered.
It is located in the Twelve Colleges building, now being the centre of Saint Petersburg State University and in Mendeleev's time - Head Pedagogical Institute with his archives. The street in front of these is named after him as Mendeleevskaya liniya (Mendeleev Line). For security reasons access into the building in general is allowed mostly to authorized persons, such as students and staff of the University. All entrants are to present to the guards their identification documents...".

My sister and I have visited Vasilevskiy Island 3 times - the last time we walked by the Mendeleev museum, knocked at the door and were given the most amazing tour of the apartment. The curator took us around explaining every 'element' of M.'s living space. It was of course in Russian which we are not adept at but we understood enough to appreciate everything we saw and were  told. We then had the opportunity to explore on our own. What a great experience.


The Alexander Palace / Re: Children's Island
« on: June 22, 2017, 06:30:53 AM »
These pictures are so clear. Thanks so much for the update.

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace
« on: June 22, 2017, 06:28:19 AM »
These picture are wonderful!

Thank you for this amazing picture - I can easily identify the items you list in the blog.

Imperial Russian Antiques / Re: Faberge pieces
« on: April 29, 2017, 06:24:38 AM »
Miek, I put this comment on Joanna's blog but in case you do not see it, I thought that I would put it here as well:
It appears the miniatures may have been removed three times.

Once by Hammer Galleries to identify the artist noted in their letter since there is no signature on the paintings. How did Hammer confirm it or is it because the artist was Fabergé’s main painter of miniatures? What is the date of Hammer’s letter? Do you know if Hammer received it as part of a consignment from Moscow’s Diamond Fund?

Another time when the person wrote the place names on the back of the miniatures.

And again when the Virginia Museum later attached a note and needed to confirm the handwriting. Do you know the date of the note?

Was the 1896 Egg ever in London to allow the erroneous claim of Queen Mary’s handwriting?

It makes one question if the miniatures are the originals. Is there photographic proof prior to 1917 when the egg was removed from Alexandra’s study?

Palaces in St. Petersburg / Re: Winter Palace State Rooms
« on: November 13, 2016, 02:38:41 PM »
The Russian translation is 'basket for papers' so it may just have been used for any paper waste for example menus, dance cards or invitations that someone may have had in their hands and did not want to carry anymore - just an opinion.


Palaces in St. Petersburg / Re: Anichkov Palace
« on: November 10, 2016, 05:33:56 AM »
Yes, Thank you Joanna for the beautiful pictures. Your research efforts are amazing.


Palaces in St. Petersburg / Re: Aerials of the Winter Palace - Hermitage
« on: November 10, 2016, 05:32:35 AM »
Thanks Joanna for your beautifully written and presented Blog. The information is so very interesting.

I loved the Hermitage in red - I did have old postcards of it red. There were many buildings painted in red in St. Petersburg at the time; some have changed and some are still red.

But my favourite colour for the Winter Palace is today's green/blue - it is calm and elegant.


A friend sent these sites for amazing pictures of the current renovation of Anna's house:

Enjoy the new perspectives.

Thanks for letting us know about this newly released film. The subject matter is so important. I do hope there is an international release; I would love to see it. I hope it is released later as an all-region DVD so I can view it.

One of my family was with HM King Haakon during those days. He left on a separate ship and then met with the King when he arrived in London and at Buckingham Palace. There have been books both in English and Norwegian on him.


Palaces in St. Petersburg / Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« on: September 07, 2016, 06:50:44 AM »
"Even though they are based on a singular concept, billiards, pool and snooker are completely different type of sports or games. Therefore, it is only natural that the play surface as well as the equipment utilized in the game is dissimilar.

First of all, let me briefly introduce the principle of billiards. Like I previously mentioned, billiard is not just another type of pool, but rather constitutes the premise from which snooker and pool have evolved. As of such, billiard is not played on your standard pool table and it has its specific surface for the job: a slightly larger table with no pockets.
That’s right, because the object of billiards (or carom billiards) consists of striking the object ball with your cue ball, hitting the rails exactly three times and then somehow contacting the second ball, there is no need for pockets.

The principal dissociation between a pool table and the billiards counterpart comprises of the presence of the 6 pockets (4 in each corner and 2 halfway on each of the rail’s long sides). In regards to the dimensions, the pool tables only differ slightly, the common variations being 9 feet, 8 feet and 7 feet. 10 feet pool tables are quite rare nowadays, but can be found occasionally in traditional establishments with vintage decors. In addition to that, residential versions can be as small as 6 feet by 3 feet.
Furthermore, the pool table comes equipped with 15 object balls, a cue ball and a triangle rack that is utilized in arranging them before the match. As far as the cues are concerned, you should expect the pool cues to be a few inches longer and to present a thinner tip."

So now we must determine from Joanna's pictures - do we see the pockets?


Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Restoration Pavilion Arsenal.
« on: September 07, 2016, 06:39:25 AM »
A very good friend of mine sent me this information and links - have fun:

"....The pavilion Arsenal in the Alexander park was opened to visitors on August 23!

Photos of the museum in the Arsenal:  ...."


Palaces in St. Petersburg / Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« on: August 24, 2016, 07:00:23 AM »
Thanks Joanna

I found the pillow basket in all three of the paintings!! I do not have a chair in my bedroom so extra pillows have to go on the floor!  :)


The Alexander Palace / Re: A. Kuchumov 100th Anniversary
« on: August 24, 2016, 06:56:16 AM »
Спасибо, Джоанна!
С большим удовольствием читала! Вокруг меня очень много людей, которые работали вместе с Анатолием Михайловичем и все говорят о нем самое хорошее. Он настоящий музейщик. Долго работал в Павловске.
Но самые любимое место его было одно - Александровский дворец.
Translated into English...
"Thanks, Joanne!
With great pleasure to read! Around me are so many people who have worked with Anatoly and everyone is talking about him the most good. He is a true museum worker. For a long time he worked in Pavlovsk.
But the most favorite place was his one - Alexander Palace."

Yes, Thank you Joanna for the most wonderful posts that you put on.
Two of my favourite people are Anatoly Kuchumov (for his tireless work to save the beautiful treasures in Russia) and Anna Zelenova (for all she did for Pavlovsk before , during and after the war).

"...Да, спасибо за Джоанну самых замечательных сообщений, которые вы положили на.
Двое из моих любимых людей Анатолий Кучумов (за его неустанную работу, чтобы сохранить прекрасные сокровища в России) и Анна Зеленова (за все, что она сделала для Павловска до, во время и после войны)...."

Here are photos of Anna:

and the site with a video:

Another site on Anna


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