Mosaics, Decorating House Facades in Saint Petersburg
- Category: Entertaining Stories
- Practices: Different practices
We live in our city and do not notice beauty of facades sometimes. Conduct an experiment and ask your friends: what is the colour of your house facade? Just imagine, many people find it difficult to answer. More often we go and look in front of us; sometimes we wander about, delving into our own world of experiences, without noticing anything around; sometimes we are in a terrible hurry; sometimes we walk, staring at a phone display. (By the way, as for phones, a few years ago I came across such a sign in Murmansk!)
I have lived in St. Petersburg all my life, on Petrograd side most of it, every week I go along Bolshaya Zelenina Street on the bus from the gym, but I never noticed this house... Only recently, going from Krestovsky Island with my daughter to Chkalovskaya metro station on foot, we decided to have lunch in Georgian restaurant on Bolshaya Zelenina Street, we sat at the window waiting for food, there was nothing else to do, I began to look at the scenery outside the window, and in a split second it seemed to me that I was in Barcelona, not in St. Petersburg, and there was a building by architect Antonio Gaudi! Look at it yourself, there is so much in common...
Sitting in a cafe, thanks to the Internet, I learned that this house at 28 Bolshaya Zelenina Street belonged to Duke Nikolai Leichtenberg, it was built in 1904-05 and became the first major work by young architect Friedrich von Postels. This work had become one of the best and most original in Art Nouveau style in St. Petersburg.
Undoubtedly, one of the main decorations of the house is a mosaic frieze of the upper floor, consisting of five landscape panels, made according to sketches by artist-architect S. T. Shelkovy in Vladimir Frolov`s studio.
Inspired by my discovery, I began to search for other houses, decorated with mosaics on facades.
Mosaics is a pattern or image, lined with homogeneous or different particles (stone, ceramic tile, smalt, coloured stones, shells and so on).
I share the results of my findings!
Of course, one of the largest monuments with the richest mosaics is the Cathedral of the Saviour on Spilled Blood. By the way, these mosaics were also created in the workshop, mentioned above, on Vasilievsky Island!
Magnificent mosaic decoration of the Saint Petersburg Mosque. Unique majolica of the mosque was created by ceramic artist Peter Vaulin, the grandfather of famous St. Petersburg composer Andrei Petrov.
Majolica panel, made according to sketches by artist Nicholas Roerich, can be seen on the flat house of the Russian insurance company (35 Bolshaya Morskaya). Panel "Russian North" was made in workshop of Peter Vaulin. Unfortunately, during the blockade it was damaged, and today we can see it partially.
Almost opposite (38 Bolshaya Morskaya), there is a building that belonged to artists historically, mosaic inscription proves it: Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Artists. Floral ornaments and dates of existence of the society are also there: 1820-1890. The panels were created in Frolov`s workshop.
Another house at 47 Bolshaya Morskaya pleases the eye with a flower mosaic above the upper windows. From 1897 to 1917, the Nabokovs lived in this house.
The house, decorated with tiles can be found at 38 Dostoevsky Street. Nikolai Nikonov owned this flat house, built according to his project in 1894 in "Russian style".
In 1899-1900, the same architect created another fabulous house in St. Petersburg (11 Kolokolnaya Street), "gingerbread house". It is richly decorated with mosaics, multicoloured ceramics and brickwork.
On the Vasilievsky island, on the 15th line, house number 70 does not catch the eye, but it is decorated with scattered panels with poppies and sunflowers on the facade. Majolica panels and finishing green tiles are made in Vaulin`s workshop.
After restoration, we may finally see the beauty of the Sad Angel House (at the corner of 19 Vosstaniya Street and 53 Zhukovsky Street). The house was built in 1906 by architect Vasily Kosyakov in Art Nouveau style for P. Badaev. It is famous for picturesque bas-relief of the angel, elegant bay windows, ornaments, patterned inserts and majolica.
There are houses that have one or more mosaic patterns outside. St. Petersburg even opened a mosaic courtyard that is very popular among dwellers and visitors. I'll tell you about it in my next article. Meanwhile, I want to finish this story with the words from Train from Romashkovo cartoon: "Sometimes you should not hurry. If you see beautiful, if you see good, stop" (Gennady Tsyferov).