Alfred Gomersal Vickers
Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour. Vickers was sent to Russia by the publisher Charles Heath in 1833 to produce illustrations for Leitch Ritchie’s book. Ritchie describes the Admiralty Square as follows: `This is an immense oblong space in the very heart of the city. The spectators stands near the manege, the building which projects at the left-hand corner. Beyond that is the Admiralty, with its gilded spire, which is visible from almost all parts of the metropolis. Further on is the Winter Palace, distinguished by a flag, in front of which, near the bottom of the vista, is the column raised to the memory of Alexander. Opposite this, on the right hand, is the palace of the Etat Major, and returning towards the foreground, the War Office. The group in front are employed in dragging stones for the new Isaak’s church, which stands on the left hand corner, although the view is not wide enough to admit it. This is to be the richest and most splendid building in the world; but it has been so long in progress, and is now so little advanced, that a notice of it must fall to the lot of some future traveller’ (Ritchie, Op. Cit., pp. 67-68).
St. Isaac’s Cathedral took forty years to construct and was eventually finished in 1858.
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