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In Wax-Candle Light


From 12 December 2019 to 25 February 2020, the Martial Chamber of Tsarskoe Selo houses the exhibition “In Wax-Candle Light”, honouring the 130th birth anniversary of Russian artist Michael Kirsanov (1889–1958).

A pupil of Apollinary Vasnetsov, Alexei Korin, Konstantin Korovin and Valentin Serov. Kirsanov’s paintings were recognizable for his small strokes and own special colouring. In 1914 he started a series of paintings of Our Lady Feodorovskaya Cathedral in Tsarskoe Selo.

The exhibition offers his paintings from the Tsarskoe Selo collection, such as The Tsarina’s place lit by wax candles, The entrance viewed form the altar, The Burial of Christ in the lower Cave Temple of Our Lady Feodorovskaya Cathedral, A liturgy in Our Lady Feodorovskaya Cathedral in the presence of Nicholas II. Also showcased are the painter’s personal belongings and photographs.

Noteworthy is a portrait of junior officer Egor Ozerov, loaned by the Military Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineers and Signal Corps. It is one of 14 surviving Kirsanov’s works for the Gallery of St George’s Chevaliers in the Martial Chamber, for which 151 bust-length portraits were commissioned from Kirsanov and three other artists in 1915.

The exhibition’s opening was held in the presence of Olga Kirsanova, the painter’s granddaughter, and Natalia Fyodorova, a granddaughter of painter Ivan Nefyodov, Kirsanov’s friend, whose portrait is also on display (courtesy of Natalia) together with pages from Nefyodov’s biography of Kirsanov.