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December 26 Program of the Ciniselli Circus
This one-page document is the very first program of the well-known Ciniselli Circus (now the Bolshoi Saint Petersburg State Circus) for a performance that took place on Monday, December 26, 1877. Four acts were by members of Ciniselli family. Nearly all other acts were by famous performers from abroad, for example, German equestrienne Oceana Renz and the Italian clown Tanti. Following a musical opening, the circus featured a total of 15 acts, with a ten-minute intermission. The acts included horses, clowns, gymnastics, and music. The Ciniselli Circus was founded in ...
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The Bolshoi St. Petersburg State Circus - Museum of Circus Art
Gaetano Ciniselli
Italian-born Gaetano Ciniselli (1815−81) was the head of a large circus family, a circus equestrian, and a horse trainer who was taught by the famous French riding master François Baucher (1796−1873). He achieved fame throughout Europe and in 1877 founded and became director of the Ciniselli Circus in Saint Petersburg, which was housed in the first stone structure in Russia purpose-built for circus. He brought to the Saint Petersburg public all of the best performers and pantomimes of Europe. This portrait of Ciniselli was taken by Charles Bergamasco ...
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The Bolshoi St. Petersburg State Circus - Museum of Circus Art
Liberty Act by Gaetano Ciniselli
Italian-born Gaetano Ciniselli (1815−81) was a circus equestrian and horse trainer who in 1877 founded the Ciniselli Circus (now the Bolshoi Saint Petersburg State Circus). The circus was housed in the first stone structure in Russia purpose-built for circus. In this painting, Ciniselli is shown performing the liberty horse act, which was an invariable part of the circus program until his death in 1881. The term "liberty horse act" refers to an act in which the horses are directed with verbal commands and are not mounted or held by ...
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The Bolshoi St. Petersburg State Circus - Museum of Circus Art
Ciniselli Circus Water Pantomime
This poster by an unknown artist is devoted to the Ciniselli Circus water pantomime (probably The Four Elements). Produced in Berlin by the firm Dinse & Eckert, the picture is a colored lithograph with the letters written in gold. The water pantomime was performed for the first time in Russia in 1892. In The Four Elements, water rushed down in a cascade and fountains gushed out in different places of the arena. Deer, elephants, and horses with riders swam in the arena lake. Pantomime, an art form in which the story ...
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The Bolshoi St. Petersburg State Circus - Museum of Circus Art
Rules of Conduct for the Ciniselli Circus
This placard contains the rules of conduct for the Ciniselli Circus in Saint Petersburg set by the management. Issued on January 10, 1891, the rules were published in two languages: French and German. The choice of languages, combined with circus programs of the period, demonstrates that nearly all the performers in the circus came from abroad. The 18 points regulated the lives of circus personnel. Performers and staff were required to attend all rehearsals and to take care of their equipment and costumes; everyone was required to be ready at ...
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The Bolshoi St. Petersburg State Circus - Museum of Circus Art
Ciniselli Circus
The Ciniselli Circus (now the Bolshoi Saint Petersburg State Circus) opened on December 26, 1877. The first stone structure in Russia purpose-built for the circus, it was regarded by many as the most beautiful circus building in Europe. The building was designed by architect Vasily Kenel (1834–93), who also produced this watercolor, which has his signature in the lower right-hand corner. The building was a unique engineering structure for its time, designed and built on the basis of the state-of-the-art engineering principles and methods. For the first time, inner ...
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The Bolshoi St. Petersburg State Circus - Museum of Circus Art
Liberty Act by Scipione Ciniselli
This black and white lithograph of 1900 depicts Scipione Ciniselli, director of the Ciniselli Circus (now the Bolshoi Saint Petersburg State Circus), and his twelve liberty horses in the final act of the performance. The term "liberty horse act" refers to an act in which the horses are directed with verbal commands and are not mounted or held by reins; the horses are "at liberty." Scipione was the son of Gaetano Ciniselli, who founded the circus in 1877. Following Gaetano’s death in 1881, leadership of the circus passed first ...
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The Bolshoi St. Petersburg State Circus - Museum of Circus Art
Interior of the New Ciniselli Circus
This lithograph of 1878 shows the interior of the Ciniselli Circus (now the Bolshoi Saint Petersburg State Circus), which opened on December 26, 1877. The decor of the auditorium of the circus was luxurious. The crimson velvet of the armchairs was complemented by gold, mirrors, and crystal chandeliers. The dome was covered with canvas showing floral ornaments and equestrian scenes. The boxes and stalls could seat 1,500 people, but the auditorium was designed to accommodate up to 5,000 people by using the spacious standing gallery. The features of ...
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The Bolshoi St. Petersburg State Circus - Museum of Circus Art
Cathedral of SS, Peter and Paul, St. Petersburg, Russia
This photochrome print of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, the patron saints of St. Petersburg, is part of “Views of Architecture and Other Sites Primarily in Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). Construction of a wooden church on the site of the cathedral began in 1703, one month after the city of St. Petersburg was officially founded. The church was consecrated on April 1, 1704. The stone cathedral was built between 1712 and 1733, under the direction of the Swiss-Italian ...
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Library of Congress
The Winter Palace Place and Alexander's Column, St. Petersburg, Russia
This photochrome print of the Winter Palace and Alexander’s Column in St. Petersburg is part of “Views of Architecture and Other Sites Primarily in Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). The Winter Palace was built between 1754 and 1762 for Empress Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great (1672-1725), and served as the residence of the Russian tsars from the 1760s until the revolution of 1917. The Baroque-style building measures more than 17,000 square meters and is distinguished by its ...
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Library of Congress
The Newsky, (i.e., Nevskii), Prospekt and the Admiralty, St. Petersburg, Russia
This photochrome print of the Nevsky Prospect and the Admiralty in St. Petersburg is part of “Views of Architecture and Other Sites Primarily in Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). In his novel, Nevsky Prospect, Gogol wrote of the street, “Step into it, and you step into a fairground.” Named for Alexander Nevsky (1220–63), the 13th-century hero who led Russian armies to victory over German and Swedish invaders, Nevsky Prospekt was planned by Peter the Great (1672-1725) and designed by the ...
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Library of Congress
Peter the Great Place, St. Petersburg, Russia
This photochrome print of Peter the Great Place in St. Petersburg is part of “Views of Architecture and Other Sites Primarily in Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). The statue, which stands beside the Neva River, just before St. Isaac's Cathedral (visible in the background), is famous as the “Bronze Horseman” of Alexander Pushkin's narrative poem of 1833. The statue was commissioned by Catherine II (1762–96) to honor Peter I. A model was made by French sculptor Etienne Maurice ...
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Library of Congress
Kasan Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia
This photochrome print of the Kazan Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, in St. Petersburg, is part of “Views of Architecture and Other Sites Primarily in Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). The cathedral takes its name from Our Lady of Kazan, the most venerated icon of the Russian Orthodox Church, and was designed by the Russian architect Andrey Voronikhin (1759–1814). According to Baedeker’s Russia with Teheran, Port Arthur, and Peking (1914), the cathedral is ...
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Library of Congress
The Isaac Cathedral from Alexander's Garden, St. Petersburg, Russia
This photochrome print of St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg is part of “Views of Architecture and Other Sites Primarily in Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). Named after St. Isaac, the presumed patron saint of Peter the Great (1672-1725), the cathedral was commissioned by Alexander I (1777–1825) and was built between 1819 and 1858 under the direction of the French architect Richard de Montferrand (1786–1858). It is the largest cathedral in Russia. According to Baedeker’s Russia with ...
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Library of Congress
Monument of Catherine II, St. Petersburg, Russia
This photochrome print of the Catherine II monument in St. Petersburg is part of “Views of Architecture and Other Sites Primarily in Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). Empress Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great, ruled Russia from 1762 to 1796. She was much admired, particularly by the Russian nobility, who benefited from the reforms she instituted. The monument, erected in 1873, stands in a square just off of St. Petersburg’s main thoroughfare, Nevsky Prospekt. It was designed by ...
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Library of Congress
Peterhof from Castle, St. Petersburg, Russia
This photochrome print of the palace of Peterhof in St. Petersburg is part of “Views of Architecture and Other Sites Primarily in Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). Based on a design by the French architect Alexandre Jean-Baptiste LeBlond (1679–1719), Peterhof is regarded as the Russian Versailles. It was built by Peter the Great (1672–1725) as a summer residence. Located on the shore of the Neva Bay (or Gulf of Kronstadt), the palace offers a view of Kronstadt, the city ...
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Library of Congress
Etruscan Vases in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.
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Library of Congress
Detail of Church of the Resurrection on the Blood
The Church of the Resurrection (Savior on Spilled Blood) in Saint Petersburg was built on the site of the assassination in March 13, 1881, of Tsar Alexander II, known as the “Tsar Liberator” for his emancipation of the serfs in 1861. The idea for this memorial arose in 1883 on the initiative of Archimandrite Ignatii (Malyshev), with a plan by the architect Alfred Parland. Because of extensive use of decorative arts (including the creation of huge mosaics) on both the interior and exterior, the church was not completed until 1907 ...
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Library of Congress
Etruscan Vases in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg
Shown here from behind is an Etruscan vase in the form of a sphinx as portrayed in Greek art: the head of a woman on the body of a lion, with the wings of a giant bird. The item was photograped in the Hermitage Museum, but the date of this photograph is not known. The photographer lived in Saint Petersburg and could have been taken it at any point during his professional career in that city, from 1901 until 1918. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863 ...
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Library of Congress
Etruscan Vases in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg
Produced under the influence of Greek art from the seventh to the fourth ceturies BCE, Etruscan vases occupied one of the most magnificent halls in the New Hermitage, the Hall of Graeco-Etruscan Vases. The bulk of the collection, which numbers some 1,300 items, was purchased in Rome in 1834 and originally displayed at the Imperial Academy of the Arts. With the completion of the New Hermitage in 1851, the collection was transferred to a temple-like setting at the end of the west enfilade. Shown here is a vase in ...
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Library of Congress
Etruscan Vases in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg
Produced under the influence of Greek art from the seventy to the fourth ceturies BCE, Etruscan vases occupied one of the most magnificent halls in the New Hermitage, the Hall of Graeco-Etruscan Vases. The bulk of the collection, which numbers some 1,300 items, was purchased in Rome in 1834 and originally displayed at the Imperial Academy of the Arts. With the completion of the New Hermitage in 1851, the collection was transferred to a temple-like setting at the end of the west enfilade. Shown in this side view is ...
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Library of Congress