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 the building allowed for various technical novelties used in performances. Every season of the Ciniselli Circus included a spectacular pantomime, a performance in which a beautiful extravaganza was arranged to show, for example, an impressive battle scene involving foot and mounted troops. The building was designed by Russian architect Vasily Kenel (1834–93). This lithograph was engraved by A. Zubchaninov, based on a drawing by S. Chamotte.

Last updated: February 26, 2014