Monday, 31 October 2011

Our Lady of Vladimir

Our Lady of Vladimir (12th century), the holy protectress of Russia, now in the Tretyakov Gallery

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Destruction Of An Ancient Cathedral In Volokolamsk

Destruction Of An Ancient Cathedral In Volokolamsk: Cathedral of Virgin Mary of Kazan 12A unique Cathedral of Virgin Mary of Kazan is located next to Volokolamsk. The place is abandoned now and protected by the state meaning that no protection is actually available and access is free. The Cathedral was constructed in 1780 … Read more...

Gogol - An Essay by William Lyon Phelps

Nikolai Vassilievich Gogol was born at Sorotchinetz, in Little Russia, in March, 1809. The year in which he appeared on the planet proved to be the literary annus mirabilis of the century; for in that same twelvemonth were born Charles Darwin, Alfred Tennyson, Abraham Lincoln, Poe, Gladstone, and Holmes. His father was a lover of literature, who wrote dramatic pieces for his own amusement, and who spent his time on the old family estates, not in managing the farms, but in wandering about the fields, and beholding the fowls of the air. The boy inherited much from his father; but, unlike Turgenev, he had the best of all private tutors, a good mother, of whom his biographer says, Elle demeure toujours sa plus intime amie.[1]

At the age of twelve, Nikolai was sent away to the high school at Nezhin, a town near Kiev. There he remained from 1821 to 1828. He was an unpromising student, having no enthusiasm for his lessons, and showing no distinction either in scholarship or deportment. Fortunately, however, the school had a little theatre of its own, and Gogol, who hated mathematics, and cared little for the study of modern languages, here found an outlet for all his mental energy. He soon became the acknowledged leader of the school in matters dramatic, and unconsciously prepared himself for his future career. Like Schiller, he wrote a tragedy, and called it The Robbers. I think it is probable that Gogol's hatred for the school curriculum inspired a passage in Taras Bulba, though here he ostensibly described the pedagogy of the fifteenth century.

"The style of education in that age differed widely from the manner of life. These scholastic, grammatical, rhetorical, and logical subtleties were decidedly out of consonance with the times, never had any connection with and never were encountered in actual life. Those who studied them could not apply their knowledge to anything whatever, not even the least scholastic of them. The learned men of those days were even more incapable than the rest, because farther removed from all experience."[2] In December, 1828, Gogol took up his residence in St. Petersburg, bringing with him some manuscripts that he had written while at school. He had the temerity to publish one, which was so brutally ridiculed by the critics, that the young genius, in despair, burned all the unsold copies--an unwitting prophecy of a later and more lamentable conflagration. Then he vainly tried various means of subsistence. Suddenly he decided to seek his fortune in America, but he was both homesick and seasick before the ship emerged from the Baltic, and from Lubeck he fled incontinently back to Petersburg. Then he tried to become an actor, but lacked the necessary strength of voice. For a short time he held a minor official position, and a little later was professor of history, an occupation he did not enjoy, saying after his resignation, "Now I am a free Cossack again." Meanwhile his pen was steadily busy, and his sketches of farm life in the Ukraine attracted considerable attention among literary circles in the capital.

Gogol suffered from nostalgia all the time he lived at St. Petersburg; he did not care for that form of society, and the people, he said, did not seem like real Russians. He was thoroughly homesick for his beloved Ukraine; and it is significant that his short stories of life in Little Russia, truthfully depicting the country customs, were written far off in a strange and uncongenial environment.

In 1831 he had the good fortune to meet the poet Pushkin, and a few months later in the same year he was presented to Madame Smirnova; these friends gave him the entree to the literary salons, and the young author, lonesome as he was, found the intellectual stimulation he needed. It was Pushkin who suggested to him the subjects for two of his most famous works, Revizor and Dead Souls. Another friend, Jukovski, exercised a powerful influence, and gave invaluable aid at several crises of his career. Jukovski had translated the Iliad and the Odyssey; his enthusiasm for Hellenic poetry was contagious; and under this inspiration Gogol proceeded to write the most Homeric romance in Russian literature, Taras Bulba. This story gave the first indubitable proof of its author's genius, and to-day in the world's fiction it holds an unassailable place in the front rank. The book is so short that it can be read through in less than two hours; but it gives the same impression of vastness and immensity as the huge volumes of Sienkiewicz.

Gogol followed this amazingly powerful romance by two other works, which seem to have all the marks of immortality--the comedy Revizor, and a long, unfinished novel, Dead Souls. This latter book is the first of the great realistic novels of Russia, of which Fathers and Children, Crime and Punishment, and Anna Karenina are such splendid examples.

From 1836 until his death in 1852, Gogol lived mainly abroad, and spent much time in travel. His favourite place of residence was Rome, to which city he repeatedly returned with increasing affection. In 1848 he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, for Gogol never departed from the pious Christian faith taught him by his mother; in fact, toward the end of his life, he became an ascetic and a mystic. The last years were shadowed by illness and—a common thing among Russian writers—by intense nervous depression. He died at Moscow, 21 February 1852. His last words were the old saying, "And I shall laugh with a bitter laugh." These words were placed on his tomb.

Most Russian novels are steeped in pessimism, and their authors were men of sorrows. Gogol, however, has the double distinction of being the only great comic writer in the language, and in particular of being the author of the only Russian drama known all over the world, and still acted everywhere on the Continent. Although plays do not come within the scope of this book, a word or two should be said about this great comedy; for Revizor exhibits clearly the double nature of the author,—his genius for moral satire and his genius for pure fun. From the moral point of view, it is a terrible indictment against the most corrupt bureaucracy of modern times, from the comic point of view, it is an uproarious farce.

The origin of the play is as follows: while travelling in Russia one day, Pushkin stopped at Nizhni-Novgorod. Here he was mistaken for a state functionary on tour among the provinces for purposes of government inspection. This amused the poet so keenly that he narrated all the circumstances to Gogol and suggested that the latter make a play with this experience as the basis of the plot. Gogol not only acted on the suggestion, but instead of a mere farce, he produced a comedy of manners. Toward the end of his life he wrote: "In Revizor I tried to gather in one heap all that was bad in Russia, as I then understood it; I wished to turn it all into ridicule. The real impression produced was that of fear. Through the laughter that I have never laughed more loudly, the spectator feels my bitterness and sorrow." The drama was finished on the 4 December 1835, and of course the immediate difficulty was the censorship. How would it be possible for such a satire either to be printed or acted in Russia? Gogol's friend, Madame Smirnova, carried the manuscript to the Czar, Nikolas I. It was read to him; he roared with laughter, and immediately ordered that it be acted. We may note also that he became a warm friend of Gogol, and sent sums of money to him, saying nobly, "Don't let him know the source of these gifts; for then he might feel obliged to write from the official point of view."

The first performance was on the 19 April 1836. The Czar attended in person, and applauded vigorously. The success was immediate, and it has never quitted the stage. Gogol wrote to a friend: "On the opening night I felt uncomfortable from the very first as I sat in the theatre. Anxiety for the approval of the audience did not trouble me. There was only one critic in the house--myself--that I feared. I heard clamorous objections within me which drowned all else. However, the public, as a whole, was satisfied. Half of the audience praised the play, the other half condemned it, but not on artistic grounds." ...
William Lyon Phelps

Elena Obraztsova - Dark cherry shawl

Dmitri Hvorostovsky - Ya Vas Lyublyu (Met 125)

The Metropolitan Opera 125th Anniversary Gala - March 25, 2009.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky in Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Glitter and gold at the new Bolshoi Theatre

Glitter and gold at the new Bolshoi Theatre — The ceiling featuring “Nine Muses,” painted by Aleksey Titov with his pupils; Titov chose to replace one of the original Muses with a painting deity. Glitter and gold at the new Bolshoi Theatre — Special acoustics in the emperor’s chamber: whispers are heard all around the room. More photos here.

Russian Red Army Choir - Song of the Volga Boatmen (1965)

Valerie Bryusov: Protection: a Christmas story

from The Republic of the Sothern Cross, and other stories (1918)

COLONEL R. told me this story. We were staying together at the estate of our mutual relatives, the M's. It was Christmas-time, and in the drawingroom one evening the talk turned on ghosts. The Colonel took no part in thc conversation, but when we were alone together — we slept in the same room — he told me the following story.

This happened five-and-twenty years ago, and more: it was in the middle of the seventies. I had only just got my commission. Our regiment was stationed at *, a small provincial town in the government of X. We spent our time as officers usually do: we drank, played cards, and paid attentions to women.

Among the people living in the neighbourhood, one stood out above the rest, Mme. C—— Elena Grigorievna. Strictly speaking, she did not belong to the society there, for until lately she had always lived at Petersburg. But being left a widow a year previously she had settled down to live on her country estate, about ten versts from the town. She was somewhat over thirty years of age, but in her eyes, almost unnaturally large, there was something childlike, which gave her an inexplicablc charm. All our officers werc attracted by her; but I fell in love witll her, as only twenty can fall in love.

The commander of our company was a relative of Elena Grigorievna, and we obtained access to her house. She had become somewhat tired of being a recluse, and liked to have visits from young folks, though she lived almost alone. We sometimes went to dinner, and spent whole evenings there. But she behaved with so much tact and goodness that no one could boast of thc slightest intimacy with her. Even malicious provincial tongues could bring no gossip against her.

I was sick of love for her. What tortured me more than all was the impossibility of frankly confessing my love. I would have done anything in the world just to fall on my knees before Elena Grigorievna and say aloud to her: "I love you." Youth is a little like intoxication. For the sake of having half an hour alone with her whom I loved, I resolved on a dcsperate measure. There was much snow that winter. In the Christmas holidays there was not a day but the wind raised the dry snow from the ground into the air in whirling eddies. I chose an evening when the weather was particularly bad, ordered my horse to be saddled, and set out over the fields.

I don't know how it was I didn't perish by the way. Everywhere the snow was whirling and the air was so thick with it that at two paces from me there stood, as it were, grey,walls of snow. On the road the snow was almost up to one's knees. Twenty times I lost my way. Twenty times my horse refused to go further. I had a flask of cognac with me, and but for it I should have frozen. It took me just on three hours to travel thc ten versts.

By some sort of miracle I arrived at the house. It was already late, and I hardly succeeded in knocking up the servants. When the watchman recognised me he exclaimed in wonder. I was all over snow, covered with ice, and looked like a Christmas mummer. Of course I had prepared a story to account for my appearance. My calculations were not at fault. Elena Grigorievna was obliged to receive me and she orderd a room to be prepared for me to stay the night.

In half an hour's time I was seated in the dining room, alone with her. She pressed me to have supper, wine, tea. The logs crackled on the open fire, the light of a hanging-lamp enclosed us in a circle which to me seemed magical. I felt not the slightest tiredness and was more in love than ever.

I was young, handsome, and certainly no fool. I had every right to the notice of a woman. But Elena Grigorievna, with unusual dexterity, evaded all talk of love. She compelled me to talk to her exactly as if we had been at a party in the midst of many other people. She laughed at my witticisms, but pretended not to understand any of my hints.

In spite of this, a special kind of intimacy sprang up between us, allowing us to speak more openly. And at length, knowing that it was nearly time to say goodnight, I made up my mind. My consciousness, as it were, reminded me that such a suitable occasion would not repeat itself. "If you don't take advantage of today," said I to myself, "you have only yourself to blame." By a great effort of will, I suddenly broke off the conversation in the middle of a word, and in a moment, somewhat incoherently and awkwardly, I said out all that had been hidden in my soul.

"Why are we pretending, Elena Grigorievna? You know very well why I came to-day. I came to tell you that I love you. And now I say it to you. I cannot but love you and I want you to love me. Drive me away and I will humbly depart. If you don't tell me to go I shall take it as a sign that you love me. I don't want anything in between. I want either your anger or your love."

The childlike eyes of Elena Grigorievna became cold. They looked like crystal. I read such a clear answer in her countenance that I got up without another word and wanted to go off straight away. But she stoppcd me.

"That's enough! Where are you going? Don't behave like a little boy. Sit down."

She made me sit down near her and began to speak to me as if she had been an elder sister talking to a wayward child.

"You are too young yet, and love is something new to you. If another woman were in my place you would fall in love with her. In a month's time you would begin to love a third. But there is another kind of love which drains the depths of the soul. Such a love I had for Sergey, my husband, who is dead. I have given to him all I can ever feel. However much you may speak to me of love, I shall hear you no more than if I were dead. You must understand that I have no longer any capacity to attach any meaning to such words. It's just as if you spoke to someone who could not hear you. Reconcile yourself to this. You can no more be offended than if you were unable to make a dead woman love you."

Elena Grigorievna spoke with a slight smile. This appeared to me to be almost insulting. I imagined that she was laughing at me, in thus putting forward her own love for her dead husband. I felt myself grow pale. I remember the tears springing to my eyes. ...

Dmitry Merezhkovsky: A Prayer

Dmitry Sergeyevich Merezhkovsky, 1865, St Petersburg -  1941, Paris)

CAST prostrate, in mourning,
Wingless, self-scorning,
Grief in a gust
Flings us, dust upon dust.
We desire not, we dare not,
We believe not, we care not,
No wisdom has worth.
God, do thou dower us,
Kindle, empower us,
Give of thy mirth.
From the languor that clings
Give us wings! Give us wings!
Wings of thy Spirit.

Deutsch and Yarmolinsky, comps. Modern Russian Poetry. 1921.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Peter the Great Interrogating the Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich

Painted by Nikolai Ge in 1871. Now exhibited in the Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg.

Nizhny Novgorod: Now And Then

Nizhny Novgorod: Now And Then: One dweller of Nizhny Novgorod has thought it might be interesting to take some pictures of the city and compare them with old photos taken 50-100 years ago. Look what he’s got! In the picture: Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street. The Kremlin. … Read more...

Monday, 24 October 2011

Leonid Andreyev : The Crushed Flower

His name was Yura.

He was six years old, and the world was to him enormous, alive and bewitchingly mysterious. He knew the sky quite well. He knew its deep azure by day, and the white-breasted, half silvery, half golden clouds slowly floating by. He often watched them as he lay on his back upon the grass or upon the roof. But he did not know the stars so well, for he went to bed early. He knew well and remembered only one star—the green, bright and very attentive star that rises in the pale sky just before you go to bed, and that seemed to be the only star so large in the whole sky.

But best of all, he knew the earth in the yard, in the street and in the garden, with all its inexhaustible wealth of stones, of velvety grass, of hot sand and of that wonderfully varied, mysterious and delightful dust which grown people did not notice at all from the height of their enormous size. And in falling asleep, as the last bright image of the passing day, he took along to his dreams a bit of hot, rubbed off stone bathed in sunshine or a thick layer of tenderly tickling, burning dust.

When he went with his mother to the centre of the city along the large streets, he remembered best of all, upon his return, the wide, flat stones upon which his steps and his feet seemed terribly small, like two little boats. And even the multitude of revolving wheels and horses' heads did not impress themselves so clearly upon his memory as this new and unusually interesting appearance of the ground.

Everything was enormous to him—the fences, the dogs and the people—but that did not at all surprise or frighten him; that only made everything particularly interesting; that transformed life into an uninterrupted miracle. According to his measures, various objects seemed to him as follows:

His father—ten yards tall.
His mother—three yards.
The neighbour's angry dog—thirty yards.
Their own dog—ten yards, like papa.
Their house of one story was very, very tall—a mile.
The distance between one side of the street and the other—two miles.
Their garden and the trees in their garden seemed immense, infinitely tall.
The city—a million—just how much he did not know.

And everything else appeared to him in the same way. He knew many people, large and small, but he knew and appreciated better the little ones with whom he could speak of everything. The grown people behaved so foolishly and asked such absurd, dull questions about things that everybody knew, that it was necessary for him also to make believe that he was foolish. He had to lisp and give nonsensical answers; and, of course, he felt like running away from them as soon as possible. But there were over him and around him and within him two entirely extraordinary persons, at once big and small, wise and foolish, at once his own and strangers—his father and mother.

They must have been very good people, otherwise they could not have been his father and mother; at any rate, they were charming and unlike other people. He could say with certainty that his father was very great, terribly wise, that he possessed immense power, which made him a person to be feared somewhat, and it was interesting to talk with him about unusual things, placing his hand in father's large, strong, warm hand for safety's sake.

Mamma was not so large, and sometimes she was even very small; she was very kind hearted, she kissed tenderly; she understood very well how he felt when he had a pain in his little stomach, and only with her could he relieve his heart when he grew tired of life, of his games or when he was the victim of some cruel injustice. And if it was unpleasant to cry in father's presence, and even dangerous to be capricious, his tears had an unusually pleasant taste in mother's presence and filled his soul with a peculiar serene sadness, which he could find neither in his games nor in laughter, nor even in the reading of the most terrible fairy tales.

It should be added that mamma was a beautiful woman and that everybody was in love with her. That was good, for he felt proud of it, but that was also bad—for he feared that she might be taken away. And every time one of the men, one of those enormous, invariably inimical men who were busy with themselves, looked at mamma fixedly for a long time, Yura felt bored and uneasy. He felt like stationing himself between him and mamma, and no matter where he went to attend to his own affairs, something was drawing him back.

Sometimes mamma would utter a bad, terrifying phrase:

"Why are you forever staying around here? Go and play in your own room."

There was nothing left for him to do but to go away. He would take a book along or he would sit down to draw, but that did not always help him. Sometimes mamma would praise him for reading but sometimes she would say again:

"You had better go to your own room, Yurochka. You see, you've spilt water on the tablecloth again; you always do some mischief with your drawing."

And then she would reproach him for being perverse. But he felt worst of all when a dangerous and suspicious guest would come when Yura had to go to bed. But when he lay down in his bed a sense of easiness came over him and he felt as though all was ended; the lights went out, life stopped; everything slept.

In all such cases with suspicious men Yura felt vaguely but very strongly that he was replacing father in some way. And that made him somewhat like a grown man—he was in a bad frame of mind, like a grown person, but, therefore, he was unusually calculating, wise and serious. Of course, he said nothing about this to any one, for no one would understand him; but, by the manner in which he caressed father when he arrived and sat down on his knees patronisingly, one could see in the boy a man who fulfilled his duty to the end. At times father could not understand him and would simply send him away to play or to sleep—Yura never felt offended and went away with a feeling of great satisfaction. He did not feel the need of being understood; he even feared it. At times he would not tell under any circumstances why he was crying; at times he would make believe that he was absent minded, that he heard nothing, that he was occupied with his own affairs, but he heard and understood.

Translated by Herman Bernstein

Sunday, 23 October 2011

To Chekhov's Memory by Alexander Kuprin

He lived among us….
You remember how, in early childhood, after the long summer holidays, one went back to school. Everything was gray; it was like a barrack; it smelt of fresh paint and putty; one's school-fellows rough, the authorities unkind. Still one tried somehow to keep up one's courage, though at moments one was seized with home-sickness. One was occupied in greeting friends, struck by changes in faces, deafened by the noise and movement.
But when evening comes and the bustle in the half dark dormitory ceases, O what an unbearable sadness, what despair possesses one's soul. One bites one's pillow, suppressing one's sobs, one whispers dear names and cries, cries with tears that burn, and knows that this sorrow is unquenchable. It is then that one realizes for the first time all the shattering horror of two things: the irrevocability of the past and the feeling of loneliness. It seems as if one would gladly give up all the rest of life, gladly suffer any tortures, for a single day of that bright, beautiful life which will never repeat itself. It seems as if one would snatch each kind, caressing word and enclose it forever in one's memory, as if one would drink into one's soul, slowly and greedily, drop by drop, every caress. And one is cruelly tormented by the thought that, through carelessness, in the hurry, and because time seemed inexhaustible, one had not made the most of each hour and moment that flashed by in vain.
A child's sorrows are sharp, but will melt in sleep and disappear with the morning sun. We, grown-up people, do not feel them so passionately, but we remember longer and grieve more deeply. After Chekhov's funeral, coming back from the service in the cemetery, one great writer spoke words that were simple, but full of meaning:
“Now we have buried him, the hopeless keenness of the loss is passing away. But do you realize, forever, till the end of our days, there will remain in us a constant, dull, sad, consciousness that Chekhov is not there?”
And now that he is not here, one feels with peculiar pain how precious was each word of his, each smile, movement, glance, in which shone out his beautiful, elect, aristocratic soul. One is sorry that one was not always attentive to those special details, which sometimes more potently and intimately than great deeds reveal the inner man. One reproaches oneself that in the fluster of life one has not managed to remember—to write down much of what is interesting, characteristic and important. And at the same time one knows that these feelings are shared by all those who were near him, who loved him truly as a man of incomparable spiritual fineness and beauty; and with eternal gratitude they will respect his memory, as the memory of one of the most remarkable of Russian writers.
To the love, to the tender and subtle sorrow of these men, I dedicate these lines.
Chekhov's cottage in Yalta stood nearly outside the town, right on the white and dusty Antka road. I do not know who had built it, but it was the most original building in Yalta. All bright, pure, light, beautifully-proportioned, built in no definite architectural style whatsoever, with a watch-tower like a castle, with unexpected gables, with a glass verandah on the ground and an open terrace above, with scattered windows—both wide and narrow—the bungalow resembled a building of the modern school, if there were not obvious in its plan the attentive and original thought, the original, peculiar taste of an individual. The bungalow stood in the corner of an orchard, surrounded by a flower-garden. Adjoining the garden, on the side opposite the road was an old deserted Tartar cemetery, fenced with a low little wall; always green, still and unpeopled, with modest stones on the graves.
The flower garden was tiny, not at all luxurious, and the fruit orchard was still very young. There grew in it pears and crab-apples, apricots, peaches, almonds. During the last year the orchard began to bear fruit, which caused Anton Pavlovitch much worry and a touching and childish pleasure. When the time came to gather almonds, they were also gathered in Chekhov's orchard. They usually lay in a little heap in the window-sill of the drawing room, and it seemed as if nobody could be cruel enough to take them, although they were offered.
Anton Pavlovitch did not like it and was even cross when people told him that his bungalow was too little protected from the dust, which came from the Antka road, and that the orchard was insufficiently supplied with water. Without on the whole liking the Crimea, and certainly not Yalta, he regarded his orchard with a special, zealous love. People saw him sometimes in the morning, sitting on his heels, carefully coating the stems of his roses with sulphur or pulling weeds from the flower beds. And what rejoicing there would be, when in the summer drought there at last began a rain that filled the spare clay cisterns with water!
But his love was not that of a proprietor, it was something else—a mightier and wiser consciousness. He would often say, looking at his orchard with a twinkle in his eye:
“Look, I have planted each tree here and certainly they are dear to me. But this is of no consequence. Before I came here all this was waste land and ravines, all covered with stones and thistles. Then I came and turned this wilderness into a cultivated, beautiful place. Do you know?”—he would suddenly add with a grave face, in a tone of profound belief—“do you know that in three or four hundred years all the earth will become a flourishing garden. And life will then be exceedingly light and comfortable.”
The thought of the beauty of the coming life, which is expressed so tenderly, sadly, and charmingly in all his latest works, was in his life also one of his most intimate, most cherished thoughts. How often must he have thought of the future happiness of mankind when, in the mornings, alone, silently, he trimmed his roses, still moist from the dew, or examined carefully a young sapling, wounded by the wind. And how much there was in that thought of meek, wise, and humble self-forgetfulness.
No, it was not a thirst for life, a clinging to life coming from the insatiable human heart, neither was it a greedy curiosity as to what will come after one's own life, nor an envious jealousy of remote generations. It was the agony of an exceptionally refined, charming, and sensitive soul, who suffered beyond measure from banality, coarseness, dreariness, nothingness, violence, savagery—the whole horror and darkness of modern everyday existence. And that is why, when towards the end of his life there came to him immense fame and comparative security, together with the devoted love of all that was sensitive, talented and honest in Russian society,—that is why he did not lock himself up in the inaccessibility of cold greatness nor become a masterful prophet nor shrink into a venomous and petty hostility against the fame of others. No, the sum of his wide and hard experience of life, of his sorrows, joys, and disappointments was expressed in that beautiful, anxious, self-forgetting dream of the coming happiness of others.
—“How beautiful life will be in three or four hundred years.”
And that is why he looked lovingly after his flower beds, as if he saw in them the symbol of beauty to come, and watched new paths being laid out by human intellect and knowledge. He looked with pleasure at new original buildings and at large, seagoing steamers; he was eagerly interested in every new invention and was not bored by the company of specialists. With firm conviction he said that crimes such as murder, theft, and adultery are decreasing, and have nearly disappeared among the intelligentsia, teachers, doctors, and authors. He believed that in the future true culture would ennoble mankind.
Telling of Chekhov's orchard I forgot to mention that there stood in the middle of it swings and a wooden bench. Both these latter remained from “Uncle Vanya,” which play the Moscow Art Theatre acted at Yalta, evidently with the sole purpose of showing the performance to Anton Pavlovitch who was ill then. Both objects were specially dear to Chekhov and, pointing to them, he would recollect with gratitude the attention paid him so kindly by the Art Theatre. It is fitting to say here that these fine actors, by their exceptionally subtle response to Chekhov's talent and their friendly devotion to himself, much sweetened his last days. ...

Friday, 21 October 2011

Travelling In The Urals

Travelling In The Urals: Enjoy some photos taken during a seven-day tour in the Urals! On the way. When the road is this good, it seems like you can drive forever! Approaching the city of Kazan. On the left there is a city-island called … Read more...

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Anatoly Mariengof - Two poems

The night, like a tear, flowed out of an immense eye
and rolled down along the roofs upon the lashes.
Sorrow rose up like Lazarus
and raced in the streets to cry and blame everyone,
throwing herself around necks – and everyone flipped
and screamed: you're insane!
and with whoops of fear beat the eardrums
ringing like diamond cards.


A dark spot as though from a squashed cranberry.
Quiet please.  Don't slam the door.  Dear Sir...
Four very simple letters:
 – dead.


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Essays on Russian Novelists - Chekhov

ANTON PAVLOVICH CHEKHOV, like Pushkin, Lermontov, Bielinski, and Garshin, died young, and although he wrote a goodly number of plays and stories which gave him a high reputation in Russia, he did not live to enjoy international fame. This is partly owing to the nature of his work, but more perhaps to the total eclipse of other contemporary writers by Gorki. There are signs now that his delicate and unpretentious art will outlast the sensational flare of the other's reputation. Gorki himself has generously tried to help in the perpetuation of Chekhov's name, by publishing a volume of personal reminiscences of his dead friend.
Like Gogol and Artsybashev, Chekhov was a man of the South, being born at Taganrog, a seaport on a gulf of the Black Sea, near the mouth of the river Don. The date of his birth is the 17 January 1860. His father was a clever serf, who, by good business foresight, bought his freedom early in life. Although the father never had much education himself, he gave his four children every possible advantage. Anton studied in the Greek school in his native city, and then entered the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Moscow. "I don't well remember why I chose the medical faculty," he remarked later, "but I never regretted that choice." He took his degree, but entered upon no regular practice. For a year he worked in a hospital in a small town near Moscow, and in 1892 he freely offered his medical services during an epidemic of cholera. His professional experiences were of immense service to him in analysing the characters of various patients whom he treated, and his scientific training he always believed helped him greatly in the writing of his stories and plays, which are all psychological studies.
He knew that he had not very long to live, for before he had really begun his literary career signs of tuberculosis had plainly become manifest. He died in Germany, the 2 July 1904, and his funeral at Moscow was a national event.
Chekhov was a fine conversationalist, and fond of society; despite the terrible gloom of his stories, he had distinct gifts as a wit, and was a great favourite at dinner-parties and social gatherings. He joked freely on his death-bed. He was warmhearted and generous, and gave money gladly to poor students and overworked school-teachers. His innate modesty and lack of self-assertion made him very slow at personal advertisement, and his dislike of Tolstoi's views prevented at first an acquaintance with the old sage. Later, however, Tolstoi, being deeply interested in him, sought him out, and the two writers became friends. At this time many Russians believed that Chekhov was the legitimate heir to Tolstoi's fame.
In 1879, while still in the University of Moscow, Chekhov began to write short stories, of a more or less humorous nature, which were published in reviews. His first book appeared in 1887. Some critics sounded a note of warning, which he heeded. They said "it was too bad that such a talented young man should spend all his time making people laugh." This indirect advice, coupled with maturity of years and incipient disease, changed the writer's point of view, and his best known work is typically Russian in its tragic intensity.
In Russia he enjoyed an enormous vogue. Kropotkin says that his works ran through ten to fourteen editions, and that his publications, appearing as a supplement to a weekly magazine, had a circulation of two hundred thousand copies in one year. Toward the end of his life his stories captivated Germany, and one of the Berlin journalists cried out, as the Germans have so often of Oscar Wilde, "Chekhov und kein Ende!"
Chekhov, like Gorki and Andreev, was a dramatist as well as a novelist, though his plays are only beginning to be known outside of his native land. They resemble the dramatic work of Gorki, Andreev, and for that matter of practically all Russian playwrights, in being formless and having no true movement; but they contain some of his best Russian portraits, and some of his most subtle interpretations of Russian national life. Russian drama does not compare for an instant with Russian fiction : I have never read a single well-constructed Russian play except Revizor. Most of them are dull to a foreign reader, and leave him cold and weary. Mr. Baring, in his book Landmarks in Russian Literature, has an excellent chapter on the plays of Chekhov, which partially explains the difficulties an outsider has in studying Russian drama. But this chapter, like the other parts of his book, is marred by exaggeration. He says, "Chekhov's plays are as interesting to read as the work of any first-rate novelist." And a few sentences farther in the same paragraph, he adds, "Chekhov's plays are a thousand times more interesting to see on the stage than they are to read." Any one who believes Mr. Baring's statement, and starts to read Chekhov's dramas with the faith that they are as interesting as Anna Karenina, will be sadly disappointed. And if on the stage they are a thousand times more interesting to see than Anna Karenina is to read, they must indeed be thrilling. It is, however, perfectly true that a foreigner cannot judge the real value of Russian plays by reading them. We ought to hear them performed by a Russian company. That wonderful actress, Madame Komisarzhevskaya, who was lately followed to her grave by an immense concourse of weeping Russians, gave a performance of The Cherry Garden which stirred the whole nation. Madame Nazimova has said that Chekhov is her favourite writer, but that his plays could not possibly succeed in America, unless every part, even the minor ones, could be interpreted by a brilliant actor.
Chekhov is durch und durch echt russisch: no one but a Russian would ever have conceived such characters, or reported such conversations. We often wonder that physical exercise and bodily recreation are so conspicuously absent from Russian books. But we should remember that a Russian conversation is one of the most violent forms of physical exercise, as it is among the French and Italians. Although Chekhov belongs to our day, and represents contemporary Russia, he stands in the middle of the highway of Russian fiction, and in his method of art harks back to the great masters. He perhaps resembles Turgenev more than any other of his predecessors, but he is only a faint echo. He is like Turgenev in the delicacy and in the aloofness of his art. He has at times that combination of the absolutely real with the absolutely fantastic that is so characteristic of Gogol: one of his best stories, The Black Monk, might have been written by the author of The Cloak andThe Portrait. He is like Dostoevski in his uncompromising depiction of utter degradation ; but he has little of Dostoevski's glowing sympathy and heartpower. He resembles Tolstoi least of all. The two chief features of Tolstoi's work—self-revelation and moral teaching—must have been abhorrent to Chekhov, for his stories tell us almost nothing about himself and his own opinions, and they teach nothing. His art is impersonal, and he is content with mere diagnosis . His only point of contact with Tolstoi is his grim fidelity to detail, the peculiar Russian realism common to every Russian novelist. Tolstoi said that Chekhov resembled Guy de Maupassant. This is entirely wide of the mark. He resembles Guy de Maupassant merely in the fact that, like the Frenchman, he wrote short stories.
Among recent writers Chekhov is at the farthest remove from his friend Gorki, and most akin to Andreev. It is probable that Andreev learned something from him. Unlike Turgenev, both Chekhov and Andreev study mental disease. Their best characters are abnormal ; they have some fatal taint in the mind which turns this goodly frame, the earth, into a sterile promontory; this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, into a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. Neither Chekhov nor Andreev have attempted to lift that black pall of despair that hangs over Russian fiction.
Just as the austere, intellectual beauty of Greek drama forms striking evidence of the extraordinarily high average of culture in Athenian life, so the success of an author like Chekhov is abundant proof of the immense number of readers of truly cultivated taste that are scattered over Holy Russia. For Chekhov's stories are exclusively intellectual and subtle. They appeal only to the mind, not to the passions nor to any love of sensation. In many of them he deliberately avoids climaxes and all varieties of artificial effect. He would be simply incomprehensible to the millions of Americans who delight in musical comedy and in pseudo-historical romance. He wrote only for the elect, for those who have behind them years of culture and habits of consecutive thought. That such a man should have a vogue in Russia such as a cheap romancer enjoys in America, is in itself a significant and painful fact.
William Lyon Phelps

Monday, 17 October 2011

Arkady Gaydar: Marusya

The spy waded through the bog, put on a Red Army soldier’s uniform, and walked out on the road.
A girl was collecting cornflowers in a wheat field. She walked up to him and asked for a knife to level the flowers.
He gave her the knife, asked her name, and, having been informed that people in the Soviet Union live happily, he started laughing and singing songs for no apparent reason.
“Don’t you recognize me?” the girl asked, surprised. “I am Marusya, Lieutenant Egorov’s daughter. And these flowers are meant for my father.”
She patted the flowers tenderly, her eyes filled with tears.
The spy put the knife back in his pocket, and walked off without saying a word.
At the checkpoint, Marusya told the soldiers, “I met a soldier of the Red Army. I told him what my name was and it was so strange, that in response he began singing songs and laughing.”
The commander then frowned and called for an officer on duty, ordering him to send a patrol after the “fun-loving man.”
The horsemen left, and Marusya went to the steep river bank, to put the flowers on her father’s grave. He was shot in a crossfire yesterday.

Mansions of Rublyovka

Mansions of Rublyovka: The so called Rublyovka is a residential territory of 300 square kilometers (which is twice as much as Leichtenstein) which is located in Moscow area. Over 30 thousand people reside here in more than 10 thosand mansions. We want to … Read more...

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Life 30 km Away From Moscow

Life 30 km Away From Moscow: Thousands of former military men, are living in houses which are under the threat of collapse and have no heating. After the reduction of anti-aircraft forces in Moscow area, a lot of presidios became unnecesary, so did the people who … Read more...

Friday, 14 October 2011

Kirov's Alla Sizova in Le Corsaire Variation

In March 1958, although still a student at the Vaganova Academy in Leningrad (now St Petersburg), 18-year-old Alla Sizova made her debut with the Kirov Ballet, dancing the role of Queen of the Dryads in Don Quixote. The clip was filmed a few months later at a competition when she danced the Le Corsaire pas de deux with a fellow student, Rudolf Nureyev. Soviet dancers often swapped variations (solos) around between ballets, and here Sizova replaces the usual Le Corsaire choreography (here's a performance recorded in 2010) with her Dryads variation in order to show off her prodigious jump, an attribute that would earn her the nickname "Flying" Sizova.

Even apart from those amazing opening leaps, this is fabulous dancing. Watch the beautifully sustained balances on pointe, the airily relaxed arms, the lyrical carriage of head and neck. Note her phrasing: the luxurious way that she fills out the music for the opening jumps and then, from 0:45, starts to anticipate it to buy herself "air-time" for those coolly precise entrechats six volés (0:48, 0:50 and 0:57). Entrechats, as this Royal Ballet dancer demonstrates, are steps where the feet are beaten together in the air. Here, Sizova is performing them in full flight (hence the addition of the French "volés").

The very difficult final section was substituted at Nureyev's suggestion, almost as a dare, to make the performance more exciting. He put it together for Sizova, and in fact this clip represents his first recorded choreography. Sizova almost carries it off perfectly, but you can see her falter as she pulls out of the Italian fouettés – here's how to do these; easy, no? – into the pirouettes at 1:09. Even in today's much more technical era, few ballerinas could carry off this particular combination.

What shines through, half a century later, is the unbounded joy in performance of a supremely talented teenager. Sizova would go on to have an illustrious career with the Kirov, and after Nureyev defected to the west in 1961, and was denounced as a traitor in the USSR, continued to perform this variation with his choreography. She was the only one who knew that the steps were his, and so was able to perform the piece as a secret tribute to her former partner. ...

How the Kirov's Alla Sizova followed Nureyev to a flying start

Georgy Chulkov: Shurochka and Venya

On the corner of Saint Michel Boulevard and Rue Monsieur le Prince – in a cramped and dusty shop where they sell nails, wire and other house wares – stood Venya Pavlushin holding a tin pot in his hand.
“Fete, le trou, mosie, ici ici,” Venya told the craftsman, pointing to the bottom of the pot he had purchased.
Venya spoke very poor French, but that did not make him even a bit embarrassed. The owner of the shop – a fat, red-lipped, and, as it appeared, funny man – looked at Venya puzzled, “Make a hole in the pot…Why?” But Venya said it over and over again: 
“Fete, le trou, mosie, ici ici.”
Venya took out from his pocket a small brush made from multicolored feathers and put it against the pot. If you make a hole and stick the brush into it, then the pot would resemble a feathery helmet. Assyrian warriors wore such helmets. Venya put the pot on his head. His serious and anxious face together with this sudden gesture greatly amused the honorable shop owner and two female customers.
Everything was now clear. Artists have organized a ball today in Montmarte and the young foreigner is preparing himself a costume. Excellent. It is not a lot of trouble to pierce a hole in the pot and attach the feather. Indeed, the helmet would turn out splendid.
Venya was a painter. He came to Paris one year ago, only to stay for two weeks at first, but accidentally overstayed. He was eking it out, residing on the Boulevard du Montparnasse and zealously painting apples and bananas, imitating Cézanne. One day he will paint a great monumental work of art. Venya firmly believed in that. And who knows, maybe the contemporaries will appreciate him. He will be assigned to decorate the walls of public buildings, and he, Venya, will cover numerous square meters with magnificent frescos. What a celebration of art would that be! But the journey of an artist is a thorny one. Sometimes Venya is short of two or three francs; there is nothing he could do about that. But can such nonsense really disturb an artist? Besides, Venya is keen on theosophy, and this teaching, as we know, requires spiritual strength from its follower, as well as purity in the times of all kinds of worldly ordeals.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Igor Chapurin

Igor Chapurin is not only a famous Russian fashion designer, who was the first to show Russian haute couture fashion to the world. He is an embodiment of all the best tendencies in Russian fashion industry - modern, laconic and elegant silhouettes and patterns. He is famous for his inventions of new methods of embroidery and "Russian straw" - golden threads stranded into cloth by unique technology. Now the whole world is infatuated by Russian avant-garde, all thanks to Igor Chapurin.
Igor Chapurin was born on 21 March 1968 in a small northern town Velikiye Luki, Pskov region. His parents were famous stockinet manufactures, and Igor followed in their footsteps - in 1991 he entered the Vitebsk technological Institute, choosing "clothes designer" as his special subject. He set himself an objective to take part in the International Contest of young talents, which was held by Nina Ricci brand in Paris. After the ending of his study course in Paris, Chapurin was invited to work in a world-famous MaxMara company, but he refused that proposal.
Then, after a year from graduating the Institute, Chapurin made his dreams true, not only taking part in the Nina Ricci contest, but entering the group of ten prize winners. He soon received many proposals from beauty contests' organizers and created magnificent evening gowns for Russian participants of "Miss World", "Miss Europe", "Miss Universal", "Miss International", "Miss Eurasia and Oceania"and "Miss Russia" contests.
Igor Chapurin made his first fashion show in Russia in 1995, which was named "To Russia with Love", as the designer was more known in the West than in his homeland that time. The fashion show was held in the "Metropol" hotel. During the working on that collection Chapurin created his own unique method of embroidery, which couldn't repeated by any of his embroiderers. Chapurin had no time to hire them for work, so he had to embroider himself anights, and finally he was able to combine gold, glass beads and corals in one embroidery pattern. Besides, Chapurin shocked the Moscow by putting a pearls embroidered kokoshnik (woman's headdress in old Russia) over the head of French black-skinned model Eugénie.
In December 1995 Chapurin created uniform costumes for the "Rene Garraud" boutique shop assistants and cocktail dresses for the presentation of "Estee Lauder" company. From 1996 to 1998 Igor Chapurin had been working out the design for the first line of the Italian Fashion House "Galitzine" by a personal invitation of princess Iren Golytsina. The fashion designer himself considered that stage of his life as an important turning point in his career.
In 1997 he became a candidate for the "Russian Haute Couture Association" membership and presented his collection "Chapurin-97". In 1998 his collection "Chapurin-98" gained the "Gold Mannequin" - the highest award of the "Russian Haute Couture Association". The same year Chapurin presented the Russian fashion at the "European Ball" in Paris. In 1999 he opened his first Moscow "Chapurin Couture" boutique and continued to take part in the International fashion shows. He also gained the "Ovation" fashion award. In the beginning of the 21st century the designer turned his attention to mysteries of Russian classical theatre. He made scenic costumes for "Wit Works Woe" comedy in Oleg Menshikov's staging, as well as "Kitchen", "The Little Prince", "Good-bye, Marlen, Hello" and others. He also began to work out jewelries together with "Vasily Konovalenko Art" jewelry company. ...

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Aleksandr Volkov: Urfin Juce and His Wooden Army

One night, a violent storm broke out. The locals were convinced it was the result of Urfin Juce’ ill will, and it gave them shivers, as they thought their homes were about to be wiped off the face of the Earth. But nothing of the kind happened. However, when Urfin Juce woke up the next morning and went to inspect his garden, he saw little bright green weeds cropping up on flowerbeds. The storm must have brought the seeds from somewhere, although he never found out what part of the country they had actually come from. “How long has it been since I last pulled weeds out?” Urfin Juce muttered. “And look how they are popping up again. Just wait – I’ll be done with you before the night falls.” Urfin went to the woods to check his traps and spent the entire day there. Secretly from Guam, he snuck in with him a frying pan and some grease, killed a fat rabbit and ate it with appetite. On coming home, Urfin gasped with astonishment, as he saw his garden: the flowerbed was covered with strong plants, bright green, with long pulpy leaves, the plants themselves the size of a human being. “What the hell!” Urfin screamed. “These weeds didn’t waste their time.” He walked up to the flowerbed and tried to pull one of the plants out. It wasn’t that easy. The plant didn’t even move an inch, while Urfin Juce splintered himself with tiny sharp thorns, which covered the trunk and the leaves of the plants. Infuriated, Urfin started to pull the thorns out of his palms, put his leather gloves on, and gave weed-pulling another try, but this time he realized he wasn’t strong enough for them. He then grabbed an axe and started to chop the plants down. “Crack, crack, crack,” the axe was biting into the succulent trunks, as the plants were collapsing on the ground. “There you go!” Urfin Juce yelled out triumphantly. He was fighting with the weeds like they were real alive enemies. When the massacre was over, night fell, and exhausted Urfin went to bed. When he came out of his house the next morning to check on the weeds, his hair rose on his head. When Urfin was outrageously tossing the green leftovers from the weeds around the day before, parts of this green mass hit the fence and the nearby trees; these leftovers had rooted there and had already shaped into young plants. Stricken by the sudden revelation, Juce took his boots off: the soles were green with tiny sprouts. The sprouts were peeping out of the seams of his clothes. The tree stump nearby was also green with offshoots. Juce rushed into the shed, only to acknowledge that the axe handle was also covered with young plants. Urfin sat down on the porch and fell into thoughts. What was he to do? Was he to just leave for good and find another place to settle down?
Translated by Ekaterina Shubnaya, RT

Nina Sorokina Bolshoi Ballet Principal 1960s 1970s 1980s Dead at age 69 ...

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Nikolay Roerich

Nikolay ROERICH (RERIKH) (9.10.1874, St. Petersburg, Russia — 13.12.1947, Naggar, India) — Russian philosopher, painter, archaeologist and mystic.

Son of a well-off notary public, Roerich attended the Imperial Academy of Arts (1893-1897) and, simultaneously, studied law at St. Petersburg University. Early in his career, Roerich distinguished himself as his generation's greatest painter of scenes from ancient Russian history; representative works include The Messenger (1897), Visitors from Overseas (2 versions, 1901 and 1902), Slavs on the Dnieper (1905), and Battle in the Heavens (2 versions, 1909 and 1912). Roerich was associated with several Symbolist literary-artistic journals, including The Golden Fleece, as well as the World of Art Society, which he chaired from 1910 to 1916. From 1906 to 1917, he directed the School of the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts. Like many of his World of Art colleagues, Roerich designed productions for Diaghilev's famed Ballets Russes; he is best known for his work on 'Prince Igor' (1909) and 'The Rite of Spring' (1913), the libretto of which he co-wrote with Igor Stravinsky.

After the October Revolution, Roerich and his family left Russia. As emigres, they lived in Finland, England, and the United States, finally settling in northern India. Roerich remained a prolific painter, but other activities now overshadowed his artistic career. He spearheaded an international campaign for the adoption of a treaty — the 'Banner of Peace' Pact — to protect art and architecture in times of war (signed by the United States and over twenty Latin American countries in 1935; incorporated into UNESCO conventions after World War II). In 1921, Roerich and his wife Elena, already confirmed Theosophists, founded their own occult tradition: Agni Yoga, the 'system of living ethics.' Most famously, Roerich led two expeditions (1925-1928 and 1934-1935) to the Himalayas, Tibet, Mongolia, Central Asia, and Manchuria. The ostensible purpose of these expeditions was to allow Roerich to paint scenes of Asia, as well as to conduct research into these regions' archaeology, folklore, and natural history. In reality, the Roerichs, driven by their millenarian belief that a utopian 'new era' was at hand, aspired to create nothing less than a pan-Buddhist kingdom in Asia. The precise nature of the Roerichs' actions remains a matter of intense debate and has led to accusations of espionage, political adventurism, and fraud. Because one of Roerich's closest followers was, for a time, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (later Vice-President) Henry Wallace, Roerich's activities briefly affected the political fortunes of Franklin Roosevelt's presidential administration.

Roerich's expeditions led to the publication of several well-known books, including 'Altai-Himalaya' (1929) and 'Heart of Asia' (1929), but he failed in his political goals. He spent the last decade of his life in quiet semi-retirement in India, where he befriended such luminaries as Nobel prize-winning poet Rabindranath Tagore and politician Jawaharlal Nehru.

Roerich enjoyed a reputation as one of the Silver Age's most intellectually versatile painters. He was respected as a historian and as a gifted amateur in the field of archaeology. As a student and during his early career, he was influenced by the Arts-and-Crafts ideals of John Ruskin and William Morris; these ideals were reinforced by his friendship with educator and patroness Princess Maria Tenisheva. Roerich maintained a lifelong interest in the teaching of art, as well as the preservation of artistic and architectural heritage, as demonstrated in essays such as 'The Golgotha of Art' (1908) and 'Quiet Pogroms' (1911). Like many others in the Diaghilev set, Roerich was an ardent admirer of Wagner, subscribing wholeheartedly to the concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or 'total art work.' ...

Inside The Motherland

Inside The Motherland: The Motherland Calls is one of the tallest monuments in the world. It is located in Mamayev Kurgan in Volgograd, Russia, and commemorates the Battle of Stalingrad. Two hundred steps, symbolizing the two hundred days of the Battle of Stalingrad, … Read more...

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Large-scale Exhibition of Nikolai Ge Opens in Moscow

Gay, Nikolay (1831-1894) - 1868 Florence. The Cascina Park

An exhibition of the well-known Russian painter Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge (1831–1894) - one of the biggest projects of the year - will be opened on October, 19th in the Tretyakov Gallery on Krymsky Val. The exposition will include about 230 works from funds of the Tretyakov Gallery, museums of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other foreign collections. For the complete collection of Nikolai Ge’s drawings will be displayed to general public. The exhibition will run till February, 5th 2012. It is remarkable, that in the course of preparations for the exhibition, Ge’s painting “What is truth?” was restored. The restoration works were preceded by an examination that resulted in a discovery: under the painting layer they found another work – “Mercy”. RIC

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Konstantin Balmont: In the White Land

THE CANDID psalm of Silence rises whitely burning,
The icy wastes are lit with sunset’s radiant yearning.
The drowsy elements in yawning vistas freeze,
And voiceless are the argent Polar liturgies.

Above the sea of whiteness, crimson curtains falling;        
No fields or forests here, clear crystal shines appalling.
White altars stretch beneath the changeless icy skies,
A prayer, not suppliant, a psalm, not voiced,—arise.

Modern Russian Poetry.  1921.

Monday, 3 October 2011

A Journey Through Three Russian Cities

A Journey Through Three Russian Cities: Let’s walk over the roofs of famous buildings located in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and Vyborg city in Leningrad region and get the view of their sights. Red Square. The Historical Museum. Surveillance cameras. Funny advertising. ‘The Chicken Is Pleased’ The picture … Read more...

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Icons That Work Wonders

Icons That Work Wonders: Wooden icons of Alexander Markov from Sayansk city are filled with deep spiritual significance. Wood has always been considered as a live material and consecrated icons are known to work wonders. That’s why the citizens of Sayansk have a tradition … Read more...