Collection of the cast department is unique in its completeness, selection methods and excellent quality of performance. They were made by Italian masters in the end of 18th –beginning of 19th centuries and are molded using the casts which were made from the original works. These replicas very precisely reproduce all plastic peculiarities of the original works.
Collection of this Museum department dates back to 1757 when the Academy of Arts was opened in Saint Petersburg. In the period of Classicism which was established in the Russian art in the second half of the 18th century these works were considered to be the patterns and the painters were prescribed to comply with these patterns. Replicating “antiques” was an obligatory stage in a study of painters of all qualifications.
In the beginning of the 20th century this unique collection of casts was stored in accordance with the historic and chronological principle. The exhibition was held in 33 halls throughout the Circle of the 1st floor around the Round yard and comprises approximately 600 monuments for the period from the 3,000 BC till the second half of the 18th century.
The first halls of the department exhibit the collection of casts of Ancient Egypt and Assyria monuments. A special interest represent magnificent replicas of the statues of pharaohs Khefren and Amenemhet II, sculpture depicting the Sphinx from Tanis, reliefs of the shrine in Sakkara, reliefs of Assyrian kings’ castles in Kalhu an Ninevia.
The most voluminous group of works are unique replicas of the sculpture monuments of Ancient Greece. This collection let us track the whole history of development of the Greek sculpture. Exhibition of sculptures is enriched by the patterns of ancient Greek buildings, photos, layouts and antique ceramics.
The glory of the collection are the casts of sculpture items of the classical period of development of the ancient Greece, sculptures of the temple of Zeus in Olympia, statues of Pythagoras of Regia “A Boy Taking out a Splinter” and of Myron “Discus Thrower” .
The epoch of the Greek sculpture thriving is represented by the pattern of Acropolis in Athens, as well as replicas of the sculptures of Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens. These are metopes, attics and relief frieze, pattern of the statue of Athens Parthenos by Phidias.
Casts of the statues by Praxiteles – “Eros”, “Aphrodite of Knydos”, “Hermes with an Infant Dionis” embody the high spirit and fine plastic of the marble treatment.
The epoch of Alexander Macedonian is represented by the replicas of the statues of Lysippus “Apoxyomenos” and “Hermes at Rest”. Another art trend which embodies the ideal human beauty is shown in the casts of the works of Leochares – “Apollo de Belvedere” and “Artemis/Diana/ of Versailles”.
A bright idea of the Greek sculpture of the Hellenism epoch gives us the casts of magnificent sculptures “Nika of Samothraki”, “Aphrodite of the Island Melos”/Venus of Melos, “Laokoont. Diversity of the plastic art of this period is proved by the replicas of two enormous haut-relief panels of the altar of Zeus in Pergamum depicting the war of the Gods and the giants.
The works characterized by an extreme preciseness of reproduction in the department of the Ancient Rome are the casts of the portraits of the epochs of Augustus, Tiberius, Adrian and Caracalla. Another unique item is a cast of an equestrian portrait statue of the Counselor Balb. Replicas of the marble reliefs of the column of Trajan in Rome are also of certain interest.
Development of the decorative sculpture in the Ancient Rome (altars, sarcophagi, building reliefs) is represented in the collection of the department by numerous excellent casts. The patterns of Pantheon, Coliseum and Arches of Triumph of cork tree enrich the composition.
The department collection also comprises the casts of the works of the West European sculpture of the 12th-14th centuries of the Gothic period of the Medieval art history. The replicas of the sculptures of the Notre Dames de Paris and the shrines of the Duke of Burgundy and Berria are characterized by dynamic bends of the stretched figures with emotional gestures which testify of deep human emotions.
Casts from the Renaissance works are the reliefs with the Bible themes from the doors of the Baptistery in Florence, the heads of St. George and the prophet Jeremiah Donatello from the Church Or San Michele in Florence, sculpture of the Siena Cathedral and the reliefs of the Church San Petronio in Bologna of Ja. De la Quercia are broadly presented in the museum.
A distinguished place in the exposition is given to replicas of the masterpieces of the great Michelangelo Buonarotti. These are the statue of a Old Testament prophet Moses filled with inner power, “Slaves” for the shrine of the Pope Julius II in the Church San Pietro in Rome, the head of David in Florence and full of tragic inspiration portrait of Brute.
The sculptures of Italy, France and Germany of the 16th - end of the 18th century – picturesque reliefs “Fountain of the Innocent” in Paris, “Three graces” from the grave stone of the King Henry II of P.J. Pylon, filled with expressive human suffering statue of Milon of Crotone of P. Puget, “Bather” of E. Falcone are distinguished by the vivid play of the light and the shadow. The models of two groups of “Horse Tamers” from the Place de la Concorde in Paris served for P. Clodt the prototypes of the sculptures of the Anichkov bridge in Saint Petersburg. The exposition is also enriched by the replicas of the reliefs of castles and churches in France.
Work hours: Monday –Friday - 11.00-16.00
The exhibition is closed till 1st of October.