church, Fontanka River, Petersburg
Every artist residing in our Northern Capital establishes his own deeply personal connection with St. Petersburg. Such is the magnetic power of charm that this city, “the most fantastic city in the world” as Dostoyevsky called it, has. And Azat Galimov, well-known St. Petersburg’s artist, has also fallen under its spell. St. Petersburg’s landscape became one of the basic and favorite themes of his art. It may be said that the artist deals with the city reverently, keeping his admiration and worship for its stately harmony deeply in his soul. His St. Petersburg is the city of water and bridges, and certainly of churches and cathedrals. In Azat Galimov’s St. Petersburg the weather remains always fine, be it a soft damp snow, or chilly overcast summer day, or pale and subdued and therefore particularly warm sunny evening. The painting with a view over the church of St. Simeon and St. Anne is one of the best in the artist’s collection of St. Petersburg’s themes. Mighty monumentality of the cathedral contrasts unexpectedly with dark mass of rippled and movable water. The cathedral seems to hover above the water without any support though the composition itself is absolutely and decidedly realistic. The chosen angle allows the painter to illustrate perfectly the conception of St. Petersburg as of an unreal phantom without the past, “that shadowy Palmira”…. Beyond the canvas’ scope a spectator might guess the scale and strength of the big city, the city of guest houses and industrial manufactures. The bridge arc over the water compressed by granite, the classic St. Petersburg’s color range of grey and yellow, its considered architectural beauty – the painter has caught it all and conveyed the polysemantic image of St. Petersburg with the subtle keenness that immediately transfers the painting from the category of landscapes into the category of pictorial “Einfühlungs”.