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Mikhail Lomonosov - an inquisitive natural scientist, a gifted writer and the wisest philosopher, did not pass over such an important sphere of creativity as fine art. He studied the properties of glass and, struck by the extraordinary beauty of smalt - colored glass, he became interested in the manufacture of mosaic paintings. One of the works created in this way is the famous “Poltava battle”.
To lay out the mosaic, the scientist needed the help of seven workers and an artist. The hired painter prepared a cardboard base with an image, since Lomonosov did not have drawing skills. But directly the work itself with multi-colored glass pieces was performed by the author of the conceived work. The result was a huge panel approximately 6.5 meters wide and about 5 meters high. It depicted the final episode of the battle of the Poltava battle.
On a summer morning in 1709, a confrontation broke out on the left bank of the Dnieper between the Russian and Swedish troops. The Russians were commanded by the great Peter the Great, whose exploits were especially glorified by M. Lomonosov. Tsar Peter is presented to the audience in an emerald uniform, with a saber in his hand, sitting on a rearing horse, like a fearless commander. He went to the battlefield when the victory of the Russian army was already obvious, but there was still a danger to life.
In order to protect the sovereign from possible death, a simple soldier blocks his path. Lomonosov purposely placed this soldier in the compositional center of the picture, wanting to show in this way the significance of the people in the battle, his brave heroism.
The language of the mosaic is concise and clear. Colors are contrasting and deep. The background for a rich palette of scarlet, green and blue uniforms of the participants in the battle is a haze-covered horizon.
You can admire the grandiose panel “Poltava battle” at the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences.