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Architecture and design
Reference:

Restoration of Iconic Objects on the Example of Preserving the Yusupov Palace

Musienko Aleksandra Vladimirovna

ORCID: 0000-0001-8785-3943

Specialist, St. Petersburg State Institution "Customer's Directorate"

191023, Russia, Saint Petersburg,Torgovii lane , 2

mus210586@gmail.com
Other publications by this author
 

 
Akulova Nadezhda Aleksandrovna

PhD in Architecture

Associate Professor, Department of Reconstruction and Restoration of Architectural Heritage, St. Petersburg State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering

190005, Russia, Saint Petersburg, 2nd Krasnoarmeyskaya str., 4

naroma@list.ru

DOI:

10.7256/2585-7789.2022.2.39988

EDN:

JXTRWA

Received:

16-03-2023


Published:

05-06-2023


Abstract: The subject of the research is the approach to the preservation of the Yusupov Palace on the embankment of the Moika River, house 94, St. Petersburg. The object of the study is the repair and restoration measures in the private quarters of the princess: the princess's office, dressing room, bathroom, Persian. The purpose of the study is to "replenish the knowledge base" of specialists in the field of conservation, promotion and protection of cultural heritage sites. Along with the palace objects of the Northern capital, the ensemble of the Yusupov Palace is the embodiment of the culture of its time, expressed in the luxury of life. The monument has a rich historical and architectural history, reflected in numerous books and monographs, however, very little attention has been paid to the disclosure of the experience of repair and restoration work, which is so valuable for studying the monument. The relevance of the study lies in the scientific consideration of repair and restoration work on the subject of an approach to preserving the iconic object of palace architecture. The practical value of this study is aimed at replenishing the "restoration knowledge base" by highlighting the restoration activities carried out in 2020 in the premises of the Palace with six wings, which is part of the cultural heritage site of the federal heritage of the Yusupov Palace. These rooms include the private quarters of the princess: the Princess's Study (Small White Living Room), Dressing Room (Porcelain Boudoir), Bathroom, Persian (Eastern Boudoir). Based on the considered materials, an analysis of the state of the premises before restoration and the work performed was carried out. The approach to the preservation of the monument as a whole is outlined.


Keywords:

Yusupov Palace, restoration, preservation of historical interiors, private quarters, complex restoration, cultural heritage sites, restoration approaches, restoration principles, iconic objects of St. Petersburg, knowledge server

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

Introduction

The experience of preserving cultural heritage objects (hereinafter referred to as OKN) is an urgent topic of the world level. It reflects the country's system of values, the level of culture, technical capabilities and skills of specialists.

Palaces that embody the power and luxury of an aristocratic society occupy a separate place in the variety of architectural objects. The construction of palace-type structures was based on the desire to publicly demonstrate the welfare of its owner and vividly reflected the priorities of its era [1].

One of the iconic representatives of such objects is the Yusupov Palace. The monument has a rich historical and architectural history, reflected in numerous books and monographs, revealing its long construction history, the fate of the owners, the artistic value of the interiors, as well as the historical fact of the murder of G. Rasputin within the walls of the palace.

This palace belongs to the objects of cultural heritage of a high degree of preservation, as it is an architectural landmark that managed to preserve its historical appearance as much as possible after the devastating military operations. Since the nationalization, the society has appreciated the monument, adapting it to the functions that allowed it to preserve its unique interiors unchanged.

Currently, the palace building houses the "Palace of Culture of Educators, which in the 1990s was formed into a multifunctional historical and cultural center combining educational, sightseeing, exhibition and concert activities" [2]. The historical and cultural palace ensemble has both All-Russian significance and European fame. It conceals a rich experience of craftsmen involved in both its construction and preservation.

Repair and restoration activities at the Yusupov Palace, as well as at other historical and cultural monuments, were not independent, but corresponded to the development of restoration practice and the worldview of their time. On the issue of preservation, restoration of architectural objects, and simply recognizing them as a monument of culture and art, Russian society has been progressing. The concept of restoration and its requirements are directly related to the priorities of the generation for a given period of time, as well as technological progress. Not a few mistakes were made in the history of restoration before the realization of the basics came - the possibility of reversibility and minimizing harm to the object of restoration [3].

The events of the Great Patriotic War made a significant contribution to the development of restoration in Russia. The consequences of largescale destruction set the task for specialists in prompt and balanced decisions to achieve the maximum result - the restoration and restoration of lost and dilapidated monuments. During this period, the Leningrad School of Restoration was founded. The so-called "scientific restoration" has been developed, which still serves as the basis for making decisions on the preservation of windows.

The final stage of the restoration of the Palace with six wings was the restoration of 2020 [4]. It took place in the rooms of the Princess's private rooms: the Princess's Study (Small white living room), Dressing Room (Porcelain boudoir), Bathroom, Persian (Oriental Boudoir). The types of materials included in the restoration are presented in Table 1.

The basis of the study of repair and restoration works included documentation developed by the contractor and the organization leading the supervision in 2020 of LLC "Renaissance of St. Petersburg", namely repair and restoration projects and scientific and restoration reports. The study compared the main defects and the types of work carried out to eliminate them. According to the reviewed documentation, it can be concluded that not a single element of the decoration was left without attention. Full-scale surveys recorded in detail the condition of all the elements separately and comprehensive conservation measures were carried out for each of them, ranging from surface clean-ups of general contamination and ending with the reconstruction of lost fragments based on iconographic materials.

To visually assess the level of deterioration of the premises, the authors of the article developed a method based on a system analysis in the following interpretation.

The condition of finishing materials is conditionally distributed in three positions. Each is given definitions, including a list of acceptable defects. In the format of the table, the values were filled in as a percentage. The number of interior elements as a whole (without furniture) is taken for 100%, without taking into account the areas of these elements, since the purpose of the analysis is to determine the prevailing state of these elements. 100% are evenly distributed among the interior elements in an equal percentage. In accordance with the defects of the element, its percentage value was entered into the cell corresponding to its condition (an example of filling is given in Table 1). Reception of the percentage distribution of interior elements based on their number

The following definitions are used as generalizing terms:

Working condition (P) is the general condition of the interior finishing elements, in which there is fragmentary wear, few losses, hair cracks, chips, color distortion and other causes of natural aging.

Limited-operable condition (OP) the general condition of the interior finishing elements, in which fragmentary deformation of the elements is observed, without the danger of sudden destruction; deep cracks, destruction of layers, loss of fragments of finishing elements, allowing them to be restored according to iconographic materials and preserved analogues in the interior.

Emergency condition (A) the general condition of the interior finishing elements, in which there are numerous deformations, cracks, chips, wear; losses without the possibility of documented restoration of the element; high risk of destruction of the element.

The considered documentation contains the main defects of walls (and their elements), ceiling (and their elements), door and window fillings (including fittings), floor, window sills, lighting fixtures, fireplaces, radiator grilles. The predominant defects in the studied halls are: general surface contamination, small cracks and chips, divergence of carved decor elements, fragmentary loss of gilding on various surfaces, change in the original plasticity of the stucco decoration, poor-quality vyshparovka backgrounds, dustiness of the damask and weakening of its base, general deterioration of fittings, misalignment of window frames, multi-layered colorful layering, loss of clarity relief, lost fittings and its darkening, scuffs, poorly executed mastications on marble surfaces, attrition of the lacquer layer of parquet (cracks, chips), minor losses on various finishing elements.

According to the description of the main defects of finishing materials in the project documentation, it is possible to assess the level of wear of each of them, however, for a general assessment of the condition of the interior, it is necessary to draw up a comprehensive conclusion. The calculation of the level of total wear of the premises is shown in Figure 1.

According to the results of the performed analysis, it can be concluded that the predominant state of the elements in the considered interior was operable, since the percentage ratio ranges from 62% to 75%. To a lesser extent, the interior elements were in a limited working condition, their percentage ratio in the range from 17% to 38%. Only 8% of the elements were affected by the emergency condition and they were only in the Princess's Office.

The data obtained clearly demonstrate that the reason for the invasion of the monument was aimed at maintaining the appearance of the interiors in all their splendor, namely, creating an imitation, since there was no danger among the defects in terms of bio-damage, reliability and safety of structures. The level of wear of the considered interiors did not violate the possibility of using the premises. The main restoration approach of the repair and restoration works in the Palace with six wings was a holistic approach reflecting the goal of maintaining the appearance of historical interiors and the atmosphere of a noble aristocratic mansion at the time of its highest heyday.

This goal is supported by the regulatory framework for the preservation of cultural heritage objects, which is given in the conclusions of scientific and restoration reports:

"- The work carried out meets the requirements of the current regulatory documents in the field of public buildings and cultural heritage restorations;

- Meets the objectives of preserving the object of cultural heritage of federal significance.

- All actions related to the implementation of the object provide for measures to preserve the object of cultural heritage and its long-term operation."

In conclusion, it should be noted that the priority of appearance in these measures for the preservation of the monument prevails over the priority of preserving authenticity. Many interventions, perhaps, could be neglected to preserve the "patina of time" and the atmosphere of fading luxury. But it was the careful attitude to the palace, the goal of prolonging the life of the monument and maintaining its operational properties in the most luxurious condition that provided us with the opportunity to contemplate the architect's ideas.

Thus, it can be concluded that the considered experience of the restoration of the Palace with six wings reflects the above-mentioned values for the preservation of iconic WINDOWS.

Table 1

Interior decoration materials included in the restoration

Interior finishing materials

Room

The Princess's Office

Dressing room (porcelain boudoir)

Bathroom

Persian

Metal

steel rod; brass; Spieter; Bronze; ferrous metal; Cast iron

steel rod; brass; black metal

brass

steel; brass

Tree

Oak; Pine; Maple; Walnut

Oak; Pine

Glass / Mirror

is present

Stone

Onyx;

Marbled limestone Yellow Saint Beaume

missing in interiors

Marbled limestone Yellow Saint Beaume

Painting

oil on plywood; pressed cardboard, oil.

missing in interiors

Oil painting on top of gold

Cloth

Damask

missing in interiors

Solutions

oil-glue putty; Lime-gypsum plaster

oil-glue putty

lime-gypsum with sand-rolled fraction of 0.1-1.5. Ratios of 8 : 1 : 9 parts; oil-glue putty; Gypsum;

Stucco decor

oil-and-glue putty, oil-and-glue painting, with gold glare (on the mordan); oil-and-glue levkas

melo-glue levkas, oil-glue putty, oil-glue painting

missing in interiors

Gilding/ Silvering

highlights on the mordan; galvanic gilding

highlights on the mordan;

electroplating gilding

on mordan

Face gilding by levkas; galvanic gilding

Painting

water dispersion paint; oil; oil paint (imitation of cutting)

"tempera oil-glue painting"

oil and glue painting

adhesive

Other

missing in interiors

missing in interiors

Ceramic tile

missing in interiors

Table 2

Example of percentage distribution of interior elements

Persian (Oriental Boudoir)

The whole interior

Interior elements

Percentage distribution by elements

100%

Ceiling decoration

12,50%

Wall decoration

12,50%

Window fillings

12,50%

Window fittings

12,50%

Window sill board

12,50%

Floors

12,50%

A rumble in the carved frame

12,50%

Radiators

12,50%

A) The Princess's study (Small White Living Room)

B) Dressing room (Porcelain boudoir)

C) Persian (Oriental Boudoir)

D) Bathroom

Fig. 1. The general level of deterioration of the premises

References
1. Palaces. Mansions. Estates. Museum format: collection of scientific articles of the XXIV Tsarskoye Selo Conference / Tsarskoe Selo State Museum-Reserve.- : St. Petersburg: Silver Age.-2018. 745 .
2. Yusupov Palace at the sink. 2023. URL: https://www.yusupov-palace.ru/ru/palace/history
3. Chronicle of the Resurrection. Restoration of architectural monuments of Leningrad and suburbs, destroyed during the Patriotic War by the Nazi invaders. Kedrinsky A.A., Kolotov M.G., L.A. Medersky, Raskin A.G. Ed. Building Literature. Leningrad, 1971. 113 .
4. Navigator for state sites of St. Petersburg. Committee for State Control, Use and Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments. 2023 URL https://kgiop.gov.spb.ru/uchet/list_objects/541/
5. Federal Law No. 73-FL "On objects of cultural heritage (monuments of history and culture) of the peoples of the Russian Federation"/ dated 25.06.2002. 2023 URL: https://www.consultant.ru/document/cons_doc_LAW_37318/
6. Project documentation of Vozrozhdenie Petersburg LLC for the restoration and repair of the interiors of the premises of the Yusupov Palace, a cultural heritage site of federal significance, located at the address: St. Petersburg, emb. R. Sinks, 94 lit. A Section II. Design work. Volume 9. General explanatory note. Cipher PD-01-04-2018-EN. Archive of St. Petersburg State Institution "Customer's Directorate".(2018). St. Petersburg. 113 .
7. Project documentation of Vozrozhdenie Petersburg LLC for the restoration and repair of the interiors of the premises of the cultural heritage site of federal significance "The Yusupov Palace". located at the address: St. Petersburg, nab. R. Sinks, 94 lit. A Section I. Complex scientific research. Volume 12. Field survey and study of materials for interior decoration. Cipher PD-01-04-2018-A-1. Archive of St. Petersburg State Institution "Customer's Directorate". (2018). St. Petersburg. 266 .
8. Reporting documentation on the performance of work on the preservation of a cultural heritage site included in the unified state register of cultural heritage sites (monuments of history and culture) of the peoples of the Russian Federation 94). Restoration of the interiors of the Private Rooms of Princess Z.N. Yusupova-Persian and Bathroom. GC S-25-2020. Archive of St. Petersburg State Institution "Customer's Directorate". (2018). St. Petersburg. 263 .
9. Reporting documentation on the performance of work on the preservation of a cultural heritage site included in the unified state register of cultural heritage sites (monuments of history and culture) of the peoples of the Russian Federation 94). Restoration of the interiors of the Private Rooms of Princess Z.N. Yusupova-Dressing room. GC S-21-2020. Archive of St. Petersburg State Institution "Customer's Directorate". (2018). St. Petersburg. 234 .
10. Reporting documentation on the performance of work on the preservation of a cultural heritage site included in the unified state register of cultural heritage sites (monuments of history and culture) of the peoples of the Russian Federation 94). Restoration of the interiors of the Private Rooms of Princess Z.N. Yusupova-The office of the princess (stages 1 and 2). GC S-12-2020, GC S-27-2020. Archive of St. Petersburg State Institution "Customer's Directorate". (2018). St. Petersburg. 257 .

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The author presented his article "Restoration of iconic objects on the example of the preservation of the Yusupov Palace" to the Architecture and Design magazine, which examines the experience of repair and restoration activities in the preservation of historical and cultural heritage sites. The author proceeds in studying this issue from the fact that the priority of appearance prevails over the priority of preserving authenticity. But, as the author notes, it is the careful attitude to the palace, the purpose of prolonging the life of the monument and maintaining its operational properties in the most luxurious condition that provides descendants with the opportunity to contemplate the architect's creation. The relevance of the research is determined by the fact that the experience of preserving objects of historical and cultural heritage reflects the country's value system, the level of culture, technical capabilities and skills of specialists. The scientific novelty and the purpose of the study is to develop a method for visual assessment of the level of deterioration of premises. The scientific justification of the developed method was the so-called "scientific restoration" (Leningrad school of Restoration), which still serves as the basis for making decisions on the preservation of cultural heritage sites. The study of repair and restoration works is based on documentation developed by the contractor and the organization leading the author's supervision in 2020, LLC Vozrozhdenie Peterburg, namely repair and restoration projects and scientific and restoration reports. In the study, the author compared the main defects and the types of work carried out to eliminate them. The author explains the choice of the research object by the fact that the Yusupov Palace has a rich historical and architectural history, reflected in numerous books and monographs. This palace belongs to the objects of cultural heritage of a high degree of preservation, as it is an architectural landmark that managed to preserve its historical appearance as much as possible after the devastating military operations. Unfortunately, the author does not provide material on the theoretical justification and the degree of scientific elaboration of the problem. The bibliographic list also does not contain theoretical works. In the study, the author presents a description of the developed method. The condition of the finishing materials is conditionally distributed in three positions, each is defined, including a list of acceptable defects. In accordance with the defects of the element, its percentage value was entered in the cell corresponding to its condition. The author uses the method of percentage distribution of interior elements based on their number. In the reviewed documentation, the author studied the main defects of walls, ceiling, door and window fillings, floor, window sills, lighting fixtures, fireplaces, radiator grilles. As a result of the research, the author has compiled a comprehensive conclusion and calculated the level of general deterioration of the premises. The assessment of the wear of the premises allowed the author to conclude that the basis for the restoration was the purpose of maintaining the appearance of the interiors, namely, creating an imitation, since there was no danger among the defects in terms of bio-contamination, reliability and safety of structures. This goal is supported by the regulatory framework for the preservation of cultural heritage sites. In conclusion, the author presents the conclusions of the study, including all the key provisions of the presented material. It seems that the author in his material touched upon relevant and interesting issues for modern socio-humanitarian knowledge, choosing a topic for analysis, consideration of which in scientific research discourse will entail certain changes in the established approaches and directions of analysis of the problem addressed in the presented article. The results obtained allow us to assert that the study of the possibilities and methods of preserving and maintaining the proper condition of objects of historical and cultural heritage is of undoubted theoretical and practical cultural interest and can serve as a source of further research. The material presented in the work has a clear, logically structured structure that contributes to a more complete assimilation of the material. An adequate choice of methodological base also contributes to this. However, the bibliographic list consists of only 10 sources and does not include scientific works on the subject under study, which seems insufficient for generalization and analysis of scientific discourse. It can be said that the author fulfilled his goal, obtained certain scientific results, and showed knowledge of the studied issues. It should be stated that the article may be of interest to readers and deserves to be published in a reputable scientific publication after the specified drawback has been eliminated.
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