Oil on canvas «St. Annenkirche Lutheran Church»

Yulia Mamontova
«St. Annenkirche Lutheran Church»
Oil on canvas
47,2” х 31,4”


Sometimes a visit to a historical place leaves a sadness in the soul. When I was inside Annenkirche in St. Petersburg (Russia), I had a very strange feeling that the buildings were half alive. It is still abandoned, but it is not fully functional and is not being renovated. When you get to such places, you try to remember, to capture every detail. Maybe when you come here in six months or a year, the majestic interior of the Lutheran Church of St. Anne will be even more deplorable. Life is still warm here: concerts are held on the second floor in the big hall, exhibitions can be held. The ruin imposes the impression of lameness on everything that happens inside: you realize that status events are not held here, and charity events are unlikely to collect the money that is needed for restoration. What happens to the interiors of the church is a terrible picture. Nobody follows the visitors, works at the exhibition. After all, someone comes here just to see, and someone can come to spoil or set fire. Then the building will come to a complete desolation. The worst thing is that after fires, many buildings are either demolished or radically rebuilt. I’m very afraid that Annenskirche on Kirochnaya Street might suffer that fate. The destruction of harmony is a process that I observe with pain in my heart. Paint and plaster fly off the walls, stucco crumbles. I try to capture the last splashes of beauty in the Lutheran Church of St. Anne. As an artist, it pains me to see the destruction of beauty that our children may not even see what we see now. It seems to me that people are guilty before St. Anne’s Church, leaving it at the mercy of the destructive forces of time and nature. It doesn’t hurt because there is a personal memory associated with this place. “Beauty will save the world”, as Dostoevsky said, but you don’t have to be an expert in architecture to see that nobody needs her and there’s nobody to take care of her.