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Peter and Paul Fortress

Alexander Bikhter, Peter and Paul Fortress (June)

Born in Leningrad in 1951, Alexander Bikhter has always had a natural ability to convey a great deal with minimal description. He graduated from the Institute of Culture in 1972 and in 1981 graduated from the Leningrad School of Industrial Art specializing in artistic design. Bikhter has participated in several group exhibitions in St. Petersburg, New York and California.

The Peter and Paul Fortress, known as the Petropavlovskaya Fortress in Russian, is one of the most iconic sites in Petersburg, attracting tourist to visit the State Museum, which it now houses, and in the warmer month, it entices sunbathers to enjoy the rays of the sun that generously beam down upon it. However, what is appreciated today for its cultural and social properties, was originally built out of fear. In the early 1700’s Peter the Great had it constructed fearing an attack from the Swedish; it later housed political prisoners, who were freed during

the February Revolution of 1917; and even after becoming a museum in 1924 it was substantially damaged in the second world war, but has since been restored. There is quietness to this painting in the cool, muted colors and the hazy lines that seem to represent the lingering of a past that is mostly forgotten as the visitors go about their business.

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