University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group > Signs, Shops and Imperial Pomp: A Stroll Along Nevskii Prospekt in the Early Nineteenth Century.

Signs, Shops and Imperial Pomp: A Stroll Along Nevskii Prospekt in the Early Nineteenth Century.

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Between 1830 and 1835, publisher and art patron Andrei Prèvost published a large grayscale lithograph as a scroll. Measuring 23 feet by 10 and a half inches, the scroll was taken from artist Vasilii Sadovnikov’s late 1820s watercolors depicting Nevskii Prospekt. In its entirety, the scroll faithfully reproduces the grand boulevard in lithograph from Palace Square to the Anichkov Bridge and back. When it was published, the work caused a stir because of the unique look at the city it provided, allowing viewers across the Russian Empire to “visit” the famous street and “take in” its notable sights from their homes. This paper will embark upon just such a “stroll,” but will focus on the public graphosphere depicted therein. While the graphosphere portrayed is limited to a small segment of the grand street and, therefore, is by no means a comprehensive overview of urban space, this limitation nonetheless proves productive, inviting historical digressions and raising a series of initial framing questions: What can we learn from analysis of this captured graphosphere? What does it omit, and why? And where do we look for more information about the graphosphere in early nineteenth-century Russian urban space?

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group series.

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