Saturday, October 13, 2012


Flopping on my bed (even though Russian beds are very firm) feels so good right now.  I spent most of today on my feet, looking at artwork, taking photographs, and walking through the city.

Stanford organized an English guided excursion to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts for us this morning.  The Pushkin museum is divided into three museums: The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, The Gallery of 19th and 20th Century European and American Art, and The Museum of Private Collections.  We saw the Gallery of 19th and 20th Century European and American Art, which housed Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings.

I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and the collection of pieces.  Here are some of my favorites:

Our guide told us that Gauguin and Matisse were the two most popular impressionist artists in Russia.  I am curious to know why.

Following our tour of the museum, we crossed the street to have lunch at Кафе Щислива, a modern cafe that prides itself on using local ingredients.

Matt ate sugar cubes while we waited for our orders.

Since Matt, Ron, Sharia, and I had not visited the main gallery of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts yet, we decided to visit it after lunch; however, for some unknown reason, it was closed.  So, we dispersed and made plans to visit it another day.

I went back to my home stay, grabbed my Nikon, and returned to the Cathedral of Christ the Redeemer to photograph the cathedral in the sunlight, a fleeting delight in Moscow.

Christ the Redeemer was rebuilt between 1994-97 after Stalin blew it up in 1931.  The original building commemorated Moscow's defeat of Napoleon.

The interior of Christ the Redeemer was breathtaking.  Truly, the church is an indescribable masterpiece of artwork and architecture.  Unfortunately, photography is not allowed, so you will just have to come to Moscow and see it for yourself.   

While I was inside, the 5:00 PM Russian Orthodox service began.  Suddenly an angelic choir of voices resounded throughout the cathedral.  It was a divine experience indeed. 

I didn't want to leave, but I had made plans to meet Ron and Matt at a nearby Metro station so that we could go to Catholic Mass. 

Our mass was partially in Latin and partially in Russian.  Compared to the number of Russian Orthodox in Moscow, there are hardly any Catholics.  Of course, it was a Saturday night.  Perhaps there are more at Sunday Mass.

I'm tired.  Good Night.

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