Interior decoration

Interior decoration

The author of the interior decoration of St. Andrew’s Church is the architect F.-B. Rastrelli. Architecture, modeling, carving, painting, harmoniously combining and complementing each other, form a holistic ensemble of the interior of the church.

The modeling, which was made of plaster and then covered with gilding, has intricate shapes of flower garlands, stylized palm branches, acanthus leaves, rocailles, volutes, and cherub heads. It organically emphasizes one or another element of architecture, with its asymmetrical pattern decorates doors, windows, niches, pilasters, skylights, cupola space.

Unsurpassed examples of carving art in St. Andrew’s Church are the iconostasis, the above-throne blue rotunda, the cathedra, which combine various types of flat, embossed, high-relief wood carvings, gilded and polychrome round sculpture.

Carved details of the decoration of St. Andrew’s Church were made in St. Petersburg from linden wood according to Rastrelli’s sketches and drawings by masters J. Domash, A. Karlovskyi, M. Manturov, H. Oreidakh, D. Ustars, J. Grot. Gilding works were performed by F. Leprens and I. Yevstyfeiev.

The iconostasis of the church

The main decorative and ideological and artistic component of the interior is an iconostasis 23.4 m high (including the composition “Crucifixion with the Bystanders”). It consists of three tiers, which are divided vertically into parts by pilasters, and horizontally separated from each other by cornices of complex profile. Between the second and third tiers there is a gilded composition “The All-Seeing Eye”, and the iconostasis is crowned by a polychrome sculptural composition “Crucifixion with the Bystanders”.

In the iconostasis of St. Andrew’s Church there are 39 icons that give a clear idea of ​​the nature of church painting in the middle of the 18th century. In 1751-1752, the “painting team” of the Chancellery from buildings under the direction of Ivan Vyshnyakov worked on the creation of icons for the iconostasis of St. Andrew’s Church. The orders were made by St. Petersburg painters Olexii Antropov, Andrii Yeroshevskyi, Petro Semenov, and Olexii Belskyi, Olexii Pospelov, and Ivan Firsov, who were brought in from Moscow. The most significant painter in this group was Olexii Antropov, whose brush bears the hallmark of the cathedra, the iconostasis icon “Assumption”, the scene “Annunciation” from the Holy Gate, the image of Andrew the First Called on the western vault of the church, as well as the altarpiece “The Last Supper”. Icons on the back side of the iconostasis were made in the 18th century by Ukrainian artists Ivan Romenskyi and Ivan Tchaikovskyi.

In the transept of St. Andrew’s Church there are two compositions of the 19th century, which are made in the style of classicism – “Sermon of the Apostle Andrew” by Ukrainian artist Platon Boryspolets and “Choice of Faith by Prince Volodymyr” by Latvian artist Johann Egginka. Both paintings belong to the historical genre and reproduce chronicles of the preaching of Christianity, the founding of the city of Kyiv and the spread of Orthodoxy in Kyivan Rus.

As part of the major restoration of St. Andrew’s Church (2009-2020), its interiors were restored (2016-2020), including the iconostasis. Thus, during the restoration it became clear that many generations of Kyivites and guests of the capital have seen the iconostasis of St. Andrew’s Church not in the form in which it was erected in the church in the mid-18th century. Scientists of the National Conservation Area “Sophia of Kyiv” found photonegatives of the 1930s, as well as photography of the interiors of St. Andrew’s Church in 1903, showed that 13 of the 39 images in the iconostasis were mixed up in Soviet times (in the “pre-museum” period of history St. Andrew’s Church). By the time St. Andrew’s Church became part of the National Conservation Area “Sophia of Kyiv” in 1968, a third of the images in the church’s iconostasis were out of place. This unfortunate fact for decades made it impossible to comprehend its unique iconographic program.

In 2016-2020, all 39 icons were restored by the restorers of the research and restoration workshop of the National Conservation Area “Sophia of Kyiv” and LLC “EXTERIOR-BUDSERVICE” under the general direction of the artist-restorer of the highest category Anatolii Mykolaiovych Ostapchuk and returned to their historic places.

Scheme of the iconostasis with marked icons, which were mixed up during the repair and restoration works of the 50s of the 20th century and in 2020 were returned to their historic places.

Iconostasis after restoration

Carved cherub in the upper tier of the iconostasis. After restoration