TRAMVAI

stop 6 - Dmitrii Mitrokhin


By 1912, the number 2 and 3 trams extend out to the northern periphery of the city, plying the route across the Petrogradsk Side, from Novaya Derevnya and then across Troitsky Bridge before entering the city center. The trams run along Kamenno-Ostrovsky Prospect, and here they cross the Karpovka River, on the banks of which lived the artist Dmitrii Mitrokhin.

Mitrokhin's art of etching and book decoration counted amongst its influences the engravings of old European masters, the refined style of Audrey Beardsley, Japanese prints and the Russian lubok.

Out here, towards the city's margins, we find a tram, itself tucked into the very margins of a work by this artist.

The tram in the top left-hand corner of the etching is the only trace of a background depicted. The tram alone is charged with the task of evoking the specificity of an urban setting. It is a subtly placed, but strong iconic image of the fabric of everyday urban life. Moreover, one might imagine that the tram's relationship to the cityscape doubles the art of etching: the tram rails are metallic lines as if etched into the street.

The lyrical hero of "The Lost Tram" views St Isaac's as if it is etched on the skyline:

"That faithful stronghold of Orthodoxy,
Isaac's, is etched upon the sky,
There I will hold a service for Mashenka's health
And a requiem mass for myself."



Etching by Mitrokhin (1920s)