THE ROYAL CHAPEL WOODWORK
According to the drawings of Nikola Krasnov
From 1928 to 1934.
On the south side of the Royal Palace, there is the chapel dedicated to Saint Andrew the First-Called. The designers of this chapel were Zivojin Nikolic and Victor Lukomsky, and the interior design was done under the supervision of the engineer Sergei Smirnov, where the architect Nikolay Krasnov had the biggest part in the design of the church mobiliar.
The iconostasis and parapet in the choir, as well as the polyelei, are made of wood and decorated with magnificent carving. The iconostasis, according to the wishes of King Alexander I, was supposed to be be a copy of a medieval iconostasis. The reason lies in the fact that the chapel was made on the model of the King’s Church in Studenica. In this sense, the iconostasis and the entire chapel milieu were supposed to evoke medieval art, such as the iconostasis from medieval Orthodox monasteries. According to the preserved notes by Smirnov, the iconostasis of this kind was not found in the country, and in this sense, the help was provided by the Romanian Queen Maria, who bought a part of such iconostasis in Constantinople, from an antiquarian named Haym. The altar door was a big problem. The Smirnov’s manuscript mentions that King Alexander I learned there was an altar door from the Old Serbia, in a private collection in Paris. Minister Spalajkovic was given the task of redeeming that part of the iconostasis. However, the whole matter got complicated since the collection was already sold, so Krasnov was given the task to reproduce the door according to the photo. Carving, gilding and shading was done by special techniques, on Nikolay Krasnov’s design. He also provided a solution for a wooden parapet on the choir, polyelei, icon stands and reliquiary
One of the most important architects who, with his work in architecture and applied art, left a significant mark on the look of Belgrade and other cities of Serbia. He was one of the most prominent representatives of academic historiography in the interior architecture of our region. His status and creativity in Russia was a recommendation for his engagement in Serbia. As an emigrant after the October Revolution, he came to Belgrade in 1922 and quickly joined the Architectural Department of the Ministry of Construction of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes as head of the monumental buildings and monuments department and construction inspector. Soon he became a respected state and court architect. In the period from 1923 to 1939 he worked in many state institutions. His work on the construction and decoration of the Royal Compound, primarily the Royal Palace and that was very extensive. Preserved architectural plans and conceptual sketches indicate his engagement in almost all of the interior and exterior of palaces and chapels of Saint Andrew.