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Tsar-father, reformer of Russia Peter Alekseevich Romanov invented fun for his subjects. Or rather, a kind of punishment. Local nobles are not used to the promenade. And as he did not drive them out of the house for the first time, it was impossible to instill this habit in any way - to walk in the evenings in parks and gardens. And then, having already become emperor of Russia, Peter the Great issued a decree that “if anyone does not make the evening promenade, it will be spoken to in the Secret Chancellery”. This must be said was worse than hard labor. And no one wanted to get “fanged” by secret investigators.
Therefore, everyone walked with fear through the magnificent Petrovsky park - the Summer Garden. And the whole family had to go to the promenade, as well as to the "scale" or assembly. The emperor himself also sometimes walked around the garden, at the same time and looked at who and how carried out his order. Of course, it didn’t reach the secret chancellery if the person where hesitated and was a little late for the promenade, but still he accepted a comic punishment. True, it was not sweeter than hard labor, it was a kind of humiliation before everyone.
On Benoit’s canvas, Peter’s walk with his retinue in the Summer Garden is just captured. Peter himself is visible, however, from the back; and his retinue, who goes after him and catches his every word. And the small Karls, the midgets-jesters, also walked with the retinue. And nearby you can see the garden workers who supported the park in order: who sweeps, who cuts the bushes. The main thing is that the emperor liked it, the rest does not count.
The summer garden in St. Petersburg over time has become a favorite place for citizens. Here lovers met, newlyweds walked here, then old people recalled their youth. In this garden, the imperial family, both under Peter and after him, often made revels, both for close ones and for ordinary people. He still remains the same favorite among St. Petersburg.
Winter Painting Shishkin