St. Petersburg, its magnificent panoramas and palaces are the main theme of the works of F. Ya. Alekseev. The Exchange building, erected in the year of writing this picture, completed the formation of the central architectural ensemble of St. Petersburg. This part of the city was a favorite place for walks of Petersburgers. Alekseev uses the classic principle when composing a composition, comparing the first plan marked with a brown left corner and a dark cloud to the right, and a greenish-blue open space in the depth.
The Exchange building is presented somewhat on the right, so that in the center of the composition there is a spectacular panorama of the Neva. In the background, the Winter Palace and the Admiralty form a single ensemble with the sky and the river, as if asserting the most important idea of harmony of mind and nature for the Enlightenment.
The artist shows St. Petersburg as what contemporaries saw it, as the ideal capital of an enlightened state. The poet KN Batiushkov wrote: “Look now at the embankment, these huge palaces are more magnificent than the others!” These houses are more beautiful than the others! Look at the Vasilevsky Island, adorned with a stock exchange, rostral columns and a granite embankment. .] How majestic and beautiful this part of the city is! Now from the exchange with what pleasure my gaze follows along the coasts and is lost in the distance between two embankments, the only ones in the world! “