The altar-piece The Transfiguration of Christ was painted by the Finnish-born artist B. A. Godenhjelm in St. Petersburg in 1839. The work was commissioned for the Evangelical-Lutheran congregation founded in New Archangel (Sitka), Russian Alaska. The new parish was established to serve the Lutheran employees of the Russian-American Company that was exploiting Alaska's natural resources. The painting as well as other special worship furnishings for the church sailed to Alaska together with the Finnish pastor Uno Cygnaeus (1810-1888), who had been appointed the first pastor of the new parish. In 1867 Russia transferred title of Alaska to the United States. The life of the Lutheran congregation began to wane, and the altar-piece was moved to the neighboring St. Michaels's Russian Orthodox Cathedral. The Orthodox Church returned the altar-piece to the Lutheran congregation in 2000 when the origin of the forgotten painting had been certified. Restoration of the altar-piece was conducted in Finland in 2002-2003.