Russian Architects in the 18th CenturyBy: Rene Gutierrez
Russian Architects in the 18th Century Beginning in the reign of Peter the Great, many new stone buildings were constructed. Peter the Great set out to build St. Petersburg in a Western European style. The adoption of foreign architecture rapidly replaced Russia’s wooden buildings. This change carried with it the need to learn new methods. Peter brought into Russia many foreign architects and laborers, but he also sent out Russians to places like Holland, Italy and Germany to study and learn the new techniques. These are some of the prominent Russian architects of the eighteenth century. PyotrYeropkin Mikhail Zemtsov Karl Ivanovich Blank SavvaChevakinsky Ivan Starov
PyotrYeropkin PyotrYeropkin was one of the founders of the Anninskybaroque style during the reign of Peter the Great. In 1739 Yeropkin was commissioned by Empress Anna Ioannovna to build the Ice Palace to celebrate Russia’s victory over Turkey. The building melted during the summer of 1740, the same year Empress Anna ordered the execution of Pyotr for taking part in the Volynsky conspiracy.
Mikhail Zemtsov Mikhail Zemtsov was born in 1688. He assisted DomenicoTrezzini in designing the Summer Palace. Also designed St. Simeon and St. Anna churches in St. Petersburg.
Karl Ivanovich Blank Karl Blank was the son of French Huguenot refugees. Assisted PyotrYeropkin in many projects and soon began planning his own projects. Famous for his baroque style churches in Moscow and especially for the Moscow Orphanage.
SavvaChevakinsky Designed many buildings in Naryshkin’sbaroque style. His projects include Shuvalovsky Palace, Sheremetevsky Palace and Saint Nicholas Marine Cathedral. Savva was chief architect at the Admiralty and at the Academy of Science. Born into impoverished noble family in 1709.
Ivan Starov Although many of his buildings came to fruition after the turn of the eighteenth century, he can still be considered a product of eighteenth century architecture. Studied under SavvaChevakinsky and worked in the early classicist style. Built the Tauride Palace and Troitsky Cathedral.
Conclusion The eighteenth century was a time of great change in Russia, Peter the Great’s reforms proved to be revolutionary because it transformed Russia at the roots and changed its identity as a state. Architecture is one aspect of Russian culture that made a drastic shift towards westernization. Catherine II , Anna Ioannovna and Elizabeth all commissioned many projects along with many of the gentry. The acceptance of this foreign ideology marks a significant point in Russian history, because unlike many of the wooden buildings prior to the eighteenth century, Russian stone Architecture has endured the many ruptures to Russian identity and to date it holds as one of the most aesthetically pleasing countries in the world.