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Imperial Russia (1712–1917) Russian Architecture
|Pashkov House in Moscow typifies an urban residence of the eighteenth-century Russian nobility.||Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, Saint Petersburg.||Picture of the Menshikov Tower,Moscow taken in 1882|
|Kikin Hall (1714), an example of private residence dating from Peter I's reign. Petrine Baroque||The historic building of the Twelve Collegia now houses the Saint Petersburg State University.||View of the Kunstkammer across the Neva.|
|Imperial Russia (1712–1917)
In 1712, Peter I of Russia moved the capital from Moscow to St Petersburg, which he planned to design in the Dutch style usually called Petrine baroque. Its major monuments include the Peter and Paul Cathedral, Menshikov Palace, and the Menshikov Tower.
During the reign of Empress Anna and Elizaveta Petrovna, the Russian architecture was dominated by a luxurious Baroque style of Bartolomeo Rastrelli whose signature buildings include the Winter Palace, the Catherine Palace, and the Smolny Cathedral. Other distinctive monuments of the Elizabethan Baroque are the bell tower of the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra and the Red Gate.
Catherine the Great dismissed Rastrelli and patronized neoclassical architects invited from Scotland and Italy. Some of the most representative buildings from her reign are the Alexander Palace by Giacomo Quarenghi and the Trinity Cathedral of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra by Ivan Starov. During Catherine's reign, the Russian Gothic Revival style was developed by Vasily Bazhenov and Matvei Kazakov in Moscow.
Alexander I of Russia favoured the Empire Style, which became de-facto 'the only style of his period, evidenced by the Kazan Cathedral, the Admiralty, the Bolshoi Theatre, St Isaac's Cathedral, and the Narva Triumphal Gates in Saint Petersburg. Influence of Empire was even greater in Moscow that had to rebuild thousands of houses destroyed by the fire of 1812.
In 1830s Nicholas I eased regulation in architecture, opening the trade to various incarnations of early eclecticism. Konstantin Ton's pseudo-Russian designs became the preferred choice in church construction (Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, 1832-1883), while his public buildings followed Renaissance tradition, exemplified in the Great Kremlin Palace (1838-49) snd the Kremlin Armoury (1844-1851).
Subsequent reigns of Alexander II and Alexander III promoted Russian Byzantine Revival in church architecture, while civil construction followed the same variety of eclectisicm as was common in all European countries, with continuously growing national revival trends - vernacular and imaginary (i.e. Pogodin's Hut and State Historical Museum in Moscow).
Between 1895 and 1905 architecture was briefly dominated by Art Nouveau, most active in Moscow (Lev Kekushev, Fyodor Schechtel, William Walcot). While it remained a popular choice until the outbreak of World War II, in 1905-1914 it made way to Russian neoclassical revival that merged Empire style and pallladian tradition with modern construction technologies.
Petrine Baroque is a name applied by art historians to a style of Baroque architecture and decoration favoured by Peter the Great and employed to design buildings in the newly-founded Russian capital, Saint Petersburg, under this monarch and his immediate successors.
Unlike contemporaneous Naryshkin Baroque, favoured in Moscow, the Petrine Baroque represented a drastic rupture with Byzantine traditions that had dominated Russian architecture for almost a millennium. Its chief practitioners - Domenico Trezzini, Andreas Schlüter, and Mikhail Zemtsov - drew inspiration from a rather modest Dutch, Danish, and Swedish architecture of the time.
Extant examples of the style in St Petersburg are the Peter and Paul Cathedral (Trezzini), the Twelve Colleges (Trezzini), the Kunstkamera (Zemtsov), Kikin Hall (Schlüter), Menshikov Tower, and Menshikov Palace (Giovanni Fontana)
The Petrine Baroque structures outside St Petersburg are scarce; they include the Menshikov Tower in Moscow and the Kadriorg Palace in Tallinn.