Russia Architecture Part II

By | February 12, 2022

To this only the art of the Upper Volga province remained more faithful, opposing more resistance to the influences of Western art (to Jaroslavl ′, Rostov, Romanovo-Borisoglebsk, Uglič, etc.). As for architecture, it is largely the transposition into stone of the forms of national wooden architecture, which underwent all the aforementioned influences with which it came into contact. Different constructions characterize it: the izba-churches, the “tent” churches, pyramid-like; the churches with multiple domes (17th century); he asked her plans (Ukrainian form). In the century XVI takes over the Italian influence: the main architects of Moscow are Italian (A. Fioravanti, Alevisio Novi, Marco Ruffo, PA Solario, etc.).

According to iamhigher, the civil buildings (the “faceted palace”, the Terem palace, the fortified walls) or religious buildings (cathedrals: of the Dormition, of the Annunciation, of the Archangel Michael, etc.) retain the imprint of this Italian influence, above all Milanese. Alongside these constructions and combining with this important current of Western art, the most characteristic national type of church is the pyramid one (churches of St. John the Baptist in D′jakovo, 1529; of the Ascension in Kolomenskoe, 1532; of the Transfiguration in Ostrovo, 1550; by Vasillj Blažennyj in Moscow, 1555-60; the “Beautiful Church” in Uglič, 1628; Putinki’s Church of the Nativity in Moscow, 1649-1652). It may be that Indian models also exerted some influence, as Viollet-le-Duc believed and Millet still believes, although the forms of wooden constructions already seem to sufficiently explain its formation. As for the Renaissance style, in Muscovy it did not produce anything original and is only felt in the decorative covering. On the other hand, the Italian Baroque, transmitted from Poland and Ukraine (Kiev), whose style has no connection with Byzantine monuments, gave, under the influence of Ukrainian wooden architecture, a popular type of storied churches, of which the equivalent in any other country of Europe; but its development was halted by Peter the Great’s ukaz on 9 October 714, which reserved all construction for the new capital Petersburg. In Ukraine this Baroque style created two types of churches: one, although covered with Baroque ornaments, retains the plan of the Byzantine churches, while the others adopt the basilica plan of the Polish Catholic churches. This overloaded style (“Mazepa style”) which left an imprint on the Moscow churches of the end of the century. XVII did not produce any major works in Ukraine. In Muscovy the Muscovite Baroque, otherwise known as the “Naryshkin style”, gave monuments of great interest: the church of the Virgin of Georgia (1628-53) in Moscow; the Resurrection Cathedral of the New Jerusalem Monastery (1657-85) near Moscow; the Trinity Church in Ostankino (1668); the Teremok of the Krutitsky monastery (1670); the church of San Gregorio di Neocesarea (1679) and the church of San Nicola of the Great Cross in Moscow; the church of the virgin of the Miracle in Dubrovicy (1690); the storied church of the Intercession of the Virgin in Fili (1693); the Sucharev Tower (1692-95) and the Men′šikov Tower (1705-07), both in Moscow. In the century XVIII the construction of the pyramid churches was forbidden by the ecclesiastical authorities and the domed church was then returned which assumed a purely decorative importance. Buildings become overloaded with overhangs; the vaults have ribs. The Petersburg period begins with Peter the Great: civil constructions take precedence over religious architecture. From the beginning the influence of the Germanic-Dutch architecture of the century is manifested. XVII and foreign artists; the Italian D. Trezzini, the German A. Schlüter and the French A. Leblond are at the head of the town planning organizations of the emperor. The Central European Baroque leaves a notable trace in the most important constructions (the ancient parts of the Winter Palace, the Razumovsky palaces, later known as Aničkov, Stroganov, Voroncov, the Smol′nij convent in Leningrad, St. Andrew in Kiev). The Petersburg Baroque of the time of Peter the Great has no local color; instead the Russian Rococo, Elizabethan or Rastrelliano, it is clearly distinguished from the French or German Rococo for the colossal amplitude of the proportions, for the restoration of the domes in religious architecture and for the multicolored colors of the facades. Rococo art under Elizabeth Petrovna (beginning in 1741) introduced a French art current that replaced the Germanic influence. The architect and decorator Bartolomeo Rastrelli (1700-1770) represents the art of this era better than any other. Rococo, under Catherine II, gives way to neoclassical architecture. At first it had foreign architects including Vallin de la Mothe (palace of the Academy of Fine Arts in Leningrad), which reflects the art of Gabriel, Antonio Rinaldi (Chinese palace in Oranienbaum, the Marble Palace in Leningrad), by Cameron (palaces in Tsarskoye Selo and Pavlovsk), by Giacomo Quarenghi (English palace of Peterhof, Alexander palace in Tsarskoye Selo) and their Russian emuli Starov (Tavričeskij or Tauride palace), Baženov (Mikhailovsky or San Michele palace finished by Brenna) precursors of Voronichin and Zacharov, the two great artists of the reign of Alexander I. Under the latter emperor the second phase of classicism was characterized by the reaction against the excess of ornaments of the Baroque style. The influence of Palladio and Vitruvius made the austere Doric columns replace the Corinthian columns of the time of Catherine II. Thomas of Thomon (the Maritime Exchange in Leningrad), Voronichin (the Kazan Cathedral in Leningrad) and Zacharov (the Leningrad Admiralty) represent the era. Zacharov’s art in particular aimed at rectilinear and severe forms. Carlo Rossi was the last representative of neoclassicism: he was particularly interested in the vast set of buildings in the city and contributed more than any other to giving a definitive aspect to the capital. After him Riccardo di Monferrand (1786-1858), under the reigns of Alexander I and Nicholas I, adopted an eclectic style (St. Isaac’s cathedral and Alexander’s column).

Classical architecture also left traces in Moscow (“Baroque embellishments” in the Kremlin, buildings by Baženov and Kazakov) and in the elegant Moscow residences, from the time of Catherine II, with monumental doors and facades decorated with colonnades, fashioned by Starov in the palace of Tauride (see also the Sheremetev castles, in Kuskovo and Ostankino, the Archangelsk property of the Golicyn first and then of the Yusupovs). Also in Moscow the neoclassical style found interesting expressions in the work of Gilardi and Beauvais. All neoclassical architecture in Russia was marked by great vitality and prosperity, manifesting such a unity of style that is not found elsewhere. The second half of the nineteenth century added nothing remarkable to his legacy.

At the beginning of the 20th century, architecture in Russia returned to Palladian classicism.

Russia Architecture 2