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Entries / Neoclassicism


Categories / Architecture/Architectural Styles

NEOCLASSICISM (from the Latin сlassicus - exemplary), the style in art and architecture, based on the cult of reason and ideal order, the antique heritage being its source. The architecture of Neoclassicism is characterized by strict geometrical spatial forms, symmetry, and architectural order as a basic motif of decoration; a large-module scale, the hierarchical organization of forms, and the synthesis with painting and sculpture. The emergence of Neoclassicism in Russia was connected with assimilation of the Renaissance culture, the adoption of Italian, French and English traditions; and in the late 18th - early 19th centuries, the assimilation of classical examples. The main carriers of the culture of Neoclassicism were masters invited from abroad, as well as graduates of the Academy educated abroad. The history of Neoclassicism in St. Petersburg is divided into several stages (see Architectural styles). The basis of Neoclassicism was laid in the time of Peter the Great, with its cult of antiquity and "regular" planning. The images of Neoclassicism of the 18th-19th centuries corresponded to the ideology of the nobility at its highest stage of development, satisfied imperial expectations and nationalism. The state and the nobility were the main commissioners of the style; the best Neoclassical buildings were erected in the capital of the Russian empire; the richest collections of paintings, sculpture, decorative art, and architecture were concentrated in the palaces. Strict regulation of urban planning and architectural works carried out by special state institutions (Commission of Masonry, Academy of Fine Arts, etc.) under the supervision of emperors and empresses - Catherine II, Pavel I, Alexander I, Nicholas I. The Neoclassical architecture did not make distinction between "high" and "low" genres: both large official buildings and modest household buildings were subject to the same style system. Neoclassical sculpture is characterized by the tendency towards allegory; it generally includes the images of gods, heroes, and military trophies, which reflected in the image of St. Petersburg as a military capital. The creation of landscaped parks of Elagin Island and Pavlovsk were done in line with the English tradition. The most celebrated architects of Neoclassicism were: A. Rinaldi, A.F. Kokorinov, J. B. Vallin de la Mothe, I.E. Starov, N.A. Lvov, G. Quarenghi, A.D. Zakharov, J.F. Thomas de Thomon, K.I. Rossi, A.N. Voronikhin; sculptors - F.I. Shubin, M.I. Kozlovsky, I. P. Martos; artists - D.G. Levitsky, F.Y. Alexeev, et al. The principles of Neoclassicism can be found in the architecture of St. Petersburg ranging from all periods of construction (with the exception of Functionalism), which contributes to the integrity of architectural image of its historical centre.

References: История русского искусства: В 13 т. / Под общ. ред. И. Э. Грабаря и др. М., 1961. Т. 6; То же. 1963. Т. 8, кн. 1; Грабарь И. Э. Петербургская архитектура в XVIII и XIX веках. СПб., 1994.

Т. А. Славина.

Alexander I, Emperor
Alexeev Fedor Yakovlevich
Catherine II, Empress
Kokorinov Alexander Filippovich
Kozlovsky Mikhail Ivanovich
Levitsky Dmitry Grigorievich
Lvov Nikolay Alexandrovich
Martos Ivan Petrovich
Nicholas I, Emperor
Paul (Pavel) I, Emperor
Peter I, Emperor
Quarenghi Giacomo
Rinaldi Antonio
Rossi Carl Ivanovich (Carlo Giovanni)
Shubin Fedot Ivanovich
Starov Ivan Egorovich
Thomas de Thomon Jean-Francois
Vallin de la Mothe Jean Baptiste Michel
Voronikhin Andrey Nikiforovich
Zakharov Andreyan (Adrian) Dmitrievich

Грабарь И. Э. Петербургская архитектура в XVIII и XIX веках. СПб., 1994
История русского искусства: В 13 т. / Под общ. ред. И. Э. Грабаря и др. М., 1963
История русской архитектуры: Учеб. для вузов / В. И. Пилявский, Т. А. Славина, А. А. Тиц и др. 2-е изд., перераб. и доп. СПб., 1994
История русского искусства: В 13 т. / Под общ. ред. И. Э. Грабаря и др. М., 1961

The subject Index
Architectural Styles (entry)
Commission for St. Petersburg and Moscow Stone Construction
Academy of Arts
Academy of Arts

Architectural Styles (entry)

ARCHITECTURAL STYLES, recognizable systems of architectural compositional techniques, forms and decor, whose differences are caused by social and cultural environment, aesthetic preferences and the type of architectural culture of a particular epoch

Cathedral of Prince St. Vladimir

CATHEDRAL OF PRINCE ST. VLADIMIR, (Dobrolyubova Avenue, 26 Blokhina Street), an architectural monument in a transitional style from Baroque to Classicism. The Cathedral is located on the so-called mokrushi, soggy, regularly flooded lowland

Church of Our Lady of Vladimir

CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF VLADIMIR, located at 20 Vladimirsky Avenue. An architectural monument in a transition style merging Baroque with Classicism. The church was constructed on a trade square in 1761-69, presumably to the project of architect P. A

Church of the Holy Sign

CHURCH OF THE HOLY SIGN in Tsarskoe Selo (2a Sadovaya Street, Pushkin), an architectural monument in the Baroque style of the reign of Anna Ioannovna. It was built according to the plans of architect M. G. Zemtsov with the assistance of I. Y

Dutch Reformed Church

DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH, located at 20 Nevsky Prospeсt. A monument of classicist architecture. It was erected in 1831-34 (architect P.P. Jacot). The facade of the church is decorated with a Corinthian portico containing a high relief in the tympanum

"Easter Сake"

EASTER CAKE, located at 235 Obukhovskoy Oborony Avenue, common name for the Holy Trinity Church (after the peculiar shape of the rotunda church with a pyramid belfry), built in 1785-90 in the style of High Classicism by architect N. A. Lvov

Holy Ascension Church

HOLY ASCENSION CHURCH located at 34a Voznesensky Avenue. An architectural monument constructed in 1755-69 (architects A. F. Wist and A. Rinaldi) in a transitional style merging Baroque with Classicism

Holy Trinity Cathedral of the Izmailovsky Life Guards Regiment

HOLY TRINITY CATHEDRAL OF THE IZMAILOVSKY LIFE GUARDS REGIMENT located at 7a Izmailovsky Avenue, is an architectural monument in the late Classicist style. A regimental church of the Izmailovsky Life Guard Regiment

Holy Virgin Intercession Church

HOLY VIRGIN INTERCESSION CHURCH, (Turgeneva Square), constructed on parish donations in Bolshaya Kolomna in 1798-1812 in the style of high Classicism (architect I. E. Starov)

Jacot P., (1798-1860), architect.

JACOT Pavel Petrovich (1798-1860), architect and builder, representative of the late Neoclassicism. Native of France, he studied at the School of Fine Arts in Paris (1812-21) under the supervision of Debreu and L.I. Leba. In 1822 he came to St

Katonin E.I. (1889-1984), architect

KATONIN Evgeny Ivanovich (1889–1984), architect, graphic artist, member of the Academy of Architecture of Ukraine (1956). Graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts (1918)

Kazan Cathedral

KAZAN CATHEDRAL, Our Lady of Kazan Сathedral (2 Kazanskaya Square). A monument of Classical architecture. In 1733-1737, the three sided stone Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, with a high bell tower, stood on this spot (architect M.G

Maltese Chapel

MALTESE CHAPEL, Maltese Chapel of St. John the Baptist located at 26 Sadovaya Street. An architectural monument of the Classicist style. Designed in 1797-1800, (architect G

Nativity of Our Lord Church

NATIVITY OF OUR LORD CHURCH, located at Sixth Sovetskaya Street, at the corner of Krasnoborsky Lane, constructed in Peski in 1781-88 in the style of high Classicism (architect P. E

Our Lady’s Church of Joy for All Who Sorrow

OUR LADY’S CHURCH OF JOY FOR ALL WHO SORROW, located at 35a Shpalernaya Street. Constructed in 1817-18, in a late Classicist style (architect L. Rusca), replacing the Holy Resurrection Church built in 1711 at the palace of Tsarina Natalya Alexeevna

Pehl A. K. (1809-1902), architect

PEHL Alexander Khristoforovich (1809, St. Petersburg 1902, ibidem), architect. Graduated from the Academy of Arts (1833), associate academy member of architecture (1847), adherent of late Neoclassicism and Eclecticism. Assisted architect А.А

Polovtsov, House of

POLOVTSOV HOUSE (52 Bolshaya Morskaya Street), an architectural monument of Neoclassicism and Eclecticism. Since the 1710s the site belonged to chancellor G.I. Golovkin, whose son built a manor on it. In 1804, the house was bought by Count P.I

Presentation of the Holy Virgin Church

PRESENTATION OF THE HOLY VIRGIN CHURCH, located at Vvedenskaya Street on the corner of Bolshaya Pushkarskaya Street. Constructed in 1793-1810 (architect I. M. Leim) in the Classicist style

St Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church

ST STANISLAUS ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, located at 22 Soyuza Pechatnikov Street. An architectural monument of late Classicism, constructed in 1823-25 (architect D. I. Viskonti) on the site of the domestic chapel ("kaplitsy") of Catholic Metropolitan S

St. Alexander Nevsky Church in Ust-Izhora

ST. ALEXANDER NEVSKY CHURCH IN UST-IZHORA, the church dedicated to St. Blessed Prince Alexander Nevsky, located at Ust-Izhora, 217 Ninth of January Avenue. A memorial church erected on the left bank of the Izhora River at the confluence of the

St. Anne’s Lutheran Church

ST. ANNE’S LUTHERAN CHURCH, located at 8 Kirochnaya Street, an architectural monument of the Classicist style. It was built in 1775-79 (architect Y. M. Felten) on the place of a brick chapel of the same name, constructed in 1735-40 (architect P. M

St. Catherine’s Armenian Church

ST. CATHERINE’S ARMENIAN CHURCH located at Nevsky Prospect, between the houses 40 and 42. An architectural monument of early Classicism. It was built in 1771-1776 (architect Y. M. Felten) on land allotted in 1770 by merchant I. L

St. Catherine’s Lutheran Church

ST. CATHERINE’S LUTHERAN CHURCH, located at 1 Bolshoy Avenue of Vasilievsky Island. An architectural monument of early Classicism. Designed for the Lutheran Community of Vasilievsky Island (established in 1728) by architect Y. M

St. Catherine’s Roman Catholic Church

ST. CATHERINE’S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, located on Nevsky Prospect, between buildings 32 and 34. An architectural monument, constructed in 1763-83 in a transitional style merging Baroque with early Classicism (architect J. B

St. Catherine’s Swedish Church

ST. CATHERINE’S SWEDISH CHURCH, located at 1-3 Malaya Konyushennaya St., is an architectural monument. The classical building of the church (architect Y.M. Felten) was erected in 1767-69 for the needs of the Swedish Lutheran community

St. Isaac's Cathedral

ST. ISAAC'S CATHEDRAL, located at 1 St Isaac's Square, an architectural monument of late Classicism and the largest church in St. Petersburg. The first wooden church, which stood at the approximate location of the Bronze Horseman now

St. Sergius All Artillery Cathedral

ST. SERGIUS ALL ARTILLERY CATHEDRAL (St. Sergius of Radonezh Cathedral), located at 6 Liteiny Avenue. An architectural monument in the Classicist style, constructed in 1796-1800 (architect F. I

St. Sofia Cathedral at Tsarskoe Selo

ST. SOFIA CATHEDRAL AT TSARSKOE SELO, located at 1 Sofyskaya Square, Pushkin. The traditional name of the Holy Ascension Cathedral, built in 1782-88 in the Classicist style (architect C

Zakharov A.D. (1761-1811), architect.

ZAKHAROV Andreyan (Adrian) Dmitrievich (1761 - 1811, St. Petersburg), architect, representative of Neoclassicism. In 1767-82, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts under the supervision of Y.M. Felten and A.A