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Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli

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Francesco Rastrelli


Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli Percorsi San Pietroburgo e il genio italico alla corte
April 29, 1771, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Winter Palace, Catherine Palace, Smolny Convent, Rundale Palace, St Andrew's Church - K

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Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli (Russian: Franchésko Bartoloméo (Varfoloméi Varfolomeevich) Rastrelli; 1700 in Paris, France – 29 April 1771 in Saint Petersburg, Russia) was an Italian architect whose entire career was spent in Russia. He developed an easily recognizable style of Late Baroque, both sumptuous and majestic. His major works, including the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg and the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, are famed for extravagant luxury and opulence of decoration.


Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli


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In 1716, Bartolomeo moved to Saint Petersburg, Russia, accompanying his father, Italian sculptor Carlo Bartolomeo Rastrelli (1675–1744). His ambition was to combine the latest Italian architectural fashion with traditions of the Muscovite baroque style. The first important commission came in 1721 when he was asked to build a palace for Prince Demetre Cantemir, former ruler of Moldavia.

Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli Biography of Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli architect in

He was appointed to the post of senior court architect in 1730. His works found favour with female monarchs of his time, so he retained this post throughout the reigns of Empresses Anna (1730–1740) and Elizabeth (1741–1762).

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Rastrelli's last and most ambitious project was the Smolny Convent in St. Petersburg where Empress Elizabeth was to spend the rest of her life. The projected bell-tower was to become the tallest building in St Petersburg and all of Russia. Elizabeth's death in 1762 prevented Rastrelli from completing this grand design.

Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli Portrait of the Architect Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli

The new empress, Catherine II, dismissed baroque architecture as an old-fashioned "whipped cream", and the aged architect had to retire to Courland where he supervised the completion and decoration of the ducal palaces.

His last years were spent in obscure commerce with Italian art-dealers. He was elected to the Imperial Academy of Arts several months before his death. A square in front of the Smolny Convent has borne Rastrelli's name since 1923.

Ten extant buildings by Rastrelli

Boris Vipper has speculated that Rastrelli's last (and unfinished) design was for the Neoclassical Zalenieki Manor near Mitava.


Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli Wikipedia

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