The reforming action of Peter the Great also exerted its influence powerfully in the field of art, and in particular on the building and urban planning criteria that informed the construction of the new capital of St. Petersburg, designed according to rational criteria. Numerous Italian, French and German artists imported more up-to-date stylistic motifs into Russia, uprooting that traditional popular substratum that permeated all Russian art. In St. Petersburg some buildings, such as the College of the Twelve, by D. Trezzini (1722-32), are partly inspired by traditional motifs, but most of them (Summer Palace, 1710-14, Kunstkamera, by GJ Mattarnovi, G. Chiaveri and MG Zencov, 1718-34; Palazzo Menšikov, by GM Fontana and G. Schädel) are of western taste, like the cathedral of SS. Pietro e Paolo (by D. Trezzini, 1712-33). At a later stage the architecture became more sumptuous and decorated, taking up Baroque and Rococo motifs (cathedral of the Smolnyi monastery, 1748-64, Winter Palace, 1754-62, Tsarskoye Selo palaces, 1752-64, all by BF Rakes) and inserting itself in splendid French gardens. In Moscow, which had lost the rank of capital, the Russian tradition resisted more tenaciously, especially in religious buildings (Torre Menshikov, by IP Zarudnyj, 1710-14). The province is even more traditional, where the use of wood persisted even in major buildings. The influence of Western art was also strong in the field of sculpture and painting: the greatest sculptor of the time was in fact the Italian BC Rastrelli, and Italians (P. Rotari, D. and G. Valeriani, S. Barozzi), French (L. Tocqué), Germans (Tannahuer, Grooth) were the most notable painters of the imperial court. However, even Russian artists were sensitive to Western suggestions and while traditional religious painting declined, portraiture was affirmed with IM Nikitin (ca. 1690-1741), AM Matveev (1701-1739), AP Antropov (1716-1795) and IP Argunov (1729-1802), with a more realistic look than that entrusted to the virtuosity of foreigners. Visit securitypology for Russian Arts From 1957 to 1991.
It was the first announcement that Russian art was freeing itself from European paternity. The beneficial effects of the founding of the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg (1757), which turned to a national art, also began to be felt. And if in painting a clear, simple language was sought, capable of immediately touching the strings of sensitivity, in architecture neoclassicism responded to these needs.. It should be remembered here the great influence that the Academy of St. Petersburg had on the artists of all the Russian states who joined Russia starting from the century. XVII until the beginning of the XIX, from Ukraine to Belorussia, the Baltic states, Georgia, Armenia, the regions of Central Asia, they could enjoy this center of culture, mediating a language that brought new expressions of art in regions where, alongside Byzantine, Islamic and Italian influences, a Russian national art had been affirming itself, especially in icon painting (the teaching of the Novgorod religious school dominating) in the monumental paintings of the Gustynskij monastery in Priluki, in the fortresses and palaces of Baturin, Odessa, Tartu, Saku, Riga, of Vilna. Slower was the evolution of the Asian regions with Islamic influence, which enriched them with mosques and palaces, as in Samarkand, so much so that radical changes took place only after the October Revolution. However, it is worth mentioning some of the greatest artists of these lands: the Ukrainian painter, poet and engraver TG Ševčenko (1814-1861); the Belorussian painters SK Zarjanko, VK Bjalynickij-Birul; the Latvian sculptor and architect E. Roos and A. Alos; the Lithuanian sculptor V. Gryhas, author of monumental works. In the Asian lands the artistic testimonies remain anonymously entrusted to the fortifications, the madāris, the domes, the funerary complexes of the Timurid age, the splendid mosaics, the large murals, the mosques, the miniatures and the high craftsmanship (metalworking, carpets and ceramics). Meanwhile, the classicist tendencies were accentuating everywhere and if VI Baženov (1737-1799; Moscow, Paškov house, 1784-86; Saint Petersburg, Michailovskij castle, 1792-1796) still remained tied to Baroque motifs and tried to recover traditional forms, innovators were IE Starov (1745-1808; St. Petersburg, Tauride Palace, 1783-89), MF Kazakov (1738-1812; Moscow, Metropolitan Philip’s church, 1777-78, and Senate, 1776-87), as well as the Italian G. Quarenghi (1744-1817) and the English C. Cameron (ca. 1740-1812) active in Russia. In painting the major personalities were the portrait painters DG Levitsky (1735-1822), F. Rokotov (1735-ca. 1808) and VL Borovikovskij (1757-1825). M. Sibanov (d.1789) and IA Ermenev (1736-1792) are the representatives of a realistic genre painting, then continued by AG Venecianov (1780-1847), while AI Ivanov (1770 / 80-1848) continues the tradition historical and religious. Sculpture continued to develop mainly in its decorative meaning, as a complement to buildings and parks, but, alongside foreigners, Russian artists such as FI Šubin, FG Gordeev, IP Prokofev and MI Kozlovskij began to work.