Fyodor Apraksin’s Palace and J.-B. Le Blond’s “Model Home” : New Data on the French Architect’s Plans for St Petersburg

Roksana Rebrova

Abstract


Referring to different aspects of works by Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond, the author demonstrates the influence that the construction and planning methods of French architecture had on the formation of early St Petersburg. Le Blond had a major influence on the development of the Russian architectural school. The educational system he developed was implemented, and his ideas were made manifest in an architectural treatise by Pyotr M. Yeropkin. The article mentions twelve addressees who received plans for ‘model homes’. The author provides evidence that Pyotr Apraksin’s house was also a ‘model home for the eminent’ by Le Blond. Fyodor Apraksin’s manor and palace were built according to an individual project of the architect, the only one implemented in his lifetime. Later, the palace was demolished, and its foundations became part of the Winter Palace, now housing the State Hermitage. In 1999, archaeological excavations were carried out in the Great Courtyard of the Hermitage, which helped discover the foundations of F. M. Apraksin’s manor and the materials used in its construction. The archaeological finds, made of local types of marble and limestone, testify to Le Blond’s attempts to find deposits suitable for construction in the vicinity of St Petersburg. With a view to optimising construction and making it cheaper, the architect worked with local manufacturers, which is proved by the discovery of so-called ‘moon glass’.


Keywords


history of 18th-century Russian architecture; Peter the Great; Jean-Baptiste Le Blond; F. Apraksin; State Hermitage; Winter Palace

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15826/qr.2018.1.286

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