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Birthday anniversary of Carlo Rossi, a prominent architect and town planner

29 December 1775

December 18 (29), 1775 was born a prominent Russian architect, Italian by birth, Carlo Rossi (Carlo di Giovanni Rossi).

Carlo arrived in St. Petersburg with his mother, a court dancer. The initial education Rossi received St. Petri-Schule, and in 1790s he was educated by architect Vincenzo Brenna. Under his guidance he had been involved in architect works in Gatchina and Pavlovsk for a number of years.

In 1795, Carlo Rossi started a training course as a student in the Admiralty Office, and five months later, he became an ensign; in the end of the year he was transferred to the Cabinet of His Majesty and took the post of a junior architect.

In early 1802 Rossi was sent to Italy to complete his education. There he entered the Florentine Academy, while studying the monuments of the classical past. In Russia, the architect returned only in 1806. The same year he was promoted to the architect at a special intercession. The following two years he worked as a draftsman at glass and porcelain factories.

In 1809 the head of the Kremlin buildings Expeditions Valuev invited Carlo Rossi as a senior architect in Moscow. Here, the architect was involved in putting in order deteriorated Kremlin, he constructed the Church of the Ascension Monastery in the Kremlin, wooden theater near Arbat gate. In 1809 he started the reconstruction of the palace of Tver. For his work in Tver Rossi was awarded the Order of Vladimir, 4th class, and the rank of a collegiate adviser.

In 1815, Carlo Rossi returned to St. Petersburg and a year later was appointed chief architect of the St. Petersburg Committee for structures and hydraulic works. Together with Stasov and Mikhailov he headed extensive works on building capital. The early works of Rossi in St. Petersburg and its suburbs include: reconstruction of Anichkov Palace (1816), a series of pavilions and the Library at the Pavlovsk Palace (1815-1822), Yelagin palace with a greenhouse and pavilions (1816-1818).

After the construction of the picturesque palace and park complex on Elagin island, Rossi accomplished the construction of Mikhailovsky Palace (1819-25; at present the building houses the Russian Museum), an ensemble of  Mikhailovskaya Square (now Square of Arts), and Mikhailovskaya Street, the Palace Square with a grand arched building of the General Staff and the triumphant Arch (1819-1829), Senate Square and the buildings of the Senate and Synod (1829-1833); Alexandrinskaya Square including Alexandrinsky Theatre (1827-1832), a new buildingof the Imperial Public Library and two homogeneous extended buildings at Teatralnaya Street (now Zodchego Rossi street) . In 1826, Rossi decorated the Gallery of 1812 at the Winter Palace.

Works of Carlo Rossi differed by a grand scale as well as by clarity, expressiveness and richness, a harmonious combination of sculpture and architectural forms, innovative methods, as well as the marked triumphal characted associated with the idea of Russia's greatness - the winner in the Patriotic War of 1812.

Academy of Arts elected Rossi its honorary member and Florentine Academy awarded him the title of professor of the first degree.

One of the last buildings by the great architect was a tower of St. George cathedral near Novgorod (1838-1841).

In the spring of 1849 Rossi fell ill with cholera and died on 6 (18) April. He was buried at Volkov Lutheran cemetery in St. Petersburg. In the first half of 20th century his remains were moved to the Necropolis of Alexander Nevsky Lavra.

Lit.: Пилявский В. И. Зодчий Росси. М.; Л., 1951; Росси Карл Иванович // Большая советская энциклопедия. М., 1969-1978; То же. [Электронный ресурс]. URL:книги/БСЭ/Росси%20Карл%20Иванович/; Тарановская М. З. Карл Росси: Архитектор. Градостроитель. Художник. Л., 1980; Шуйский В. К. Карло Росси. СПб., 2001.

From the Presidential library materials:

Проект фасада зданий Святейшего Синода и Правительствующего Сената. Высочайше утверждённый 5 июля 1832 года. Архитектор К. Росси. 1832