Imperial Academy of Arts
Academy of Arts or "Academy of three aristocratic Arts" (art, sculpting and architecture) has appeared due to the statement of the Impress Elisabeth in 1757. Later, in 1764 it became its imperial status from the Impress Catherine II. Firstly, the Academy was situated in Shuvalov's mansion on Sadovaya street, but Catherine II decided that the Academy needs its own building, which would suit all its necessities. And the construction had began on the embankment of the Neva River on Vasilievskii island. The project of the building had been made by A.F. Kokorinov and Jean-Baptiste Vallin de La Moth.
Talking about the architecture, the building represents a rectangle with a large courtyard in the center and four small courtyards at the corners. The main facade of the building faces the River Neva. It is decorated with a risalit and a portico of Tuscan columns and a pediment.The interiors are as majestic and elegant as the facades. Numerous rooms vary in size and design, but they are all part of a common composition. But lobby of the lower floor stands apart - the main staircase, the Raphael and Titian halls are especially luxurious.
Building of the Academy of Art is one of the greatest monuments of Petersburg's early Classical architecture of the 18th century and was therefore included in the list of federal architectural monuments. One of the best way to look at the building is standing on the English Embankment (Angliiskaya Embankment) from the opposite side of the River Neva.
Such artists like - (O. A. Kiprensky, K. P. Bryullov, A. A. Ivanov, P. A. Fedotov, I. N. Kramskoy, V. I. Surikov, V. A. Serov, I. E. Repin, I I. Brodsky, I. E. Grabar, M. B. Grekov), architects (V. I. Bazhenov, I. E. Starov, A. N. Voronikhin, A. D. Zakharov, V. P. Stasov), poet and artist T.G. Shevchenko graduated this Academy.
Not everyone knows, that almost at the same time not only Academy had appeared but also a museum was had been founded, which is now one of the oldest museum of art in Russia. Firstly museum operated with educational functions - there were examples of best art, which were allowed for copying and studying and also best works of Academy's students. Very soon museum's collection became one of the best in the country.
Nowadays, the exposition of the research department of the museum of the Russian Academy of Arts is located in halls, which take three floors of the so-called "compass" - a central circular courtyard. On the first floor there is a department of casts, on the second - a collection of paintings of the Russian academic school. The department of architecture, which presents unique models of the 18-19th centuries. Among the exhibits there are also models of buildings of the Smolny Monastery, the Academy of Arts, the Stock Exchange, St. Isaac's Cathedral and many other monuments of the Northern capital of Russia.