Petrine Baroque

Petrine[1] Baroque (Rus. Петровское барокко) is a name applied by art historians to a style of Baroque architecture and decoration favoured by Peter the Great and employed to design buildings in the newly founded Russian capital, Saint Petersburg, under this monarch and his immediate successors.

Different from contemporary Naryshkin Baroque, favoured in Moscow, the Petrine Baroque represented a drastic rupture with Byzantine traditions that had dominated Russian architecture for almost a millennium. Its chief practitioners - Domenico Trezzini, Andreas Schlüter, and Mikhail Zemtsov - drew inspiration from a rather modest Dutch, Danish, and Swedish architecture of the time.

Extant examples of the style in St Petersburg are the Peter and Paul Cathedral (Trezzini), the Twelve Colleges (Trezzini), the Kunstkamera (Zemtsov), Kikin Hall (Schlüter) and Menshikov Palace (Giovanni Fontana)

The Petrine Baroque structures outside St Petersburg are scarce; they include the Menshikov Tower in Moscow and the Kadriorg Palace in Tallinn.

Kikin palace SPB
Kikin Hall (1714), an example of private residence dating from Peter I's reign.

Further reading

  • William Craft Brumfield. A History of Russian Architecture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993) ISBN 978-0-521-40333-7 (Chapter Eight: "The Foundations of the Baroque in Saint Petersburg")


  1. ^ from the name of Peter I of Russia

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