Remarkable Architect Carlo di Giovanni Rossi

Carlo di Giovanni Rossi was born on the 18th of December 1775, and is of Italian origin. His mother, a world famous ballerina, brought Rossi to Russia from his birthplace, Venice, on an invitation to perform. Through his mother Carlo Rossi was born into a world surrounded by art. In his early years, he started his training in the studio of the architect Vincenzo Brenna and entered into the architectural admiralty as an assistant to Brenna. His first project with Brenna was the construction of the St Petersburg Saint Micheal’s Palace.

Carlo di Giovanni Rossi traveled to Italy to further his studies during the years 1802 until 1803, and gained his architectural title in 1806. Rossi opened up his own office and was requested to return to Russia in 1808 to work on the Kremlin’s archaeological expedition. Here, in Moscow, Carlo Rossi built the St Catherine’s Church of Ascension Convent and a theatre at the Arbat Square. Unfortunately, the theatre was destroyed by fire in 1812 during the invasion of Russia by Napoleon. Carlo Rossi obtained the Order of St Vladimir of IV Degree and the rank of Collegiate Councilor followed in 1814. Returning to Saint Petersburg in 1816, Carlo Rossi was appointed a position on the committee that supervises and decides on structures and hydraulic works.

Rossi’s buildings were simple, and yet had a look of grandeur and nobility rolled into one. This classic empire style can be seen in the Yelagin Palace that was built by Rossi during the years of 1816 to 1818 and the Senate and Synod buildings in the years 1829 to 1833. Other buildings that Carlo Rossi built are the Saint Micheal’s Palace, Alexander Theatre, the pavilions of the Anichkov Palace and the palace library in Pavlovsk.

Carlo di Giovanni Rossi had spent most of his life in Russia, and the last building of his spectacular career was the Belfry of the Yurevskogo Monastary that is located near Velikiy Novgorod. Carlo Rossi died of Cholera on 18 April 1849 in St Petersburg and was laid to rest in the Volkov Lutheran Cemetery as one of Russia’s most celebrated architects. He was reburied in the Alexander Nevsky Monastery during the Soviet reign.


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