Creativity Yu. M. Felten - US art of the XVIII century

Creativity of Yu. M. Felten

The most important urban planning task of St. Petersburg architects in the 1760-1780-ies. was the design of the embankments of the main waterway of the city - the Neva. This task was assigned, as already noted, to J.-B. Wallen-Delamota. His first assistant in this huge matter was Yu. M. Felten, whose art was called "light, elegant, shallow as the dawn" (Grabar IE Petersburg architecture in the XVIII and XIX centuries, pp. 206).

However, it is "elegant and shallow" art expressed the ideas of classicism much more clearly than the art of Kokorinov, Wallen-Delamota or Rinaldi, although Felten was to some extent a transitional artist.

Yuri Matveyevich (Georg Friedrich) Felten (1730-1801) was born in a German family in Petersburg, in 1743 he went to study in Tübingen mathematics, but soon he is seen on construction sites in Stuttgart and Berlin. In 1750, he again in St. Petersburg already as "architects of Gezel" at the Academy of Sciences under the leadership of I. Schumacher. In 1755, Felten received the title "architect", in 1760 - architect and works with FB Rastrelli in the construction of the Winter Palace, and when he resigns (1762), Felten falls the completion of all remaining on this object of work. Facing with granite embankments of the Neva "from the Summer House to the Galerny Dvor" (and in reality, from Liteiny to Galerny Dvor, which is much larger, it's not for nothing that the entire embankment was divided into four parts), it took almost a quarter of a century from Felten (1764-1788). In designing the descents, bends of parapets, Wallen-Delameth showed great skill. In practice, this was done by Felten, who showed a high artistic flair, combined with the unerring calculation of a rationally thinking town planner and engineer.

The final chord in the decoration of the Neva water area was the creation of Feltenom together with Peter Egorov famous fence of the Summer Garden (1771-1786). It retains the same combination of black metal and gilded details, as in the typically baroque grille of the Great Palace of Tsarskoye Selo Rastrelli. But instead of its mobile, changeable, free and whimsical pattern in the fence of the Summer Garden, a strict vertical prevails: vertically standing peaks are crossed by rectangular frames, and evenly distributed massive pylons support these frames, emphasizing with their rhythm the general feeling of grandeur and peace.

Like many of his contemporaries, Felten was busy reworking the Rastrellian interiors of the Great Peterhof Palace (the White Dining Room, the Throne and Chesme Halls), preserved in the Feltenian version until the Great Patriotic War. The splendor and splendor of the gilded carvings in the dining room gave way to the serenity of the pale walls painted in accordance with the demands of the time, the plot molding and the flower garlands. The throne room at Felten was decorated with a horse portraiture of Catherine the brush of W. Eriksen. The new decoration of the Peterhof Palace was created just during the famous battle and the victory of 11 United States ships over 70 ships of the Turkish fleet in the Chesme Bay of the Aegean Sea. Therefore, the former Avanzal was decorated with 12 paintings on the themes of this famous battle of the brush of the German artist Philip Hackert, bas-reliefs and medallions depicting the Turkish emblems and named Chesmensky.

In honor of the Battle of Chesma, Felten built the Chesme Palace on the seventh finger from St. Petersburg on the way to Tsarskoe Selo, in a place called the Finnish name Kikeriksen. Frog Swamp (1774-1777). This pavement palace in the style of pseudo-Gothic, erected as a response to the general fascination with Gothic (we leave this completely conventional term in accordance with generally accepted usage). A triangular in the plan building with towers in the corners ended with a spherical dome. Inside the triangle was the Parade Hall (in the 19th century distorted in connection with the adaptation of the building to a military almshouse). The interior of the palace was decorated with marble bas-relief portraits of Grand Dukes and United States kings, made by Fedot Shubin, from Rurik to Elizaveta Petrovna (now in the Armory Chamber). Nearby in 1777 the Chesme Church was laid. This was done in the presence of the empress, the court and the Swedish king, invited not by chance (but in order not to forget about United States power!). The solemn consecration of the church was timed to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the victory of the United States fleet in the battle of Chesma (1780).

Yu. Felten. The Chesme Church (Birth of John the Baptist). 1777-1780, St. Petersburg

Yu. Felten. Chesme Church (Christmas of John the Baptist). 1777-1780, St. Petersburg

The church is a four leaf in the plan with semicircles of apses along the center of all four sides (pseudo-gothic paraphrase to the stable Old United States type of temples of the XVII century., erected in Ubora, Dubrovitsy, Fili near Moscow). Performed in a red brick with white stone details, it rather resembles its "vympergami" and pinnacles a park pavilion in the Gothic spirit. The fascination with Gothic, especially English, was then universal. It is not for nothing that the famous Wedgwood performed, according to Catherine's order, a porcelain set of 952 items with the image of "1244 authentic species of England" from nature or from known specimens: abbeys, ruins, ancient castles - the so-called service with a green frog, as each item had an image of this symbol of the Chesma Palace.

It should be noted that the cult architecture occupied a huge place in the work of Felten. He owns a very definite, easily recognizable type of small, cozy, elegant single-domed churches, such as the Lutheran (German) Church of St. Catherine on Bolshoy Prospekt Vasilievsky Island (1768-1771); the church of St. Anne on Furstadt Street (1770s), casting an image of Tempietto D. Bramante; The Armenian church on Nevsky Prospekt with two houses on each side (1770-1772).

Protected by I. I. Betsky, Felten carried out his construction projects: The educational house in St. Petersburg (not saved), The maternity hospital, based on the funds of PA Demidov, School for petty-bourgeois girls. Felten played his part in organizing the main squares of St. Petersburg - Lugovoy (future Palace), Senate (Felten won a competition for a place for the monument Falcone, who helped cast). Felten also owns the building of the Old Hermitage, or, as it was then called, "a building in line with the Hermitage" (1771 - 1787).

Felten's service career was flat: in 1770 he was awarded the title of "appointed to academicians" (behind the bars around the "Bronze Horseman"), in 1772 - a professor (which was involuntarily assisted by the unexpected death of AF Kokorinov), in 1785 - the adjunct-rector, 1789 - the rector of the Academy of Arts, where he served until 1794. Since the mid-1780's. Felten is completely absorbed in pedagogical activity. Among his students was Adrian Zakharov.

In connection with the mention of the gothic XVIII century. immediately appears the name of the great United States architect Vasily Bazhenov. "Gothic", born in the depths of rocaille, like other hobbies (chinoiseries or turquers), was especially attractive in the pre-romantic era, at the end of the century. In Gothic style building service buildings (equestrian yards, stables, farm buildings), but especially park structures (pavilions, towers, ruins, gates, etc.). As a rule, brick was the material, and the details were white stone. But there were also differences: the St. Petersburg Feltenovskaya Gothic (The Chesme Palace and the Chesme Church) are closer to the English Gothic, while Bazhenov's, Moscow, Gothic more based on the traditions of ancient United States architecture.

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