Jean-François Thomas de Thomon

Drawings for Saint Petersburg
Christinenstrasse 18a, 10119 Berlin
Mon–Fri 2–7 pm, Sat 1–5 pm

After a series of exhibitions of modern and contemporary works, the Museum of Architectural Drawing turns again to historical drawings and presents a cooperative project with the Art Library - State Museums in Berlin. The show is devoted to architectural representations of the city of Saint Petersburg, most of which come from the master draughtsman and architect Jean-François Thomas de Thomon (1760–1813). Thomas de Thomon is one of the most famous French architects of neoclassicism. Blessed with drawing talent and endowed with the necessary ambition, he left turbulent revolutionary France for distant Russia and commenced a successful career in its capital city of Saint Petersburg, where he created his most celebrated works. He possessed the social skills and ability to present himself necessary to gain access to the high aristocratic circles of Russia, including the Court of the Tsar, and thus to important and well-paid commissions: his most famous projects include the Big Stone Theatre (Bolshoi Theatre) and the design of the eastern tip of Vasilyevsky Island with the Stock Exchange. The exhibition is on loan from the Art Library – Berlin State Museums and presents an exquisite selection of drawings showing representative buildings in Saint Petersburg, not only by the architect himself but also by colleagues from his circle, including Giacomo Quarenghi (1744–1817), Andrei Voronikhin (1759-1814) and Luigi Rusca (1758-1822). On display in addition to Thomon’s drawings are works by his important rival, Giacomo Quarenghi, and a work by Philipp Elsson (1793–1867), inspired by Thomon’s Stock Exchange project.