By Martina Bollini

Architect Carlo Rossi died on 18 April 1849 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Born in Naples in 1775, Rossi moved to Russia at an early age, since his mother, a famous ballerina, was invited to perform there. Rossi trained with Vincenzo Brenna, another Italian architect working in Saint Petersburg, before returning to Italy to complete his studies.

In 1806 Rossi permanently settled down in Russia, first in Moscow and then in Saint Petersburg. He remodeled the latter designing large-scale projects and Empire style buildings, including: the General Staff Building on Palace Square (built to celebrate the victory over Napoleon), the buildings of the Senate and Synod, the Mikhailovskiy Palace (house of the State Russian Museum), the Alexandrine theater, the Russian library and the Military Gallery of the Winter Palace.

Despite the glory he enjoyed in the first decades of the 19th century, Rossi died, seemingly of cholera, in poverty and oblivion.

General Staff Building, 1819-1829, Saint Petersburg.

Aerial view of Mikhailovskiy Palace, Saint Petersburg.

Window wall of the White Hall, Mikhailovsky Palace, c.1828, Royal Collection, Windsor Castle.

Senate and Synod Buildings, 1829-1833, Saint Petersburg.

Russian National Library – Second Library Building, 1832-1835, Saint Petersburg.

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