Academy of Arts

Known both as the Imperial Academy of Arts and the St Petersburg Academy of Arts, this official state-run artistic institution was founded in 1757 by Count Ivan Shuvalov, a political advisor, education minister and longtime lover of Empress Elizabeth. It was Catherine the Great who moved the Academy out of Shuvalov's home, commissioning the present neoclassical building on Vasilevsky Island (see pi 10).

The Academy was responsible for the education and training of young artists. It focused heavily on French-influenced academic art, which incorporated neoclassicism and romanticism. Painters like Fyodor Alexeyev and Grigory Chernetsev came out of the Academy of Arts.

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