Russian Art Academy

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Императорская Академия художеств (Imperial Art Academy)
founding 1757
Sponsorship state
place St. Petersburg
country Russia
The building of the art academy was built in 1764–89 based on a design by Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe and Alexander F. Kokorinov.
Antique Gallery of the Russian Art Academy, 1836

The Russian Academy of Art ( Russian Императорская Академия художеств ; literally, Imperial Art Academy , also the Petersburg Art Academy ) was opened in Saint Petersburg in 1757 by Count Ivan Ivanovich Shuvalov under the name of the Academy of the Three Most Fine Arts .


Until 1764 the academy was housed in Shuwalov's house. In that year, Catherine the Great renamed the educational institution the Imperial Art Academy and commissioned its first rector, Alexander Kokorinow , to design a new building.

After 25 years, the neoclassical building was finished, which is located opposite the Winter Palace on the other bank of the Neva . Both for the precious interior decoration and the design of the side facing the shore side of the building, which he old 3,000 years of Egypt brought sphinxes and grasping did decorate, was Konstantin Thon responsible.

After the October Revolution of 1917, the academy went through a series of redesigns. In 1933 it was renamed the Russian Art Academy , and in 1947 the Art Academy of the USSR . After the dissolution of the Soviet Union , the official name of the Russian Art Academy was reintroduced in 1991 .


In addition to its function as an educational institution, the art academy was a department of the government with the rank of a ministry, which regulated artistic life in the country, passed laws and honored artists. The academy strongly promoted the principles of neoclassicism and sent the most important Russian painters abroad to learn about the art of antiquity and the Renaissance in Italy and France .

The academy itself has an extensive collection of selected works of art for study and copying purposes.

In the mid-19th century, teaching methods were heavily influenced by the ideas of the French painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres , which was rejected by the younger generation of Russian artists who insisted on their right to paint realistic pictures. This is where the Peredwischniki movement had its origin. The members publicly broke with the academy and opened their own exhibitions, with which they toured Russia. Other painters, however, continued to regard the training at the academy as indispensable for the development of artistic skills.


The Russian Art Academy is now divided into eight departments:

  • Painting Department
  • Graphics department
  • Department of Sculpture
  • Decorative / Applied Arts Department
  • Theater and Cinema Decoration Department
  • Department of Architecture
  • Design department
  • Department of Art History

Academy personalities


Honorary members

Web links

Commons : Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Hugo Thielen : HORNEMANN, (2) Adolf Friedrich (ph). In: Dirk Böttcher , Klaus Mlynek, Waldemar R. Röhrbein, Hugo Thielen: Hannoversches Biographisches Lexikon . From the beginning to the present. Schlütersche, Hannover 2002, ISBN 3-87706-706-9 , p. 178f. ( Preview in Google Book Search)

Coordinates: 59 ° 56 ′ 16.1 ″  N , 30 ° 17 ′ 23.7 ″  E