Arts Square

Arts Square


(formerly, Mikhailovskaia Square), in Leningrad, designed by the architect C. I. Rossi and constructed between 1819 and 1840. The principal element of the square, Mikhailovskii Palace, was also built by Rossi (1819–25). The palace, which is now the Russian Museum, is U-shaped in design. It is decorated with sculpture (V. I. Demut-Malinovskii and S. S. Pimenov) and has a Corinthian portico with eight columns. Its interior consists of elegant suites of rooms. The original decoration of the vestibules and of the White Hall of Columns has been preserved. The rest of the rooms were remodeled at the end of the 19th century. A west wing was added to the palace between 1914 and 1916 by the architect L. N. Benoit.

In order to complement the splendid facade of the Mikhailovskii Palace, Rossi designed plain, austere facades for the other buildings on the square. These buildings include Mikhailovskii Theater (now the Malyi Theater of Opera and Ballet, 1831–33, architect A. P. Briullov) and the building of the Assembly of the Nobility (now the Leningrad Philharmonic Society, 1834–39, architect P. Jacot). Brodsky Street (formerly, Mikhailovskaia Street) connects the rectangular Arts Square with Nevsky Prospect, making the square a part of the general ensemble of the city’s center and opening a view of the palace.

Between 1946 and 1948 the square was reconstructed. The facades of the philharmonic hall were restored, and a public garden was laid out (architects N. V. Baranov, E. I. Katonin, and V. D. Kirkhoglani). A monument to A. S. Pushkin (bronze and granite, sculptor M. K. Anikushin, architect V. A. Petrov) was placed in the center of the garden in 1957.

Other buildings on Arts Square include the pavilion in Mikhailovskii Garden, No. 3 Arts Square, No. 5 Arts Square, No. 4 Arts Square, Engineers’ Castle, the former Commandant’s Office, and the Museum of Ethnology of the Peoples of the USSR.

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