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Plan of the Capital City of St. Petersburg with the Depiction of its Most Distinctive Views. 1753. (Fragment). 1753

The plan is accompanied by Twelve Engraved Views of the City

Plan of the capital city of St. Petersburg with the depiction of its most distinctive views,
Publ. as a joint effort of Imp. Acad. of Sciences and Arts.


Editor: Truskott I.F. etc
Engraver: Sokolov I. etc
Artist: Makhaev M.I.
Place of Publication: Saint Petersburg.
Publisher: Petersburg Academy of Sciences.
Date of Publication: 1753.
Size: 1 т. 53х38 сm.
Technique: Copper-plate Engraving.
Scale: [1:3 350].
Oriented: South.

The plan of Saint Petersburg was published for the 50th anniversary of the city in 1753, "to the glory and honor of Russian Empire". It was accompanied by twelve views of the city.

The plan was prepared at the Geographic Department of the Academy of Sciences and supervised by the junior scientific assistant I. F. Truskott. This plan gives an accurate account of Saint Petersburg's streets. It also shows prospective buidling projects and some of the best-known places lost forever. The plan depicts the prospects of the most notable buildings.

The plan charts the regular and rational architectural fabric of the northern capital.

It was produced at the Engravery of the Academy of Sciences under the guidance of I. Sokolov who also engraved the figure of the Empress Elisabeth Petrovna after a portrait by Louis Caravaque.

The plan features the Arms of the City and attributes of sciences, arts, commerce, and the art of war at the top right.

Engraved views of the city present a historical picture of Petersburg in mid-18th century and have independent artistic value. The illustrations were designed mainly by the graphic artist М.I. Makhaev, so that his name was extended to the whole plan, which gained the common term of the "Makhaev's map". Along with existing buildings, Makhaev presented those already lost by the time - the Curiousity Chamber, the Winter Palace of Anna Ioannovna, etc.

The illustrations are particularly valued, because they were drawn from life, using the "camera obscura", with lens and mirror projecting relevant pictures on paper. The camera was set on a tripod enclosed in a movable box. The device was operated by the artist G. Valeriani.

This stunning plan, created with joint efforts of mapmakers and engravers at the Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg, has been recognized as a masterpiece of Russian engraving art.

The Plan of the Capital City of Saint Petersburg was published in 100 copies and distributed among major library and palace collections in many European capitals.


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