Fyodor Osipovich Shekhtel - Short Biography

Fyodor Schechtel 1890th.jpg

Fyodor Osipovich Shekhtel (July 26 (August 7), 1859 St. Petersburg, Russia - July 7, 1926, Moscow, Russia) - architect, graphic artist, set designer. Considered one of the founders of Russian Art Nouveau style, combining different architectural styles. He was awarded the Order of St. Anne and St. Stanislaus.

Fedor Shekhtel born into a family of German settlers who moved to Russia from Bavaria in the XVIII century and settled in Saratov. Family Shekhtel was wealthy, its representatives were in Saratov several shops, houses, weaving mill and starch factory, their stores were in Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Krasnoyarsk, St. Petersburg.

Zinaida Morozova Palace, 1893

Father of the architect, Osip Shekhtel, went to study in St. Petersburg in the mid-1840s, where he graduated from the Institute of Technology, received the title of engineer. Also in 1855 Osip (Joseph) Shekhtel married Darya Karlovna (Rosalina Dorothea) Getlib from a merchant family, and soon they had a son Fedor (Francis Albert). All in the family Shekhtel born 7 children. In 1866 the family moved to Saratov, where the little Fedor was 6 years old. In 1867, father and uncle died - the family was left without funds. Fedor was enrolled in high school, but only showed the ability to painting and drawing, having studied at school all year. In 1873, Theodore entered the four-year college at Tiraspol Roman Catholic high school in the "official expense" and graduated in 1875.

At this time, the mother Daria Karlovna moved with the children to Moscow, where she was a housekeeper in the house of the merchant Pavel Tretyakov, a collector of Russian art. It was there that the future architect at the center of artistic life, dealing with famous artists and architects. In parallel, he began working in the studio AS Kaminski, made in collaboration with him a draft of the facade of the Historical Museum in the Russian style.

Moscow Art Theater 
In 1875, Theodore Shekhtel enrolled in the School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture at the architectural department. But September 1, 1878 was expelled for "poor attendance". Perhaps the reason was the mother's illness and the need to earn - Fedor Shekhtel engaged in design magazines, drawing playbills, illustrating books. He drew illustrations for comic magazines "Alarm" and "Cricket", in collaboration with Anton Chekhov and his brother Nicholas to Moscow newspapers, designed the cover of the collection of Chekhov's "Motley Stories" and "Notes of a Hunter" by Ivan Turgenev. Signed Fedor Shekhtel pseudonym "FS" or "Fin-Champagne."

In 1882, Theodore Shekhtel began to cooperate as a theater artist with a famous entrepreneur M.V.Lentovskim. This year, he designed the sets and costumes for the play "Flight to the Moon." In 1883 designed costumes and sets for the march "Spring-red", published as an album and have had great success, created the scenery and costumes for productions of "Forest tramp" and "Uriel Acosta". In the years 1884-1887 Shekhtel designed the performances of "Hell on Earth", "Kurochka- golden eggs", "Journey to Africa", "Tom Thumb, or Cannibal Lou Lou" "Golden Apples or 43 quality Enchanted Princess" built outdoor theater "Antey" in the garden "Hermitage" 1700 seats, a restaurant made in the Chinese style "throw-Sadness" in the Livadia park in St. Petersburg. In parallel, he carried out orders for the sets and costumes for the Bolshoi Theatre.

Details of 1900 Ryabushinsky House

Church architecture occupies an important place in his work. In 1887, he designed the chapel of St. Michael's church in Taganrog. In 1888 decorated interior of the Lyalinov’s tomb in the Danilov Monastery on Rogozhskoe cemetery chapel was erected monument T.S. Morozov, and later on the family plot Morozov built steel canopy. In the years 1894-1898 Fedor Shekhtel created decoration of the church of St. John the Baptist on Pyatnitskaya street and the house of the clergy of the Church of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, that under Bohr, in the Chernigov lane, finishing church Danilov Monastery, the refectory of the monastery of Christmas.

In the same period, Fedor Shekhtel built many country estates and private houses. His customers were Derviz, the railroad tycoons, for which he built in Sokha, Starozhilovo, Cyrillics, Diaghilev. He worked for Morozovs: he built a wooden hut in the Russian style on the river Kirzhach, for ST Morozov, Vladimir Morozov, the head of the Firm "Vikulov Morozov and Sons" ordered restructuring of the estate in Odintsovo Archangel.

Fyodor Schechtel acquired an Official right to conduct the construction on January 26, 1894. Technical and Construction Committee of the Ministry of Interior issued a Certificate for production work on the construction, civil and road parts - the architect began to sign his projects: "techniques of architecture." In 1895, Theodore Shekhtel was adopted in Moscow Architectural Society (MAO), and in 1898 he became a full-time teacher at the Stroganov School. At the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900 Shekhtel was awarded a silver medal.

In 1901 he petitioned for the title of academician of the Imperial Academy of Arts, and after participating in the International Exhibition in Glasgow Central building of the Russian pavilion, agricultural, forestry and mining industries in the "neo-Russian" style, became an academician of architecture. Continuing the theme of "neo-Russian style" was built in 1902 Yaroslavsky station in Moscow.

In 1908, Theodore Shekhtel builds a house for Trade House I.M.Galperina on Pyatnitskaya street. In 1909 he builds on the Big Garden Street house with a wing-shop for your family.

In the late 1900's and early 1910's best works are considered Shechtel mansions Morozova in Spiridonovka, Ryabushinsky Dorozhinskiy in Kropotkin lane, free of reconstruction of the Moscow Art Theater in Kamergersky Lane.

In 1915, Francis-Albert Shekhtel converted to Orthodoxy from Catholicism and took the name - Fedor.

The Revolution of 1917 brought the collapse of the architect entire way of life, despite its wholehearted support for innovation. His house on Big Garden was nationalized, the architect with his family wandered from door to door. At the same time Fedor Shekhtel was appointed for a loud-sounding positions: in 1920 - the head of the artistic production of the Scientific and Technical Committee of the Supreme Council of National Economy (COD NTO Supreme Economic Council), the chairman of Architecture - Technical Council of the Main Committee of state structures (1921-1923), Chairman of the artistic and technical Commission at NTO Supreme Economic Council, taught in VHUTEMAS, was a member and chairman of various competitions.

Fedor Shekhtel continued to create new projects - Bolshevo optical plant in 1920 Lenin Mausoleum in 1924, the Dnieper Power Station in 1925 – none of it was accepted. The only building of that time - at the Russian pavilion Turkestan Agricultural Exhibition in Neskuchny garden.

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