FELTEN, Yuri Matveevich
(b. 1730, St. Petersburg, d. 1801, St. Petersburg)

Biography

Yuri Matveevich Felten (in German: Georg Friedrich Veldten) was a Russian architect. He was the court architect to Catherine the Great. He was born into a family of German immigrants to Russia. His father, Matthias Velten, worked for the Russian Academy of Sciences as the steward.

He went to Germany in 1744 and studied at Tübingen University. In Germany he took part in the construction of the residence at Stuttgart.

He returned to Russia in 1749 and studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of the Arts (1749-51). In 1755 he already worked at the St. Petersburg Chancellery for Construction under Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli and in 1760 became Rastrelli's first assistant. During the 1760s and 1770s, after Rastrelli left Russia, Yuri Felten became the head architect and court architect.

In 1783 became a correspondent of the French Royal Academy, in 1784 a state councilor, in 1770 an academician, in 1772 professor at the Academy of the Arts, in 1785 adjunct-rector, between 1789 and 1794 served as director of the Academy of the Arts, and retired in 1794.

His main work in St. Petersburg includes: the Old Hermitage, the Chesme Palace and the Church of John the Baptist (the Chesme Church); the protestant church of St. Catherine on Vasilievsky Island, and the catholic church of St. Anne on Kirochnaya Street, the Armenian-Gregorian Church on Nevsky Prospect, and others.

Construction of the Zubov Wing of the Large (Catherine) Palace at Tzarskoje Selo was undertaken in 1778 according to plans by Yuri Felten, the architect Ilya Neyelov (1745-1793) also participated in the construction of this wing. The final decor of the interiors was accomplished by Charles Cameron.