SOLARI, Pietro Antonio
(b. ca. 1445, Carona, d. 1493, Moscow)

Exterior view

Granovitaya Palace, Kremlin, Moscow

Located between the Cathedral of the Dormition and the Annunciation Cathedral, the Granovitaya Palace (Palace of Facets) is the oldest preserved secular building in Moscow. The importance of this building was due to the fact that on state occasions the tsar sat enthroned in its grand vaulted hall. Thus the room was known abroad by reports from various ambassadors. Celebrations were also held in this hall. Its name derives from the rusticated character of its exterior.

The Italian architects, Marco Ruffo (active 1481-1487) and Pietro Antinio Solari designed a building resembling palaces in their native country; thus it looks like early Renaissance palaces, even though its windows were altered in the 17th century. The model of façade was probably the Palazzo Sanuti Bevilacqua in Bologna, built around 1480.

The diamond rustication had an enduring appeal in Russian architecture during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but it was rarely applied in stone. Local architects preferred to paint the facets on brick walls as gaudy trompe l'oeil.

The photo shows the Granovitaya Palace and the Annunciation Cathedral.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.