Hand of the Creator (Monument to Trezzini) in St. Petersburg
At the walls of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, in the courtyard of the Museum of Urban Sculpture, you can see a rather unusual monument: a bronze hand with thin and long fingers, directed towards the sky, clasping a structure of parallelepipeds.
This abstract composition almost three meters high is called “The Hand of the Creator” and is a gift from Switzerland for the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg.
What kind of “creator” is meant?
Of course, a native of the Swiss canton of Ticini and the first architect of St. Petersburg, Domenico Trezzini. Therefore, the place was chosen as a landmark the Alexander Nevsky Lavra was built according to his project since 1713.
The author of the sculpture, Nag Arnoldi, is still the only Swiss sculptor whose creation has found refuge on the banks of the Neva. It is planned that over time, works by his compatriots will appear next to the sculpture of Arnoldi. True, in a city that is accustomed to classical sights, such allegorical sculptures do not take root right away the monument was greeted by Petersburgers ambiguously.
True, in 2012, to the delight of fans of traditional sculpture, the opening of another monument to Trezzini is coming, and this time it will do without abstract incarnations. And the place will be more open not far from the Blagoveshchensky bridge, on the square that bears the name of the architect.
Domenico Trezzini (circa 1670-1734) came to the Neva lands from the Swiss city of Lugano at the invitation of Peter I.
Later he wrote to Munnich that he had been serving here “since 1703, since the foundation of St. Petersburg, when there were only wastelands, forests and water.” The architect was a wonderful find for Peter: he had vast practical experience in both military and civil construction. Trezzini began his career in Russia with the project of the Kronstadt Fortress. Then, over the course of 30 years, he built fortifications and church buildings, palaces and residential buildings in St. Petersburg.
For the first ten years Trezzini held the status of the chief architect of the city, largely defining the appearance of St. Petersburg an orderly European city, with straight streets and beautiful embankments. He wanted to avoid chaos in residential construction, so he proposed projects for three types of houses wards for rich, average and ordinary citizens. According to these models, they began to build up the residential part of the city. Unfortunately, not all Trezzini’s creations have survived to our times.
According to people who knew the architect, he was a balanced person. One of the main properties of Trezzini was the ability to find an approach to the tsar, swift and spontaneous in his decisions, to understand his desires, to sort out the drawings or drawings hastily drawn by him. Trezzini lived in solitude in the circle of his Italian family, he did not communicate closely with any of the Russians. He lived a little over 60 years, was buried in St. Petersburg land, in the cemetery at the Sampson Cathedral. His grave is lost, like the graves of other architects who were buried there.