The 17th of September, 2012 marks the bicentenary of a prominent architect from the second half of 19th century - Harald Julius von Bosse. The artist contributed to the development of the concept of Rational Architecture and was one of the masters of the Eclecticism style in architecture. The oeuvre of Harald Julius von Bosse is closely connected to the city of Saint-Petersburg. If one looks closely, one may find the new architectural forms in public buildings and mansions located throughout Petersburg and its suburbs. He excelled at designing palaces and park ensembles, such as Znamenka or Mikhailovka, and designing cathedrals. Harald Julius von Bosse, a great architect and author offered new architectural solutions and was also a fine graphic artist.
The graphic works of Harald Julius von Bosse are to be found in different collections worldwide. The Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts in Saint-Petersburg has, perhaps, the biggest collection of the work of the architect. This unique collection consists of 700 drafts, drawings and watercolors. Here one can find artistic outlines for almost every monument he later built.
Harald Julius von Bosse was descended from a German noble family. He gained his first experience in architecture in Europe. He studied Darmstadt and moved to Saint Petersburg in 1831.
His architectural monuments in Saint-Petersburg include a number of well-preserved ones: The Pashkov’s house (Litejny Prospect 39), the Mansion of Duke M. V. Kochubej (Konnogvardejsky Boulevard 7), the mansion of E. M. Buturlina (Chaikovskogo Ul. 6) and others. The mansion of Harald Julius von Bosse himself is also a fine example of the oeuvre of the artist (Vasilevsky Island, 4th line, 15).
The highest points of the creativity of the architect are two detached houses which were built for Russian Dukes – the redesigned palace in Znamenka (1853-1859) and the architectural ensemble in Mikhailovka (1858-1862). These examples display features of the new architectural style called Historism (Historicism). Its principles call for an asymmetric composition for the main building, its extensions and of the whole architectural idea, and a combination of the regular and landscaping principles in organizing parks.
The anniversary exhibition devoted to Harald Julius von Bosse is the first public display of his works. The exhibition lets us look at his architectural projects, some of which were drafted but never implemented, of Harald Julius von Bosse – a great artist who contributed to the unique image of Saint-Petersburg.
Until nowadays, lots of historical buildings in Saint-Petersburg have been destroyed. Fortunately, however, many of them have been renovated. It is hoped that the exhibition will acquire public attention to the oeuvre of Harald Julius von Bosse and will give an impetus to restore part of the city’s prominent, albeit long forgotten heritage.