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Entries / Tapestry Manufacture

Tapestry Manufacture

Categories / Art/Fine Arts/Art and Craft Production
Categories / Economy/Industry

TAPESTRY MANUFACTORY was the first large tapestry-making enterprise in Russia, operating from 1717 till 1856, and laying the foundation for a new artistic craft in Russia. The first specialists, a group of weavers headed by P. Camus came to St. Petersburg in 1717, were experienced weavers from Paris Royal Manufacture: I. Gocher, P. Grinion, L. Vavok, I. Burdein, F. Begagle (the first Wall Manufactory director) with his son and nephew. Initially the masters settled on Vasilievsky Island, and later were transferred to Ekateringof. They used two wall techniques: hautlisse and baslisse. The Tapestry Manufactory was not functional until 1719. In 1719-23 the majority of foreign masters returned home, and the Tapestry Manufactory was headed by F. Begagle junior. In 1719 the first Russian pupils appeared, including I. Kobylyakov and T. Buinakov, followed later by M. Akhmanov, A. Afanasyev, G. Ezhikov, totaling 22 people by the mid-1720s. By the late 1720s a Russian weaving school was formed. From 1723 on, almost all the work was executed by Russian weavers under the supervision of foreign masters. Among the themes of trellises were: The Battle of Poltava (1722), Deeds of Peter the Great (1725), portraits of crowned heads, landscapes, still-lives, and later mythological subjects; copies or re-workings of French Royal Manufacture tapestries were also made. In 1732 the Tapestry Manufacture became a part of the Court Office and was transferred from Ekaterinhof to the House of Apraksin at the Foundry Yard (hence the name of Shpalernaya Street, meaning tapestry). The number of machines was increased to ten, producing 80 trellises between 1732 and 1746. In 1756, French weavers headed by J. Ronde were invited to the Tapestry Manufactory, and Russian pupils were assigned to them. The Tapestry Manufactory was reconstructed by the architect A. Wist in the late 1750s. In 1764 a Tapestry Manufactory Regulation was ratified, managing financial issues, staff, and aims of the enterprise. N.I. Panin (1763-83), A.P. Shuvalov (1783-89), and N.B. Yusupov (1789-1802) were responsible for manufacture; professors of Academy of Arts G.I. Kozlov, I.A. Akimov, and I. Tupylev were responsible for artistic guidance. In 1764-1802, 93 trellises were made there, the level of technique bringing it close to painting. A new weaving technique was mastered, introducing the manufacture of savonnerie and floor carpets, as well as crowned heads' and courtiers' orders were executed as reproductions of paintings. Painted wallpaper became fashionable, covering the walls of palace interiors. In 1802 the Tapestry Manufactory came under the supervision of His Imperial Majesty's Own Chancellery. Though it mastered the production of upholstery fabrics, drapes, tablecloths, and bailers, its profits still did not cover expenses. The Tapestry Manufactory was abolished by decree on 1 June 1858.

References: Русские шпалеры: Петерб. шпалерная мануфактура: [Альбом] / Сост. и авт. вступ. ст. Т. Т. Коршунова. Л., 1975. V.G. Avdeev.

Afanasyev A.
Akhmanov M.
Akimov Ivan Akimovich
Begagle Ph.
Begagle Ph. (Jr.)
Burdein I.
Buynakov T.
Camus P.
Ezhikov G.
Gocher I.
Grinion P.
Kobylyakov I.
Kozlov Grigory Mikhailovich
Panin Nikita Ivanovich, Count
Ronde J.
Shuvalov Andrey Petrovich, Count
Tupylev I.
Vavok L.
Wist Alexander Franzevich
Yusupov Nikolay Borisovich, Duke

Shpalernaya St./Saint Petersburg, city

Русские шпалеры: Петерб. шпалер. мануфактура: [Альбом] / Сост. и авт. вступ. ст. Т. Т. Коршунова. Л., 1975

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His Imperial Majesty's Cabinet

His Imperial Majesty's Cabinet

HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY'S CABINET, central state institution. Created in 1704 as Tsar Peter the Great's private cabinet, conducting the personal correspondence of Russian Emperors, managing their personal finances and property

Industry (entry)

INDUSTRY was one of the most important parts of the economy of St. Petersburg, developing concurrently with the city and growing along. Due to the country’s foreign policy and geography