Speaker: Dimitri Ozerkov (I Tatti)
Vincenzo Brenna (1741–1820) was a travelling architect. Born in Rome and having voyaged around Italy he moved to Poland, then to Russia, and died in Dresden. His archive is scattered since his work does not belong to any national art history. One sees the beginnings of Romanticism in his buildings while others consider them to be just an expression of the taste of his patrons. However through his collaboration with Piranesi and Pacetti, his studies of the Domus Aurea and his work on the decoration of Roman festive and funereal events, Brenna was able to formulate his understanding of the ‘entirety’ of the Roman antiquity and to transfer it to other countries. He formulated the image of St Petersburg as a new Rome and designed the major state mourning ceremonies there in a Roman way.
Dimitri Ozerkov is an art historian and curator specializing in the 18th century and in contemporary art. From 1999 to 2022 he held the post of curator of the collection of French prints of the 15th to 18th centuries at the Print Room of the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. A graduate of art history, he received his PhD from St. Petersburg State University in 2003. He researched print collections and architectural libraries and focused on the history of the Imperial Print Room of the Hermitage in the European context. He curated exhibitions of prints and drawings, including The Triumph of Eros (Somerset House, London) and The Architectural Library (Hermitage), and of contemporary art. He has published on Giovanni Volpato, Berardo Galiani, the Duc de Mortemart, Heinrich von Brühl, Jakob Philipp Hackert, Catherine II, Grigory Potemkin, Giacomo Quarenghi, and Vincenzo Brenna. His current interests lie in the fields of architectural theory, history of religion, the visionary, oneirocriticism, the cities of Rome and Jerusalem, and philosophy.
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