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Fyodor O. Schechtel

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Fyodor Osipovich Schechtel (Russian: Fedor Osipovic Sextel, August 7, 1859 - July 7, 1926) was a Russian architect, graphic artist and stage designer, the most influential and prolific master of Russian Art Nouveau and late Russian Revival.

Baptised as Franz Albert Schechtel (also transliterated as Shekhtel), he created most of his work as Franz Schechtel (Franc Sextel), changing his name to Fyodor with the outbreak of World War I. In two decades of independent practice he completed five theaters, five churches, 39 private residences, the Yaroslavsky Rail Terminal and various other buildings, primarily in Moscow. Most of his legacy survives to date.

Franz Schechtel (Russified as Fyodor Osipovich) was born to a family of ethnic German engineers in Saint Petersburg, the second of five children. His parents were Volga Germans of Saratov. Schechtel obtained a construction management license in 1894. His earlier projects, completed under Kaminsky's management, are sometimes credited to Kaminsky alone. Schechtel's first own, undisputed building - Zinaida Morozova House in Spiridonovka Street, 1893, famous for Mikhail Vrubel artwork - is a mix of Gothic architecture and romanticism. His style during the 1890s meanders between Gothic and Russian Revival. The first sign of a new, mature style (a Russian version of Art Nouveau, Russky Modern), appears in his 1899 Arshinov House in Malaya Ordynka Street.

Schechtel's turn to Art Nouveau is associated with the 1900 Levenson Printshop in Trekhprudny Lane, in Patriarshy Ponds, a well-to-do neighborhood near Moscow's center. Patriarshy Ponds is still home to many of Schechtel's works, including two of his own residences from 1896 and 1910. Schechtel designed the Printshop to have Gothic trim, but changed his plan midway through construction. His "Popov Tea House" pavilion at the Exposition Universelle (1900) in Paris earned a silver medal, exposing him to international fame.

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ziggurat, November 9th, 2011
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