Thomon, Thomas-Jean de

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Thomon, Thomas-Jean de (1754–1813). Swiss-born Neo-Classical architect. He studied in Paris under Ledoux and in Italy, where the Greek Doric temples at Paestum had a considerable impact on his sensibilities. He settled in Russia in 1799 where he became Court Architect to Tsar Alexander I (reigned 1801–25) in St Petersburg in 1802 and designed several buildings, including the Grand Theatre (1802–5—demolished). His most outstanding work is the Bourse (Exchange—1801–16), a powerful Neo-Classical barrel-vaulted hall surrounded by a peristyle of Greek Doric columns of the unfluted type, not unlike Ledoux's designs for the Stock Exchange and Discount Bank at his imaginary town of Chaux. With its severe unadorned treatment, clear expression of elements, huge Diocletian windows set within great arches of rusticated voussoirs, and platform of ramps and podia, it was a major essay in Neo-Classicism as advanced as anywhere in the world for its date, and also shows some affinity with Boullée's designs. Among his other buildings are warehouses on the Salni Embankment, St Petersburg (1804–5), the Doric Mausoleum of Tsar Paul I (reigned 1796–1801) at Pavlovsk (1805–8), and the Column of Glory, Poltava (1805–11). He published Recueil de plans et façades des principaux monuments construits à Saint-Pétersbourg et dans les différentes provinces de l'Empire de Russie (Compendium of Plans and Elevations of Principal Buildings Erected in St Petersburg and in the Different Provinces of the Russian Empire—1809) and a treatise on painting. His own watercolours were much influenced by the work of Piranesi.

Bibliography

Berckenhagen (1975);
Grabar et al. (eds.) (1963);
G. Hamilton (1983);
Middleton & and Watkin (1987);
Shuiskii (1981);
van Vynckt (ed.) (1993);
Vogt (1974)