The Alexandrinsky Theater Ensemble is situated in close proximity to the Arts Square and includes two squares and a street between them. This is one of the finest creations by Carlo Rossi. The Ostrovsky Square opens on to the Nevsky from where a good view can be had of the main façade of the theater beyond the greenery of a small garden.
The well-balanced proportions of the different units, the master choice of sculptural decorations, and its harmony with the surrounding houses, make this theater a remarkable piece of architecture. Its majestic simplicity brings Rossi’s artistic credo to mind: “The aim is not abundance of decoration, but majesty of form and nobility of proportion.” The plain yellow walls make a good background for the white six-column loggia in the center of the main façade, the white haut-relief decorations and the statues of Muses.
M. Dobuzhinsky, 1922. Alexandrinsky Theater.
The designation of this building is obvious: in niches, on either side of the loggia raised above the ground floor, stand the figures of Terpsichore, the Muse of dancing, and Melpomene, the Muse of tragedy; a lyre in a laurel wreath adorns the attic of the loggia, crowned with a chariot of Apollo, the patron of arts (by sculptor Pimenov). The whole building is girdled with a frieze of theatrical masks and garlands. The rear façade is decorated with pilasters and also the figures of Clio, the Muse of history, and Euterpe, the muse of music and lyric poetry.
The statues designed by Triscorni were soon removed and it was not until a century later that the Muses were put back in place (or rather, copies of the originals were put back in place).
The interior is majestically resplendent, the galleries a riot of gilt and carving, depicting helmets, shields, armor, and just intricate designs. The ornamentation diminishes with height.