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Renaissance nature of Peter’s transformations

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2020. Vol. 9. No. 3. Pp. 174-185.
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Ivanov M. V.
Emperor Alexander I Saint Petersburg State Transport University
9 Moskovsky Avenue, 190031 Saint Petersburg, Russia


The article challenges the traditional notion that there was no Renaissance in Russia. Traditionally, it is believed that Russia had a pre-Renaissance, but there was no Renaissance, and Renaissance achievements penetrated into Russian culture in fragments, sporadically and through irregular development of the norms of different European cultural systems. However, there is every reason to recognize the existence of a full-fledged Russian Renaissance and consider it as a national “cultural explosion”. The basis of the Renaissance gene is the secularization of culture and the freedom of the individual who seeks to get happiness on earth. Not “Nature”, but the technosphere began to attract people’s minds; the ideal city had to combine the benefits of nature and civilization. Peter I, by virtue of his biographical features, acted as a ruler of the Renaissance type and created social and technical conditions for the development of the Renaissance culture in Russia. St. Petersburg built by the Tsar’s will became a masterpiece of the Renaissance. Its architecture implemented the Renaissance city model. It created conditions for the development of a Renaissance culture. Technical, architectural, military, scientific, and administrative innovations were insufficient. It required a “cultural explosion” and a lot of hard work by figures of Russian science, technology, literature, painting, architecture, sculpture, historians, and philosophers. Only persons whose mental horizon was not limited to the narrow class interests of the nobility could successfully solve such task. The dominant Renaissance personality in the Russian culture is Mikhail Lomonosov, who was born in peasantry.


  • • Renaissance
  • • cultural explosion
  • • ideal city
  • • technosphere
  • • nature
  • • secularization
  • • personal freedom
  • • Peter I
  • • Lomonosov


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