Auguste de Montferrand

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Auguste de Montferrand (January 23, 1786 – July 10, 1858[1]) was a French Neoclassical architect who worked primarily in Russia. His two best known works are the Saint Isaac's Cathedral and the Alexander Column in Saint Petersburg.


Early life


Montferrand was born in paroisse of Chaillot, France (now, 16th arrondissement of Paris). He was styled at birth Henri Louis Auguste Leger Ricard dit de Montferrand; aristocratic de was, probably, his parents' invention. Decades later, Montferrand admitted in his will that, although his father owned Montferrand estate, the title is disputable "and if there is any doubt, I can accept other names, first of all Ricard, after my father". The father, Benois Ricard, was career a horse trainer, he died when Auguste was a child. Grandfather, Leger Ricard, was a bridge engineer. Mother, née Marie Francoise Louise Fistioni, remarried Antoine de Commarieux, who is credited with educating Auguste.[2]

Education and War

In 1806, Montferrand joined the former Académie d'architecture, class of Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine. Soon, he was summoned to Napoleon's Army, and served a brief tour of duty in Italy. Montferrand married Julia Mornais in 1812. The next year, he was again drafted into the Army when the allied troops were closing in on Dresden. Montferrand served with distinction in Thuringia engagements, and was awarded Légion d'honneur[3] for valor in the Battle of Hanau.[4]

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