How interesting some fates can be: the famous Russian architect, the author of post-fire Moscow, was born in the family of a Neapolitan artist. From the age of six, Bove lived in Moscow where he studied at the architectural school and worked as an assistant to Matvey Kazakov. He fought in the Napoleonic war but did not reach Paris, and in 1813 he was already working to rebuild the destroyed Russian capital. According to highly respectable sources, it was Joseph Bove who played the paramount role in the creation of the “architectural ensemble of the center of Moscow.” It was his decision to not rebuild small shops that used to populate the Red Square before the war, instead he chose to make it the main square in Moscow. What used to be a waterlogged wasteland with the Neglinka River in the middle became the Theater Square with the magnificent Bolshoi Theater. Bove laid out the Alexander Garden, decorated the outside of the Moscow Manege, erected the Triumphal Arch, built the First Gradskaya and the Yekaterininskaya Hospitals, and much more...But the descendant of an Italian artist who became a truly Russian architect is famous for more than the majestic monumentality of the center of Moscow. He created a new face not only for the ceremonial and official part of the city, but for its residential part as well.
The burned down Moscow needed to be reconstructed quickly without sacrificing beauty – that was the difficult task that Joseph Bove managed to complete! The reference book with the boring title “Collection of Standard Facade Designs" created under his guidance was used by talented Russian architects Grigoryev, Gilardi the son, and others to create out of standard elements and structures perfectly unique mansions in the fashionable Empire style, painted in light colors (which were also officially pre-approved!): yellow, pink, straw-colored, with white columns and bas-reliefs. Contrary to the famous saying, after the fire, Moscow was built in a day, figuratively speaking, and what Joseph Bove and his assistants managed to achieve is just splendid!