Born in Kaluga, he was one of the greatest Russian architects, whose contribution to Neo-Classicism is of considerable importance. In 1767 he was appointed architect in charge of the reconstruction of the Kremlin in Moscow, his team including M. F. Kazakov (whose Senate Building of 1776 is an outstanding memorial to the whole scheme). Bazhenov produced a design for a Gothic palace (with much polychrome lace-like detail) at Tsaritsyno, and appears to have been responsible for a series of eclectic garden fabriques. A convinced Freemason, his severe Neo-Classicism has parallels with the work of other known Freemason-architects throughout Europe. His best surviving buildings are the Dolgov and Yushkov Houses, the bell-tower of the Skorbyashchenskaya Church, and the Pashkov Palace of 1784–6, all in Moscow. His last great building was the moated St Michael or Engineer's fortress at St Petersburg, with its golden flèche and detached pavilions.
G. Hamilton (1983);Middleton & Watkin (1987)