Pietro Antonio Solari
He was born in the Duchy of Milan, in Milan or in Carona, and apprenticed under his father Guiniforte Solari, himself an architect and sculptor. In 1476, he was hired to continue the construction of the Duomo di Milano. Later on, he was in charge of several construction projects in Milan. In 1484 he sculpted a tomb in the Cathedral of Alessandria.
In 1487, he was invited to Russia by Ivan III to construct the walls and towers of the Moscow Kremlin. Within the next two years, Solari built most of the walls (excluding the western wall built by his successor Aleviz) and towers of the Kremlin, including the Borovitskaya, Konstantino-Eleninskaya, Spasskaya, Nikolskaya, and Corner Arsenalnaya towers. Engineering methods, technique and architectural forms, used by Solari, were reminiscent of the fortifications of Northern Italy.
On top of the Spasskie Gates there was inscribed the following inscription:
IOANNES VASILII DEI GRATIA MAGNUS DUX VOLODIMERIAE, MOSCOVIAE, NOVOGARDIAE, TFERIAE, PLESCOVIAE, VETICIAE, ONGARIAE, PERMIAE, BUOLGARIAE ET ALIAS TOTIUSQ(UE) RAXIE D(OMI)NUS, A(N)NO 30 IMPERII SUI HAS TURRES CO(N)DERE F(ECIT) ET STATUIT PETRUS ANTONIUS SOLARIUS MEDIOLANENSIS A(N)NO N(ATIVIT) A(TIS) D(OM)INI 1491 K(ALENDIS) M(ARTIIS) I(USSIT) P(ONERE).
He died in Moscow in May 1493. The Fryazin title originates from the old Russian word фрязь (fryaz), derived from frank, that was used to denote people from Northern Italy.
- Z. Davidov. Stars on the towers. (Звезды на башнях) Moscow, 1963
- Bukharaev, Ravil (2014). Islam in Russia: The Four Seasons. Routledge. ISBN 9781136808005.
«(Borovitskaya Tower) It was built in 1490 and its architect was Pietro Antonio Solari. He was one of those Italian architects and urban engineers invited by the Great Duke of Muscovy, Ivan the Third to partecipate in the reconstruction of the Moscow Kremlin.»
- "O.A. Belobrova. Latin inscription on the Frolov Spasskie gates of the Moscow Kremlin and its fate in the Old Russian literacy. GMMK. Materials and researches. New attributions. 1987, issue 5. p.51-57" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
- Arte e artisti dei laghi lombardi. Como: Noseda. 1959.