The St. Petersburg tapestry manufactory, the only one in Russia, was founded by Peter the Great in 1716. He hired a number of French weavers, including Philip Bhagle (d. 1719) and his son Jean Philippe (d. 1733), and the architect Jean Baptiste Le Blond. The low salaries and the difficult conditions did, however, cause most of the French artists to leave, except for the Bhagles and Jean Baptiste Bourdin (d. 1750). The manufactory improved strongly when the Czarina Anna Iwanowna took interest in the manufactory in 1732. By this time there were almost only Russian workers in the manufactory and their interest in achieving the quality of the Western manufactories led to many Brussels and French tapestry series to be copied. It was in the second half of the 18th Century that the manufactory reached its greatest importance with over 150 weavers. One particularity of the manufactory were the copies of paintings which demanded great skill in the copying of colour tonalities.