Though the building and decoration of the Palace was carried out by a succession of architects, its interiors and architecture show a great unity of style; the Palace's decor is completely integrated with its architecture. Its vast art collections won the Palace world renown.
Articles of ivory and amber
On the ground floor of the Great Palace there is a wonderful room named the Common Study, remarkable for its being decorated with numerous miniatures and portraits of the Paul I's family and their relatives. Being often established in aristocratic mansions, such rooms were usually called "Portretnaya" (the Portrait Room). As a rule, they were aimed to play the role similar to that of family albums, widely spread in a later epoch. A great number of portraits was required to finish up not only the rooms specially aimed for this purpose, but also main rooms of various imperial palaces, thus the best Russian and foreign portraitists being invited to create them.
On examining the palace collection of portraits, one can trace evolution of styles and techniques inherent to different epochs. Central place in the Common Study among other works hanging on its walls is occupied by Family Portrait (Karl Kugelgen, 1800), depicting Pavel, Maria and all their ten children, including a bust of Olga, who died at the age of three. Worthy of note are also portraits of Paul I by the Italian artists S. Torelli and P.A. Batoni, a variant of sketch to the portrait of Cathrine II by the Austrian artist J.B. Lampi, the double portrait of the eldest sons of Paul I Alexander and Konstantin by the English portraitist R. Brompton. Of great interest is the collection of miniature portraits exposed in the study, including original works (e.g. miniatures of Grand Duchesses Alexandra Feodorovna and Elena Pavlovna by the French master A. F. Lagrene Jr.) as well as miniature copies of well-known portraits made chiefly by the Russian artist P. Zharkov.
Besides the Common Study, various portraits help to form the furnishings of some other main palace rooms as well as that of The Interior Museum. In the Lesser Study of Paul I almost the entire surface of the wall is taken up by a portrait of Peter the Great, idol and great-grandfather of Pavel. The portrait was painted during Peter's lifetime by the Saxony artist J.G. Tannauer. The Valet de Chambre Room of Paul I contains a work by A.L.R. Dukro (Switzerland, 1782), depicting Pavel and Maria at the ruins of the Roman Forum. In the Maid of Honour's Room there is a portrait of Maria Feodorovna by J.L. Voille (1792).
The separate museum exhibition "The Russian Residental Interior (19th-Early 20th Centuries)" can also boast remarkable specimens of portraiture. Here one can see a portrait of Paul I (V. Borovikovsky, 1796), portraits of M. Vorontsov, his wife and daughter painted by the German artist G.C. Prenner, a portrait of Grand Duchess Alexandra Nikolaevna, daughter of Emperor Nicholas I (copy from H. Robertson), portraits of Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna and Grand Duke Mikhail Nicholaevich (W. Hau), portraits of the Stroganov family by Ivan Kramskoi (1866) and Konstantin Makovsky, and other works.
|© Pavlovsk, 1999-2006|