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The Library

The decor and the furnishings of the Library are distinguished by a rare unity of style. Everything here is sustained in the Gothic taste: the huge bookcase covering the whole wall and reminiscent of the choirs of a medieval cathedral, a screen made in Germany in the nineteenth century and featuring ladies and cavaliers in medieval garments. The paintings show interiors of medieval monasteries and scenes of medieval life. At the table near the window is a model of the ruin castle on the Pflauen Insel near Potsdam made in ivory and mother-of-pearl by German craftsmen in 1822-23.

The book collection of the Cottage Palace amounted to some 1000 volumes by all famous writers of the Romantic trend in English, French, German and Italian. It included works by George Byron, Thomas Moore, James Fenimore Cooper, Victor Hugo, Friedrich Schiller, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Walter Scott as well as works by Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Lazhechnikov and Vladimir Odoyevsky.

Alexandra Feodorovna was educated on the classical works of German Romanticism and she knew Schiller by heart from her youth. A place of honour was given in the Library to the volumes of poetry by Vasily Zhukovsky who introduced Alexandra Feodorovna to the Russian language, literature and history and who later became the main tutor of the heir, the future Tsar-Liberator Alexander II. It was Zhukovsky who designed the coat of arms of Alexandria.

An interesting feature of the Library is the 1846 painting by Fiodor Moller which is based on the subject of Alexander Pushkin's Eugene Onegin. It features Tatyana writing her letter to Onegin.

The book collection of the Cottage Palace also included popular editions for family reading - keepsakes or de luxe editions richly illustrated with engravings, books on history, geography, religion, genealogy, army and naval regulations, and The Complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire compiled and systematized on the orders of Nicholas I in 1833.

On the bookcase are unique biscuit articles produced at the Berlin Porcelain Factory after models by Johann-Georg Schadow (1795) - the two busts and companion sculptural group depicting the Prussian Crown Princess Louisa and her sister Frederica (Alexandra Feodorovna's mother and aunt).

The Large Reception Room

This room functioned as one more drawing room or was used for a family repose. Its design and decoration are similar to those of other rooms on the ground floor. A notable feature of this interior is the stove embellished by Giovanni Scotti with painted architectural elements: the tracery of a Gothic window and a pattern of the cast-iron arcades skirting the building.

One of the most valuable works of decorative art represented in the Cottage Palace is the silver chandelier shaped as an openwork basket for flowers entwined with twigs bearing twenty-five roses. The chandelier made by Johann Georg Hossauer from a drawing by the Empress's brother, Frederick William IV, the King of Prussia, was presented to Alexandra Feodorovna and Nicholas I on the occasion of their silver marriage by their German relatives in 1842. Alexandra Feodorovna's birthday and the anniversary of the royal wedding were celebrated at Peterhof on a grand scale, with an illumination and a masquerade, attended by the crowned relatives and important guests from the whole of Europe.

The Large Reception Room is adorned with landscapes by the best Russian painters of the Romantic trend. Over the doors are two Views of Odessa (1929) by Maxim Vorobyev and a unique landscape by Orest Kiprensky, A View of Mt Vesuvius (1831), permeated with an anxious, sombre mood. On the walls are the seascape A View of Amalfi Bay by Sylvester Shchedrin (1826) and two marinas by Ivan Aivazovsky - A View of the Crimea (1852) and A View of Oreanda in the Crimea (1858).

The Library.

The Library.
Fiodor Moiler.
Tatiana Writing a Letter
to Onegin. 1846.

The Large Reception Room.

The Large Reception Room.
Orest Kiprensky.
View of Vesuvius. 1831.

The Large Reception Room.
Ivan Aivazovsky.
View of the Crimea. 1852.

The Large Reception Room.
Sylvester Shchedrin.
View of the Amalfi Bay. 1826.
t o p   o f   p a g e  
The official homepage of the Peterhof:
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