This interior, which is also known as the Hall for Ladies-in-Waiting, was not redecorated by Velten and until 1941 preserved its magnificent 18th-century decor.
Rastrelli used in the decoration of this hall a large composite order with pilasters functioning as a sort of supporting frame. The piers between them were occupied by two-tiered windows, huge doors or mirror imitations of windows. The walls were adorned with elaborate interlacing gilded carvings in the shape of plant shoots and rocailles.
In 1753, the main amount of work in the Audience Hall was completed. The Italian Paolo Ballarini, who was invited to paint the ceiling, took a subject from Torquatto Tasso's poem Jerusalem Delivered describing the First Crusade to the Holy Land. Ballarini depicted the scene of the Christian knight Rinaldo imploring the Saracene woman Armida not to kill herself and to become his wife.
Nowadays, the Audience Hall, shining with its lavish gilded decor, which is endlessly reflected in numerous mirrors, produces no less profound impression on its visitors than before.
The Audience Hall. The porcelain of the Maisson's manufacture.
The Audience Hall. "St. Venceslaus". I.G. Kirhner, near 1730.