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The Bedroom of Alexander I

The central feature of the Bedroom is the mahogany state bed, known as ladya (boat). By the foot of the bed stands an unusual linen-basket while at its head are candelabra of gilded and patinated bronze by the famous French bronzeworker Lenoir Ravrio. Nearby is a table with a solitaire tea service manufactured at the Imperial Porcelain Factory in St Petersburg in the early nineteenth century.

Although Alexander did not pay long visits to Peterhof, the summer residence was enriched with new fountains during his reign. At that time the famous Peterhof festivities were inaugurated, which were described in many works of literature and later became traditional. But perhaps the most important mark left at Peterhof by the twenty-year reign of Catherine the Great's grandson is the sizeable addition to the palatial collections of art objects. These included his father's acquisitions in Europe, ambassadorial gifts and private presents. Of note among the bronzework are the objects bought for the Mikhailovsky Palace in 1801 and transferred to Peterhof after the death of Paul I, the owner of the palace, on the orders of his son. These are two censers of gilded bronze with pedestals of green marble, the statues of Zephyr and Flora and two jugs by the foot of the bed.

The visitor's attention is attracted by a painting on the northern wall. It is A Young Shepherd Surprised by a Storm (1810) by the English painter George Dawe who came to Russia at the invitation of Alexander I to paint the portraits of the heroes of the Napoleonic War for the 1812 War Gallery in the Winter Palace. On the other wall is the painting Diana and Endymion by the Swiss painter Angelica Kauffmann.

The Heating Room

The Hearing Room is the only interior in the palace preserving Rastrelli's decoration without any alterations. The kitchen "in the Dutch manner" was designed here for Elizabeth Petrovna, the daughter of Peter the Great, in 1760. The focal centre of the room is a huge whitewashed stove with twelve cooking rings and a large oven. Legend has it that in this kitchen the Empress cooked herself "her meals, not rarely inventing absolutely new dishes". In the corner of the room, in the lobby, is a staircase leading to an extensive basement from where the stove was stoken.

On display in the show-cases flanking the entrance to the Anteroom are items from palatial dinner services produced as commissions for the Imperial court. Two of them are particularly notable: the Ropsha Service (its name derives from the Ropsha Palace in the neigh bourhood of Peterhof where it was used), and the Babigon Service, which was employed in the Belvedere Palace at Babigon Hill, also not far from the summer residence. All dessert plates of the service had representations of the landmarks of Peterhof.



The Bedroom of AlexanderI.


The Bedroom of AlexanderI.


The Bedroom of AlexanderI.
Bureau. Master-craftsman Heinrich Gambs.
Russia. 1810s.


The Bedroom of AlexanderI.
Angelica Kauffmann.
"Diana and Endymion".

The Heating Room.
Pieces from the Ropsha Service.
The Imperial Porcelain Factory,
St Petersburg. 1823.

The Heating Room.
Pieces from the Babigon Service.
The Imperial Porcelain Factory,
St Petersburg. 1823-24.
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Artistic director - Valery Gergiev (Mariinky (Kirov) Opera and Ballet)

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