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The Kitchen

In the eighteenth century, auxiliary services were rarely located within the central part of the palace. Peter the Great, borrowing a lot of elements from Dutch houses, was attracted by such rational layout with the proximity of a kitchen to a formal hall and dwelling rooms.

The decoration of the Kitchen was finished in the summer of 1723 and soon Catherine I, the wife of Peter the Great, "prepared food herself" there. In the centre of the room stands a huge stove with a hood over it and with suspended shelves. The most noticeable feature of the room is that the walls here are covered from floor to cornice with painted tiles of fifty various subjects - landscapes with houses and animals, human figures and sailboats at sea. The blue colour of the tiling lends a special warm atmosphere and the feeling of tidiness to the interior. The decorative tiles were brought to Russia from Delft, a Dutch town which supplied them to all of Europe. The tiles were sometimes used to embellish not only kitchens but dwelling rooms as well.

The vessels placed on the stove and shelves correspond to the designation of the Kitchen: Delft faience dishes with designs in cobalt blue, porcelain plates painted in colours which were brought from China by the Dutch East-India Company, English utensils of pewter, Russian copper cauldrons, etc.

The Pantry

The door from the Kitchen opens to the room where kitchen utensils and table-linen were stored. It is the only room, the walls of which are smoothly plastered. But even this interior, in spite of its purely utilitarian purpose, has some decorative features - the unusual pattern of its parquet floor, its fireplace decorated with moulding and, lastly, the majestic painted composition showing a woman with a burning brazier, an allegory of Winter, on its ceiling. As any pantry, it contained glassware and ceramic vessels: Dutch faїence dishes and vases, Russian bottles, decanters and all sorts of goblets and wine-glasses. Standing on the fireplace are eight brown stoneware tea-pots which were, according to tradition, presented to Peter the Great by the Chinese Emperor.

The Kitchen.

The Kitchen.

The Pantry.

The Pantry.
Philippe Pillement.
The ceiling painted over stuccowork.
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