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The Green Reception Room

The first of the eight rooms in the Catherine Block, to which visitors proceed from Peter's guest gallery, owes its name to the colour of its walls.

The main decorative elements are similar in the majority of the rooms - the classical mouldings, the Empire-style painting in grisaille, the single-tone colouring of the walls and the smooth ceiling, sometimes with a rosette in the centre.

All these decorative features are present in the decoration of the Green Reception Room: the coves are embellished with griffins, lyres, armorial trophies, banners, etc.; the frieze is made up of elegant moulded rosettes, while the walls are adorned with round wreaths of almost naturalistically rendered flowers and fruit. Scotti's painted décor which was added, in the 1800s, to the mouldings surviving from the time of Quarenghi has changed the subject-matter of the interior decoration. Fasces, swords and helmets gave an official air to the Green Reception Room. The huge marble fireplace brought from Italy was installed in the room to the design of Quarenghi.

The Empire-style painting of the room organically blends with the splendid furniture of poplar with carved and gilt trimmings, produced in St Petersburg to the design of the outstanding architect Carlo Rossi. (This set of furniture has never left Peterhof.) The artistic bronzework in the collection of the Catherine Block is represented mainly by French pieces from the late eighteenth and early nineteendi centuries. Of particular interest are the clock Apollo's Chariot made by the famous French bronzeworker Pierre-Philippe Thomire after the drawing of Jean-Demosthène Dugoure and the companion tripod bowls from the workshop of the same master-crafrsman. The bronze censer on the table before the sofa is a work by the St Petersburg craftsman de Lancris.

The Study of Alexander I

The two westward-looking rooms are traditionally associated with Alexander I's stay in Peterhof. This Emperor spent a large part of his reign outside Russia, in military campaigns and foreign travels.

Everything in the Study reminds the visitor of the heroic years of Russia's war against Napoleons army - the bas-reliefs after models by Fiodor Tolstoi, the paper-weight made of cannon-balls from the Borodino Battlefield, the obelisk in honour of the victory over the enemy's forces, and the cabinet with cups and goblets decorated with portraits of the heroes of the 1812 Patriotic War.

Under the portrait of Paul I, on the bureau produced by the famous German cabinet-maker Heinrich Gambs who worked for the Russian court, there are two small incense vases of jasper and rhodonite. They were manufactured about 1811 at the Ekaterinburg Lapidary Factory and presented to Alexander I by Count Pavel Stroganov. The bookcase containing a small library is decorated with gilded bronze busts of the Emperor and his wife, Yelizaveta Alexeyevna, and the corner cabinets are adorned with porcelain vases from the study of Alexander I in the Anichkov Palace in St Petersburg.

The Study is one of the three rooms which have preserved their stoves decorated with "landscape tiles" and installed to Rastrelli's design.

The Green Reception Room.

The Green Reception Room. Fireplace.

The Study of Alexander I.

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