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The Wardrobe Room

The Wardrobe Room, one of the owner's private apartments, was intended for keeping his clothes. As a rule it was located right near the Bedroom. The walls of this corner room located at the joint of the north and west suites of the palace are embellished with blue wallpaper devoid of a decorative pattern. The south-east corner is occupied by a stove adorned with columns and faced with tiles painted in cobalt blue. The Wardrobe Room, one of the owner's private apartments, was intended for keeping his clothes. As a rule it was located right near the Bedroom.

The designation of the room is indicated by the wardrobes for storing clothes - one of them, German work, is made of oak and decorated with inlays of maple and Karelian birch in the form of the "rose of winds" and stylized lozenges. The date of the production of the wardrobe, 1740, is indicated on its pediment. Another wardrobe standing to the right of the south door, was produced in 1758, also in Germany. It is decorated with an unusual painted design in imitation of marble.

Worthy of attention for their unusual design are the "Windsor chairs" with saddle-shaped recessions in their seats panelled with mahogany. They were manufactured by English cabinet-makers in the eighteenth century.

The palatial character of the interior is emphasized by a mirror of Russian work in a carved gilded frame hanging on the west wall of the Wardrobe Room. Under the mirror is a durable oak table on turned feet decorated with intarsia of tinted wooden plaques - a fine example of Russian furniture of the 1720s. Displayed on the table are a massive tin candlestick of Baltic work datable to the eighteenth century and a copper, tin-plated casket made in 1756 by Ural craftsmen.

An important decorative element of the Russian court interior in the early eighteenth century was painting. On the south side of the Wardrobe Room is a scroll panel A Shepherdess produced in the 1770s by German craftsman Johann Mattias Jansen who worked for Emperor Friedrich the Great. The shepherdess's clothes, the stem and crown of the tree, the dog's wool and the sheep's fleece are represented with the use of mother-of-pearl plaques and shells fixed on mastic. On the same wall are two marines by unknown Dutch masters of the late seventeenth century - A Sea View and Ships Quiet at Anchors. The tradition of collecting such pictures in Russia was founded by Peter the Great who liked paintings by Dutch artists. Peter the Great arranged his first picture gallery, largely made up of marines by Flemish and Dutch painters, in the Monplaisir Palace at Peterhof.

Peter the Great also initiated the collecting of Dutch faїence and Oriental porcelain ware in Russia. The northern wall of the Wardrobe Room is adorned with two Delftware dishes dating from the eighteenth century. One of them, with underglaze painting in cobalt blue representing a bouquet of flowers in a vase, was produced at the Porcelain Claw Factory. Delftware owed its popularity to the high artistic merits and unusually skilful imitation of Chinese and Japanese porcelain items which were highly prized in Europe.

The Wardrobe Room displays examples of then highly valued Chinese porcelain. Over the east door you can see a dish with underglaze painting in cobalt blue: fantastic white dragons with a pearl amidst clouds; the side of the dish is decorated with a design of four objects from "eight Dao and Buddhist sacristies" (ba bao) having a well-wishing symbolism. To the period of flowering of porcelain production of the Q'ang-si Dynasty refer two vases standing on the wardrobe, which are also decorated with painting in cobalt blue under a glaze. On the bodies of the vases are representations of a blossoming plum, mei-hua, against a dark blue background reproducing a pattern of melting icicles. Such vases were used during the New Year celebration, which took place at the beginning of spring, the time of blossoming of the wild plum-tree, mei, to give presents.

A porcelain figurine of the lion of fo with a pearl in its paws, put between the vases on the cupboard, is a Chinese work dating from the 1700s or 1710s. It is covered with dark red and grey enamels on biscuit. The lion has since long been considered a protector of the Buddha's throne and, moreover, a symbol of power and valour, a wish to have a successful career.




The Wardrobe Room.


The Wardrobe Room.
Johann Mattias Jansen.
Panel: Shepherdess.
Germany. 1770s.



Jardiniére (in the centre).
The Double Tavern Mug
Factory,Delft.
Faience vases.
The Golden Flowerpot and
the Porcelain Ewer factories,
Delft. 18th century.
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