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The Lantern Study

After the Pilaster Study comes the LANTERN STUDY, one of the most stunning interiors of the Pavlovsk Palace. The Lantern Study is also the creation of Andrei Voronikhin (1807). Preserving Vincenzo Brenna's original scheme for the room as a private library, Voronikhin removed an outside wall and replaced it with the semi-circularoriel "lantern" protruding out into the Private Garden. The oriel is formed by an Ionic colonnade of white artificial marble. The glazing between the colonnades creates the illusion of the "flowing" of the study into the living nature of the Private Garden. The caisson vault of the half-rotunda adds to the height of the study. Unlike the usual classical examples, Voronikhin decided to experiment and designed the moulded rosettes of the caissons in the shape of camomiles. The wide arch of the oriel is supported by two caryatids originally executed by V. Demut-Malinovsky (recreated by N. Maltseva and T. Shabalkina). The green hues of the paint on the walls echo the colour of the summer foliage outside the windows. Garlands of wild grape vines are twined along the high padouga of the plafond. The supports contain allegorical representations of the sciences and the arts after studies by D.-B. Scotti. Light streams in through the French windows of the Lantern Study, creating chiaroscuro contrasts between the illuminated and shaded sections of the interior.

The Lantern Study was the favourite working place of Maria Feodorovna. It was simultaneously a private library and picture gallery. Some forty pictures by West European masters working from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries were the main decorative element of the study. These works included Guido Reni's Virgin Mary and Archangel Gabriel, Carlo Dolci's Mary Magdalene, Francesco Albani's Holy Family, Jose de Ribera's St Bartholomew, Charles Lebrun's Mater Dolorose and the masterpiece of the museum collection, Agnolo Bronzino's Madonna with Child and St John the Baptist. The center of the study is occupied by writing bureaus made by David Roentgen. They contain a multitude of various writing objects - blotting-pads, ink-wells, paper-weights, paper and letter stands and miracle candlesticks. There is also a mahogany basket for papers with a gilt and embroidered border, designed by Andrei Voronikhin. Other furnishings in the study are small tables made of bronze, stained glass and crystal, indicating the high artistic taste of Maria Feodorovna. The furniture was specially manufactured for the study after designs by Andrei Voronikhin. These are a suite of chairs, painted black with carved gilt ornamental designs and ornamental embroidery on the upholstery, and white bookcases with black tractions and decorative faces on the butt-ends. The dressers are adorned with stone and porcelain vases (Russia) and a unique clock and musical box in a mother-of-pearl case (Austria, early 19th century). A set of French bronze stands on the fireplace - candelabra (P. Gouthiere workshop) and two fireplace decorations with the representation of A Reading Girl (P.-F. Thomire workshop after models by Boizot). The firescreen is made from mahogany after a drawing by Andrel Voronikhin and decorated with gilt carving and decorative silk-stitched embroidery on cloth.