The Valet de Chambre Room
After the Ante-Room comes a small circular room, the Valet de Chambre Room (or Secretary's Room). Its finish was done by Vincenzo Brenna in 1798. The ornamental cornice and the moulded casing, jambs and lintel of the doors with lion masks are especially elegantly executed. The painted design of the plafond imitates a caisson vault. A statue of Aphrodite Anadiomene wringing out her hair (18th century Italian copy from an ancient original) stands in the niche to the right of the entrance. The circular wall is hung with late eighteenth and early nineteenth century water-colours and gouaches with views of the Imperial parks. The art of watercolour painting was highly rated at this time and such works were a fashionable finish to small studies. The furnishing of the Valet de Chambre Room consists of a suite of mahogany furniture with embroideries made in Russia in the early nineteenth century.