The Dressing Room

The next room after the Lantern Study is the modest and even somewhat austere Dressing Room. Its finish was the work of Giacomo Quarenghi in 1800. The walls were faced with white artificial marble. Each wall was edged with two decorative stripes of gray and light-blue, creating a smooth transition to the frieze and the plafond, which are painted in the en grisaille technique. The frieze is painted in imitation of moulding in correspondence with the sculptural brackets. The large mirror placed beneath the windows reminds the visitor of the original purpose of the room. The furnishings, placed about the room in groups, also recall the original intention of the interior. A gueridon table of black and amber glass (designed by Jean-Francois Thomas de Thomon) is located in the centre against the mirror. On it stands a washing set consisting of a basin and jug of blue and white cut crystal (designed by Andrei Voronikhin). This is a unique ensemble of Russian artistic glasswork (Imperial Glass Factory, St Petersburg, early 19th century).

The Green Dressing Table stands to the right by the wall. This masterpiece was made at the Imperial Porcelain Factory and presented to Maria Feodorovna on her name-day, 22 July 1803. It is a set of 34 objects intended for one's morning toilette and breakfast. Refined gilt reliefs stand out on the light pistachio background of porcelain, while the en grisaille medallions depict ancient scenes. Central place is assigned to the elegant octagonal mirror in a bronze frame. At its foot are two biscuit figures of women in ancient attire. The furniture of the Dressing Room was designed by Andrei Voronikhin and manufactured at the Hambs workshop. It consists of armchairs, banquettes, a couchette, two mahogany Jardiniere bureaux with bronze decorations and a cache-pot for wild flowers. It was during Maria Feodorovna's time that wild flowers became an integral part of the decor of the interiors and to this end Jardinieres were especially included in items of furniture.

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