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The Raspberry Study

Charles Cameron was responsible for the project whereby the Study of the Emperor Paul I was divided into four sections by flimsy partitions. The study was redesigned by Vincenzo Brenna in 1789 and again in 1797, when Cameron's partitions were dismantled. An inventory of the study in 1802 describes "a whole mirror in a gilt frame on a pier, raspberry blinds by two windows ... a crystal lamp on the ceiling with a crystal decoration for four candles". Andrei Voronikhin did not introduce any changes to the Raspberry Study following the fire of 1803. An inventory of 1805 records that "a white marble carved bouquet in a circular frame", surviving to this day, was placed over the mirror between the windows. In 1858 the Raspberry Study was adapted as the bedroom of the Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich and his wife Alexandra. Furnishings in the Louis XV style were sel ected. After the war, the study was recreated as it was at the start of the nineteenth century, with a bureau, a table with three tops for card games, nards and draughts and a grandfather clock crowned by a bronze figure of Apollo with a lyre (made at the David Roentgen workshop, musical mechanism by P. Kinzig).

Over the fireplace is a set of porcelain and gilted bronze vases (Sevres, France, 1780s). The bureau has a porcelain biscuit sculpture, St Mary Magdalene, based on the picture by Pompeo Batoni (Meissen factory, 1780s). A mosaic, View of the Coliseum (Z. Agouatti, 1780s), is on the window slope. This was a present from Pope Pius VI to Pavel and Maria in 1782 during their visit to the Vatican. One of the rarest items in the collection of the palace-museum can be seen on the console in front of the mirror. This is an amber icon-lamp made from a whole piece of amber in the form of an ancient lamp. It is decorated with gilded bronze and stands on an ivory and mahogany support. The lamp was designed by Vincenzo Brenna. Maria Feodorovna often took part in the manufacture of such items and the lamp does indeed bear her signature Mane ce 21 apnl 1791. 21 April was the birthday of Catherine the Great and it was to her that Maria presented the lamp. Catherine highly rated this present fr om her daughter-in-law and had it placed in the Room if Rarities in the Hermitage.