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The Egyptian vestibule

The architectural resolution of the Egyptian Vestibule creates the impression of movement from the exterior of the palace to its interior. This effect is achieved by the use of blind rustic walls decorated in imitation of natural limestone, the stone-paved floor and the mighty statues lining the walls. The subjects of the interior decor are based on themes of nature. The twelve statues symbolize the twelve months of the year (with January to the right of the staircase). Placed above the statues are the signs of the Zodiac, while the ceiling is decorated with painted allegories of the four seasons.

The room was finished by Charles Cameron between 1785 and 1786. The allegorical statues of the months and several of the figures of the Zodiac (Aquarius, Sagittarius, Virgo, Gemini) were, however, created by the sculptor Ivan Prokofiev. The frame of medallions was designed by the modeller D. Lamoni. After the fire of 1803, the damaged statues were replaced by new ones made by M. Alexandrov (Uvazhny) after the Roman-Egyptian representations of Antinous-Osiris and Isida. The signs of the Zodiac have survived intact. The design on the ceiling was restored after the fire of 1803 by Carlo Scotti and again restored after the war from old photographs and allegories. Almost all (ten) of the twelve statues, as well as the signs of the Zodiac with the frame of medallions, have been preserved in their original state.

The room is lit by glass lamps with bronze coverings. These are analogical copies to the original ones, made in Russia in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. The outside wall contains the cast-iron plaque taken from the obelisk in memory of the founding of Pavlovsk, bearing the inscription: Construction of Pavlovsk begun in 1777.


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