The Upper Vestibule

The Upper Vestibule was designed by Vincenzo Brenna (1793-94). The mass of stucco moulding on the smooth surface of the walls was a device very typical of the Italian master. The reliefs depict military armaments of various periods, including oriental weaponry (a reflection of fhe Russo-Turkish War being fought at that time). The sculptor Ivan Prokofiev seems to have had a hand in the creation of the stucco moulding. The two mighty figures of Atlas supporting the arch can also be attributed with confidence to Prokofiev. Like much of the moulded compositions on the walls and the plaster stoves, the Atlases survived the war intact and exist in the original.

The carved standard lamps in the corners, originally designed by Vincenzo Brenna, were recreated from pre-war photographs and analogies. The painting on the ceiling and above the arch was made by D.-B. Scotti after a design by Andrel Voronikhin. The painting was recreated after the war from photographs and Voronikhin's original sketch. The figure of Glory, to the left over the arch, more or less survives in the original. During Pavel and Maria's time, there was no furniture in the Upper Vestibule. This was the State Entrance Hall, used for mountings of the palace guard. It now contains the bronze group Hercules on Horseback (Mikhail Kozlovsky, 1799), which was originally situated in the park by the Rose Pavilion.

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