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The Dressing Room of Paul I

The form of the Dressing Room of Paul I was designed by Charles Cameron. The decorative finish was based on a design by Vincenzo Brenna and completed in 1790. The complicated volume of the room, formed from a combination of the surfaces of a prism, cylinders and spheres, is exceedingly harmonic and proportional. Even by itself it creates a vivid artistic impression. The stucco moulding and Brenna's painted decor are rich without being ponderous and fit naturally into this volume.

In 1795, Maria Feodorovna described this interior as the "dressing room". The first inventories to describe the room as a "lavatory" list its various furnishing as being a bureau, tables, vases, candlesticks, "lavatory chairs" and a table with a marble top, bell, scissors and ink-well, testifying that there really was a room with such a name. A marble and presumably ancient statue of a faun, one of the number brought back from Italy in 1783, stood in the niche in front of the window. It was destroyed in the fire of 1803 and its place is now taken by an ancient statue of a faun from the former Lloyd Brown collection. A box-wood table (David Roentgen, Germany, 1784) stands before the statue. The table has numerous functions and can act as either a dressing or a writing table.


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