The Rossi Library

An inter-communicating room links the Dressing Room of Paul I with the northern semi-circle of the palace. Here Carlo Rossi built the Grand Palace Library (1822-24). Work was headed by the architect A. Staubert (1781-1843). All the furnishings in the interior - the book shelves along the walls, the show-cases and tables - were designed by Rossi as a single ensemble. The furniture was manufactured from watered birch-wood at the workshops of V. Bobkov. The painted designs on the ceiling were created by the artist Barnaba Medici.

Stone vases were placed on the shelves and pedestals, and between the shelves stood ten marble statues of Apollo and the Muses, transferred from the Library of Maria Feodorovna. The collection of books numbered more than 20,000 volumes. Besides books, however, the Grand Library also contained a large number of drawings and engravings, collections of minerals, medals, coins and dried plants, and some two hundred antiques. These exhibits have only partially survived to this day. The room itself was built from wood and was destroyed with the furniture during the fire of 1944. The Library was recreated in the 1960s and the restoration of the furniture is currently underway. At the present time the interior of the Rossi Library is used for temporary exhibitions.

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