The Lesser Study
Like the State Library of Paul I, the finish of his Lesser Study was designed circa 1790 by Vincenzo Brenna and likewise altered by Andrel Voronikhin after the fire of 1803. A smooth wide arch connected the Emperor's study to the Library, almost constituting its smaller half. Almost the entire surface of the wall is taken up by a portrait of Peter the Great, idol and great-grandfather of Pavel. The portrait was painted during Peter's lifetime by the Saxony artist Johann Gottfried Tannauer (1680-1737).
The original suite of furniture in the Louis XVI style was decorated a white colour and upholstered with Lyons fabric, featuring white lilies and green leaves on a light pink background. Curtains made from the same fabric hung about the window. After the fire of 1803, a single suite of furniture in the Directoire style, with different upholstery, was made for both the Lesser Stud and the State Library. Here then are now new copies of this suite with late eighteenth century upholstery that bears no relation to the Pavlovsk Palace.
The original furnishings of the Lesser Study still remaining here to this day include the marble vases with figures of the ancient gods (Italy, 18th century), an astronomical clock in a higi mahogany case (upholsterer David Roentgen (1743-1807), Germany, clockmaker P. Kinzing (1745-1816), late 18th century), a writing desk with rotator clock and bronze candlestick (P. Denizot, France, late 18th century). Other original items are the bean table standing in front of the window and the two ivory and amber decorations in the corners of the room. The bean table is a typical example of Russian furniture (master M. Veretennikov, a serf of Count Saltykov, 1787). Picture of the first buildings of Pavlovsk are somewhat naively executed in the marquetry technique on the table top. To all intents and purposes, the artist did not see the edifices in life, though it is still possible to discern the palace, the hospital, the obelisk in honour of the founding of Pavlovsk and the Temple to Friendship.
The mahogany and ivory firescreen (designed by Vincenzo Brenna, made by Hambs, 1796) was transferred here in 1801 from the Study of Paul I in St Michael's Castle, following the Emperor's murder. A set of fluor vases and obelisks originally stood on the mantlepiece, replaced after the war by a clock in the shape of a triumphal arch (France, late 18th century). Beyond the window is a perspective fresco painted in the 1970s on the place of the original composition by Pietro Gonzaga (1822-23). Its design was recreated on the basis of pre-war photographs.