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The Hall of Peace

The Hall of Peace is symmetrical to the Hall of War on the other side of the Greek Hall and repeats its forms exactly. The only difference lies in the subject matter of the stucco moulding, which represents the attributes of a pacific existence - musical instruments, agricultural implements, flowers, fruit and other symbols of the earth's riches. On the stove in one of the niches is the figure of a peacock bird, dedicated to the goddess Juno (in the Hall of War it is the figure of an eagle, dedicated to Jupiter).

The reliefs in the supports of the vaults were executed in 1804 by the sculptors S. Teglev, M. Alexandrov (Uvazhny) and I. Terebenev. The subjects and compositions of the reliefs are mainly based on eighteenth century engravings, among them Diana and Actaeon (S. Teglev) and The Judgement of Paris (I. Terebenev).

The history of the formation and use of The Hall of Peace is analogous to that of the Hall of War. The differences in the decor are also insignificant. In 1797 three ancient busts were placed in the niches. Now there is a portrait of a Roman woman (mid-2nd century AD) next to the doors leading to the next room, the portrait of an unknown Roman woman as Juno (2nd century AD) between the windows and a portrait of the Roman Empress Julia Domna, Emperor Septimius Severus's wife and mother of Caracalla (late 2nd-early 3rd centuries AD) by the arch leading into the Greek Hall.

Whereas the Hall of War had eight standard lamps, here in the Hall of Peace there are eight analogous gilt carved gueridons (stands) with bronze candelabra. The gueridons were recreated after the war from photographs and analogies. Two pairs of gilt candelabra (France, 1785) come from the original furnishings of the interior. The candelabra of dark bronze are French work of the same period and were sel ected for the Hall of Peace after their modern restoration. Fr om 1805 onwards, as in the War Hall, there was a suite of curules (currently being restored). The windows were hung with white curtains with borders embroidered with rose flowers (Lyons, France, 1780s). The borders survive in their original. After 1806, as in the War Hall, there was a large bronze lamp with a semi-circular base (now in the Greek Hall).

Glass tripod sacrificial altars (designed by Andrei Voronikhin, St Petersburg Glass Factor 1810) were placed in front of the windows of the War and Peace Halls in 1810. One of them was lost during the war and the other is currently being restored.


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