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The First Interconnecting Study

Vincenzo Brenna (1797-99) designed the finish to the First Interconnecting Study. This study was the connecting link between the state apartments of the central building and the new rooms of the southern wing over the ground floor colonnade. It was this circumstance that defined the complicated and asymmetrical lay-out of the room, divided into two parts by an arch with slopes of various widths. The walls of the study were decorated with bas-reliefs and stucco moulding. The three oval allegorical bas-reliefs with figures of cupids standing next to sacrificial altars (post-war cast after the restored originals) were repetitions of the medallions adorning the walls of the Old Conservatory at the Lazenka estate near Warsaw (circa 1796), repeated in the Egyptian Pavilion of the Ostankino Palace near Moscow (author of the bas-relief is unknown).

The study was adorned in 1803 with two outstanding bronze sculptural groups - Jupiter Defeating the Titans and Juno Commanding the Winds (Alessandro Algardi (1602-1654), rival of the famous Gianlorenzo Bernini, Italy). As before, the fireplace is decorated with porcelain vases from the Berlin and Ludwigsburg Factories (second half of the 18th century). At the present time, the study contains a unique ebony bureau with insets of gilt mirror glass and drawings in the eglomise technique (J. Zech workshop, St Petersburg, circa 1790).