The Empress' Bedroom

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Next to the Dressing Room, there is the Bedroom, a spacious rectangular room with three windows overlooking the Private Garden. The corners of the main wall are beveled and slightly extended, forming a kind of a shallow alcove. Elegant corner fireplaces are made of gray-green jasper, with mirrors in gilded frames. This is the most elegant room in the apartments; it is distinguished by a variety of color shades. Its decoration, where the flowers reign supreme, was designed by Andrey Voronikhin in 1805. Along the upper perimeter of the white artificial marble walls, runs a picturesque garland of bright flowers. Around the doors, there are peculiar arches of painted lilac flowers. In the resulting space above the doors, there are chariots of Apollo in a gray-green scale against the background of white artificial marble walls. On the sides of the fireplace mirrors are bouquets of garden and wild flowers. The plafond is a blue starry sky that is framed by painted flower garlands and wreaths. The high cove of the ceiling is very ornate: the white background, on which garlands of flowers form a kind of arches with musical instruments between them. The paintings with floral motifs in the pastoral-romantic spirit of the time were in tune with the attitude of the Dowager Empress. On the main wall, there is a woven portrait of Emperor Paul I in a gilded frame made by the Saint Petersburg Tapestry Manufactory (1799).

Under the portrait of the late Emperor is a widow's bed, made in the fashionable style of the French Empire. It is a low couch sofa with high curved backs with ends in the form of eagle heads and exotic bolster pillows lying at the head. The rounded back is decorated with draperies. An ebony table on elegantly curved legs with unusual bronze ornaments in the form of winged heads stands in front of the bed. A drawing depicting a cave is mounted under the glass cover of the table. This is a true masterpiece of the work of Heinrich Gambs. Next to the bed is another very rare piece of furniture: a mahogany nightstand. There are Latin words “ARA NOCTIS” (Good night) on the door, in gilded bronze letters.

A unique mahogany cabinet stands against the side wall, its base richly ornamented with gilded bronze details. Being an excellent specimen of the workshop of Heinrich Gambs, it deserves special attention. The authentic monochrome embroidery mounted in the round medallion on the cabinet door is also unusual.

Between the windows are French dressers of the 18th century. The porcelain lamp vases of Russian work standing on them are made in the style of antique red-figure vases. On the other side wall, there is an elegant console made by the famous French bronzer Pierre-Philippe Thomire, one of the outstanding masters of the French Empire style. First-class works of French bronze ware of the late 18th–early 19th century are placed everywhere: on the shelves of fireplaces, chests of drawers, consoles, and on the bureau. There are clocks, candelabra, table decorations, and even trivets (decorated firewood stands) at the bottom of the fireplaces.

On the embroidered carpets, there are chairs and banquettes with authentic embroidery of the early 19th century. However, these objects themselves were lost during the war and were recreated from scratch by carvers and restorers A. Vinogradov and A. Khokhlov in 1959.

Sometimes in the morning, the Empress could have a cup of tea or coffee in her bedroom. A small round table of gilded bronze with a blue glass tabletop holds a porcelain breakfast “déjeuner” service for one person, i.e. “solitaire”. This service with gold and purple painting was made at the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory during the reign of Paul I. In the bedroom, Maria Feodorovna kept gifts dear to her heart. Among such relics is the Egyptian breakfast service presented to her by her elder brother King Frederick I of Württemberg in 1815. Sold in the 1930s, in 2015, the service was bought back at an auction and returned to its historical place in Pavlovsk, in the Bedroom of Empress Maria Feodorovna.

The Empress' Bedroom on the floor plane


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