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Messages - ArchitectCS

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31
Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: St. Petersburg imperial country residences news
« on: November 13, 2009, 10:13:19 AM »
In the video of the palace, the part of the facade with no scaffolding is white. Is this the way they are restoring it?  I thought the AP had always been yellow, going back to at least the beginning of the 19th century if not earlier.  I have to admit, though, that the white really brings out the purity of Quarenghi's architecture.  Does anyone know what the plan is?

32
Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: October 31, 2009, 03:12:45 PM »
Here is some info on the minor enfilade.  Of course it originally was all designed by Rastrelli, but was partially redecorated in 1820 after a fire.  Alexander I had a suite of rooms made for his mother, Maria Feodorovna, though she never used them.  The suite consisted of a Reception Room, Karelian Drawing Room, Blue Drawing Room and a Bedchamber.  I only have pictures of the Karelian or Red Drawing room and the Blue Drawing room.  The whole suite was designed by Vasili Stasov.  If anyone else has photos of the Reception Room or Bedchamber, I would love to see them.  Does anyone know when they will be restored?  I believe they are currently being used for exhibition halls?  If anyone could let me know, I'd appreciate it.

The Karelian, or Red Drawing Room





The Blue Drawing Room.  I have to admit I find this room particularly fine.





Here is some of Stasov's furniture for the Blue Drawing Room:



There is also the bedroom of Alexander I that was originally used by Catherine the Great and was designed by Rastrelli, but I'll save that for another post.

Incidentally, these photos came from the book 'Tsarskoye Selo: The Imperial Summer Residence' (which you can find in the Alexander Palace Book Finder) and 'Tsarskoe Selo: Furniture and Interiors' by Loukomskii. 

33
Personally, I kind of like the idea of a legend where Catherine threw her lovers down the well.  I know, I know-it's not true, but isn't that the fun of legends? 

Also, I have to say that I think the ruin tower looks really ugly now that it has been restored.  I'm a huge advocate of restoring everything to the way it was when it was new, but this seems to be my one exception.  I definitely preferred the bare brick.  Maybe it will look better once the stucco fades and begins to crumble?  I don't ever remember seeing it this yellow with the fake 'cracks' on it in any of the watercolors I've seen from before the war.  But I suppose the restorers know what they're doing.

34
Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: October 13, 2009, 07:20:43 AM »
Thanks Vladimir!  It's so exciting to think we will get to see some of Cameron's interiors restored soon.  I'm especially curious to see what they do for the Lyon Room and the Chinese Hall.  I'm curious to see what time period they restore them to.  The Lyon Room was altered somewhat in the 19th century by Monighetti, who added all that wonderful lapiz lazuli furniture.  I'm sure they'd still include that, but Monighetti altered the ceiling to insert his chandelier, so maybe that will be Cameron's?  As for the Chinese Hall, I've only seen some bad photos and some 19th century watercolors, which show the room looking very Victorian.  Cameron's original design called for a sort of shelf with a recess, but I don't know if that was even built in the first place.

I hope they can figure out something for the glass.  I know that at least one piece of milk glass from Catherine's bedroom survives.  The drew a portrait of one of her lovers on it and it was preserved.  At least her bedroom and the Tabetiere are very small, so that should make things a little easier.

I will post those photos of the minor enfilade soon, probably by this weekend.

Thanks again for the info!

35
Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: October 06, 2009, 03:30:38 PM »
Now that the main enfilade has been almost totally restored, does anyone know what will be done with the 'minor' enfilade that adjoins it?  I know there was a baroque bedroom that was used by both Catherine the Great and Alexander I, as well as some beautiful Neoclassical rooms made for Maria Feodorovna (Paul I's wife).  I'll post some pics of these later, but if anyone has any information, it would be most welcome.

Also, any news on how Catherine the Great's apartments are coming?  Has the Arabesque Hall been completed?

36
Other Palaces / Re: Gatchina Palace
« on: August 28, 2009, 01:50:10 PM »

Vladimir,

Thanks so much for the images! It's very gratifying to see that work on the palace continues.  Maybe one day we will see the palace much as it was under Alexander III.  The image of the ruined Chesme Gallery is very poignant.  It shows both what a beautiful room it used to be and how badly it has been damaged.  Fortunately, there is still so much stucco on the walls that I hope we may someday see it restored very accurately.

Pavlov,

In answer to your question about furniture, not very much of it was saved and Gatchina is having problems getting pieces back from other palaces.  Apparently, before the war Gatchina was the #1 draw and had the most extensive collection of art and furniture, which meant it attracted Soviet attention and much of the collection was sold off.  However, that still left about 70,000 items of which only about 11,000 were evacuated.  When they were brought back after the war, most of them were sent to other museums (over 40, in fact), but scrupulous records were kept and Gatchina is trying to get it all back.  I know that a set of Gobelins has been at Pavlovsk for many years and that Gatchina can't seem to get them back, and I'm sure there are other instances too.  It's fate is really the most tragic of all the palaces. 

I got all this information from the book 'Saving the Tsars' Palaces', which I highly recommend.

37
Other Palaces / Re: Gatchina Palace
« on: August 25, 2009, 07:56:10 AM »
Pavlov,

I'm afraid I don't have exact dimensions of Gatchina, but in size it is most definitely comparable to the Winter and Catherine Palaces.  I've seen Gatchina listed as having 600, 800 or even 900 rooms-don't know which of these figures is closest to the truth, but it certainly conveys the fact that Gatchina is enormous.  I have always thought it was bigger than the Catherine Palace, but I don't have anything to back that up.  Not sure if any of this is helpful (probably not) but I thought I'd answer anyway.

Does anyone have any recent photos of the restored interiors at Gatchina?  Does anyone know which rooms are currently being worked on?

38
The Stroganoffs / Re: The Stroganovs
« on: July 22, 2009, 01:09:57 PM »
Thanks Vladimir.  Too bad more hasn't been preserved.

39
The Stroganoffs / Re: The Stroganovs
« on: July 21, 2009, 12:24:32 PM »

I know that the Stroganov Palace was recently repainted its original pink and that the exterior is basically as Rastrelli designed it.  But does anyone know anything about the interiors?  My understanding is that some of Rastrelli's interiors are still intact, though I know that Voronikhin redesigned some as well.  Has anyone been in this palace?  Any information would be most welcome.

40
Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: July 17, 2009, 11:08:23 AM »
Here, at last, is the Third Anteroom.  My apologies that I dragged this out so much.

Corner of the room with fireplace.



Elevation of the long wall.



Detail of central doorway.



Detail of roundel above a fireplace.



The fantastic ceiling.



Originally instead of Catherine the Great's apartments, there were two more anterooms and an immense staircase at the far end of the palace, which was under a dome and was the main entrance.  The staircase was based on the Ambassador's staircase at Versailles.  I've only ever seen plans of it, but I'm sure it was spectacular.  I'm constantly amazed at the sheer variety Rastrelli existed.  The whole palace was variations on the same theme but with unlimited creativity.  If anyone has any more info on these long-lost rooms, I'd love to hear it.  Do Rastrelli's drawings survive?

41
Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: July 17, 2009, 11:00:09 AM »
Good idea Svetabel.  I'll post it soon.  Sorry I haven't had a chance to yet.

42
I think it would be very interesting if they built the belltower at Smolny.  It would dominate St. Petersburg for miles.  I really don't want the Gazprom tower to be built-why not give them this Baroque 'skyscraper' instead?  My only question is what the final product will look like.  Rastrelli built an enormous model of the whole Smolny complex (which is what the sketch above is based on) but my understanding is that the tower went through a few more permutations and that there was an approved 'final' design. 

43
I can't wait to see this church restored!  I've long thought it was one of the greatest architectural losses of Moscow.  My understanding is that there is a park there now which is named for the architect of the church.  The Soviets admired his great skill, but destroyed his masterpiece because it was a religious structure.  I guess honoring an architect by destroying his work but memorializing his name made sense in Communist Russia. 

Thanks for the great news, Vassia!  Keep us posted, please.

44
Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: June 25, 2009, 11:43:35 AM »

Sorry it has taken me so long to post more pics, but here is what I have for the Second Anteroom.

Some prewar pics.  I know that the titles on the photos say they are the First Anteroom, but the cannot be-just look at the pilaster capitals and the pictures I already posted of the First Anteroom.  As you can see, the room used to have some small fireplaces with heavy rococo mirrors above them and on the opposite wall were those wonderful porcelain etageres.  Both the fireplaces and the etageres were 19th century additions and have not been restored.









Here is what it looks like today.  On one wall there are Rastrelli's stoves and on the other Quarenghi's fireplaces.  I think it is interesting how they tried to create a transition from Baroque to Neoclassical.  I am a little confused as to some of the changes of decor.  The two main wall elevations are very different from one another, but also look quite a bit different restored.  See how one central door now has a window over it?  Then again, a lot of the carved decoration above the fireplaces looks pretty heavy in the old pics, which leads me to believe it was 19th century.





I'm sorry I don't have any more pics of this room.  My boss took a video of it that sweeps from one wall to the other, but I'm having issues putting it on photobucket (not sure why, it took the others).  Can we post video's here anyway? 

45
Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: June 10, 2009, 12:10:14 PM »
Here are a few pics of the First Anteroom that I forgot.

Here is an elevation of one of the side walls.



Here is one looking through the room.  I thought this was particularly interesting because, if you look above the last window, you can see that they left the cherubs unrestored.  It's nice to be able to appreciate how it used to be.



I will post pics of the other two anterooms soon.  Sorry it's taking me longer than I thought.

Vassia-thank you for the wonderful email!  I hope you got my response.

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