Sankt Petersburg, Russland
The Marble Palace is a unique architectural monument of the second half of the 18th century and is part of the Russian Museum, nowadays.
Built on the place of the Post Yard of Peter the Great's times, it has become a splendid end of the gala Palace embankment of the Neva. The construction of the palace, started in 1768, lasted for 17 years and was completed in 1785. The main construction material of the exterior and interior decorations of the building was a natural stone: granite and marble of different colours, that imparted the palace a unique originality and afterwards gave it the name of the Marble Palace. The Marble Palace amazed contemporaries by its luxury, magnificence of interiors and beauty of sculptural and painterly decorations.
From 1919 to 1936 the palace was awarded to the Academy of the History of Material Culture. In 1937 a branch of the Central Lenin Museum was opened in the halls of the Marble Palace. This new use led to the loss of the décor in the halls on the first floor. The palace's unique fireplaces and decorative fabrics were destroyed. In the halls the artificial marble was painted over, the murals whited over. The Main Staircase and the Marble Room mainly preserved Rinaldi's original interiors. The Main Staircase is decorated with grey Ural marble. The stairs are made of dark grey sandstone. Paris' Judgement plafond by the German painter of the 18th century J. Krist is located in the centre of the Main Staircase ceiling. Stone decoration of the Marble Room amazes by the variety of colours, elegance, richness, perfection of marble's processing, excellent style of its selection and arrangement. Seven marble sorts of Greek, Italian, Ural, Karel and Siberian rocks were used in the decoration of the Marble Room. The room is decorated with bas-reliefs by F. Shubin and M. Kozlovsky and Venus's Triumph plafond by S. Torelli.
A new stage in the life of the Marble Palace began in 1992, when the building was awarded to the Russian Museum. In 2001 the White (Gothic) Room was opened after restoration. It is fit with modern high-tech equipment for holding conferences, symposia and teleconference bridges. In 1995 the Ludwig Museum in the Russian Museum permanent exhibition was opened in the Marble Palace. It was donated by famous German collectors Peter and Irene Ludwig and displays works by European, Russian and American artists. The exposition of the Ludwig Museum in the Russian Museum has constantly increased thanks to acquisitions and donations.
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Main Hall, 100 Sitze