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The Small Study

The decoration and furnishings in the Study, like in all other interiors of the Cottage Palace, suggest an imitation of a medieval style. The sash of the bay window and the carved screen are adorned with coloured glass in imitation of medieval stained-glass windows. Characteristic ornamental patterns shaped as arches, finials, trefoils, spires, towers and pyramids can be seen on articles made of porcelain, bronze, wood and cast-iron. The infatuation with Gothic is also reflected in the subject matter of pictures which are hung in the Study: for example, Franz Kriiger's watercolour of 1829 shows the Prussian Prince William, brother of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, as a knight bound in armour, and a portrait executed by the court painter Timofei Neff in the late 1830s features Olga Nikolayevna, Nicholas I's daughter, the future Queen of Wurtemberg, in a medieval costume against a lancet window.

On the writing desk stands a portrait of Alexandra Feodorovna depicted in the Study by Woldemar Hau in 1834. The Empress was engaged here in her activities connected with charity and patronage of such institutions as hospitals, asylums for poor and educational establishments for women. She had an extensive correspondence, writing to her relatives once a week; she also diligently recorded in her notebooks and diaries her thoughts and described various events; she also practised needlework. The room contains many personal belongings of Alexandra Feodorovna, presents, souvenirs and family relics. She took especial care to keep the memory of her mother Louisa whose portrait (a 1810 copy from the original by Angelica Kauffmann) can be also seen in the interior. Inside a special case is a porcelain cup decorated with a golden ornament and enamel - Queen Louisa had used this cup for drinking milk shortly before her daughter's birth. The queen died before her time. On the window is a bronze copy of her tombstone, executed after the 1827 model by the famous German sculptor Christian Daniel Rauch.

The bronze gilded statuette of the Empress's father, Frederick William III, was produced by the Prussian court jeweller Johann Georg Hossauer in 1852. Hossauer made for Alexandra Feodorovna in 1830 the so-called "Potsdam Goblet", a silver vessel bearing enamel representations of the arms of participants in the "Magic of the White Rose" tournament held at Potsdam in her honour in 1829. On the table is an exquisite mother-of-pearl clock in the form of rose. A twig of silver roses, also a work by Hossauer (1829), can be seen on a shelf. In 1852 Hossauer created for Alexandra Feodorovna a rose bush of silver and ormolu.

Displayed in the Study are paintings by the Empress's daughters - A View from a Window of the Arsenal at Tsarskoye Selo by Maria Nikolayevna (1835) and A View in the English Park at Peterhof by Alexandra Nikolayevna (1841). Also on display here are engraved portraits of the Empress's brothers, Crown Prince Frederick William and Prince Karl-Alexander as well as a marble bust of Alexandra Nikolayevna produced by Ivan Vitali in 1847.




The Small Study.


The Small Study.
Portrait of Empress
Alexandra Feodorovna.

The Small Study.
The cup of Queen Louisa.
Paris, France.
Late 18th century.

The Small Study.
Rose bush in a pot.
Berlin, Germany.
By Johann Gearg Hossauer.
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