In this extensive room, with its huge windows overlooking the Gulf of Finland, Nicholas I used to receive reports of ministers and generals and the commandant of Peterhof. On the writing tables are ink sets, stamps of rock crystal and topaz bearing the coat of arms of Alexandria, a small state stamp, a paper weight, bells and other objects related to the Emperor's activities. But the main place where he was engaged in state affairs was Peter the Great's Oak Study in the Great Peterhof Palace. The Emperor used to walk there early in the morning almost every day. Nicholas admired his great ancestor and thought himself to be the follower of Peter's policy aimed at strengthening the Russian statehood. There are two portraits of the founder of Petersburg in the study - a miniature of 1809 by Francois Soiron and an equestrian portrait of Peter by an unknown eighteenth-century painter.
A tribute to the memory of Peter the Great was the decoration of the walls with paintings by the Small Dutch Masters of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries which Nicholas I himself chose from the collection of the Imperial Hermitage. These are works by Adam Silo, the marine painters Jan van Goyen, Julius Porcellis, Arent Arentsz, Simon de Vlieger, Ludolf Backhuysen and others.
The portraits of Alexander I (1826) and his wife Elizabeth Alexeyevna (1828), both executed by the well-known English portrait painter George Dawe, remind about the Emperor's family attachments. The portraits of Nicholas's parents, Maria Feodorovna and Paul I, his brothers and sisters, and of the heir to the throne are represented in miniature works created by the famous Russian and Western European masters Grigory Chernetsov, Alois Rockstuhl, Anthelme Francois Lagrenee and Henri Benner. The study houses numerous sculptural portraits of the members of the Imperial family - a bust of Alexandra Nikolayevna modelled by Ivan Vitali in 1844, a bust of Alexandra Feodorovna by an unknown artist, busts of the Emperor's sons Alexander, Konstantin and Nikolai and his daughters Maria, Olga and Alexandra created in 1831-32 by the German sculptor Karl Wichmann, as well as a statuette of Olga Nikolayevna wearing a Russian court dress, a work produced by Henri Trodoux in the 1840s.
Next to the Study are rooms of the Emperor's daughters. The three daughters had lived in the palace together with their parents until they married. After they had left the Cottage for ever, the design of some rooms was altered.
The Large Study.
The Large Study. Unknown artist. Portrait of Louisa, Queen of Prussia. Late 18th - early 19th century.
The Large Study. Simon de Vielger. The Stormy Sea. First half of the 17th century.