The name of the room does not mean that its mistress was regularly engaged in her state affairs here. The study was more often used merely for a game of cards in a narrow circle of persons in attendance.
The decor of this room, carried out to Rastrelli's design, did not differ largely from the other interiors - the same silk lining on the walls and gilded carvings on the doors and panels. In the mid-19th century the study was decorated with a sumptuous porcelain mantelpiece, but its ornaments were lost during a fire in 1941.
The study is a sort of family portrait gallery. The portraits of Catherine the Great by Vigilius Erichsen; of Maria Fiodorovna painted by Hans Kligelchen in 1801, the year when her consort, Paul I, was assassinated; and of Elizabeth Petrovna, executed by an unknown Russian painter in the mid-18th century; as well as Philippe Hackaert's painting Neptune's Grotto in Tivoli are of special interest here.
The magnificent gilded armchairs and the sofa were made in the workshop of Georges Jacob, one of the most famous French cabinet-makers of the second half of the 18th century. The secretaire at the western wall was produced by David Roentgen.
The Empress's study.
Portrait of Catherine the Great. Virgilius Erischsen.