The rooms of the southern suite, with their windows overlooking the Upper Gardens, had no particular designation and were often used for hosting guests. They have preserved, with minor alterations, Rastrelli's decor. The main embellishment of these rooms were silk wall-hangings. Each room had a different pattern and colour scheme. As to the splendour and variety of the silk, the Great Peterhof Palace is unrivalled among palatial residences in Russia.
This last room adjoining the central part of the palace was designed in 1770 by Velten as a state bedchamber. The basic plan here is the same as in the Partridge and Divan Rooms. Part of the interior opposite the windows is divided off by a curved partition wall with an arch leading into an alcove which contains the state bed. The arch is decorated with a gilt carved frame topped by a cartouche between flower garlands. There are two side doors surmounted by figured apertures and adorned with gilt carved decorations.
The walls of the room and the alcove are upholstered from the frieze to the skirting-board with authentic Chinese silk painted with various subjects illustrating the making of porcelain. The harmonious colour range, and the fanciful little scenes, at once instructive, amusing and decorative, lend the room a cheerful aspect. The silk is almost three centuries old, but the watercolour and tempera in which it was painted have not faded. In 1964 it was restored by Vasilyeva who filled in the gaps. The frieze and cornice are embellished with gilt stucco mouldings, palmettes and fluting. A painting in the centre of the ceiling depicts an episode of the myth of Venus and Adonis; it is framed by fine grisaille imitating moulded decor, and a garland of roses exquisitely painted in polychrome.
The decor of the Bedroom includes all those elements which characterize a formal palatial interior of the period: gilded carvings, stucco mouldings, painting, and upholstery in precious textiles. The bed of carved and gilded oak in the alcove further adds to the impression of stately magnificence. In the late eighteenth century, the room contained a stand on which the imperial crown reposed under a glass hood during the residence of the court at Peterhof, and this gave the apartment its alternative name, the Crown Room. It was, however, used as a bedroom as well. The ornate bed, made in Southern Germany in the first third of the eighteenth century, is similar in style to those state beds which once used to stand in this room.
The Crown Room.
The Crown Room. Painted Chinese silk. 18th century. Detail of the wall decoration.