The staircase has survivied from the original period almost without alterations. Its name refers to the material used not only for its structural elements but also for its embellishment. Le Blond, its creator, designed the staircase in full conformity with the initial modest project of the palace. The staircase owes its elegance to its decor and especially to the oak balusters skilfully carved by Nicolas Pineau. The portrait of Peter the Great in an oak frame hanging on the wall was executed by the Danish artist Benoit Coffre during the Tsar's visit to Copenhagen in 1716. Peter is represented as a military leader - clad in armour and wearing an ermine mantle, with a ribbon of the Order of St Andrew across his shoulder. The Tsar is holding the marshal's baton in his right hand, with the left one resting on the hilt of a sword. The portrait reminds us once again of Russia's glorious history and of its great reformer, the founder of St Petersburg and Peterhof.
The Oak Staircase.
The Oak Staircase. The portrait of Peter the Great. B.Koffr. 1713 or 1716.