In the past, the outer door of the Anteroom was used as an entrance to the Catherine Block. The decor of this room reflects all the three stages in the construction of the building. Thus, its tiled stove of the mid-eighteenth century stands alongside Quarenghi's Classical fireplace. The mouldings on the walls and ceiling made to his design can be seen next to the Empire decoration of the coves and frieze with painted trophies, lyres, helmets and a representation of the goddess of victory putting a wreath on the altar.
The furnishings in the Anteroom, though seemingly united by the same kind of decor - French lacquerwork with gilded relief details - are nevertheless by different craftsmen of the first quarter of the nineteenth century who worked in keeping with the projects of the leading architects of Russia. Among the latter were Andrei Voronikhin, Carlo Rossi and Luigi Rusca. The two console tables standing by the walls, with carved and gilded bases and with ancient mosaics on their table-tops, came to Russia in the late eighteenth century through the agency of Nikolai Demidov, the Russian envoy to Florence.
The marble statue of Catherine II by Fiodor Shubin stood in the Anteroom as a memory of the historic days of 1762. Lost during World War II, it has been replaced by her statue created by an unknown Russian artist active in the second half of the eighteenth century.
The décor of this small room, at one time used as a passage to the wooden galleries which then adjoined the stone block, is rather modest. Its another name, "Paul's Reception Room", is perhaps connected with recollections of the years Grand Duchess Yekaterina Alexeyevna spent here with her son. Some interesting details to the atmosphere of the period are added by the personal belongings of the Empress, her husband Peter III and their son Paul Petrovich, later Emperor Paul I, who was murdered in the Mikhailovsky Palace in St Petersburg. All these objects were previously kept in the living apartments if the wooden galleries.
A true embellishment of this room is a beautiful furniture set veneered with poplar. It was produced in the 1810s to the design of the famous Russian architect Vasily Stasov specially for Peterhof.
The room derives its name from the colour of its walls. Here, like in other interiors of the palace, the decorative elements dating from the 1780s, such as mouldings, alternate with the Empire painted decor from the first decade of the nineteenth century. Rastrelli's zigzag-patterned parquet floor has survived.
All the furniture of the Blue Reception Room was created in Russia. Of greatest interest are the two chests of drawers produced in the 1790s and decorated with grisaille scenes from Virgil's Aeneid. The piano made at the Johann A. Tischner Factory in St Petersburg recalls the concerts given to the Imperial family and its guests in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.