The Bedroom of Peter the Great is located between the Wardrobe Room and the Study in the centre of the east suite of the palace. It has only one window overlooking the west. This room was multifunctional - Peter had a rest, worked and received his guests in it.
The walls of the Bedroom are lined with green wallpaper. They serve as a good background for a large canopied bed, upholstered and draped with dark green woollen fabric called flachtuch. The bed is covered with a patchwork quilt which was sewn for the Tsar, as legend has it, by his wife Catherine I.
Next to the bed are two metal braziers which used to be filled with coals. One of the braziers standing on a platform was intended for heating feet. The other one hanging from the wall, with a long handle, produced in Holland in the first half of the eighteenth century, was used for warming the bed before sleeping. As witnessed by those who knew Peter the Great closely, he got up very early - about four o'clock in the morning - and ordered "to bring him business papers, then had a breakfast and at six drove out in a gig or rode a horse to reach the working sites or structures". After dinner he was busy with the papers again and then had a nap for a couple of hours. The Tsar was so industrious that he did not cease to work even during his sleep. Waking for a short time and sometimes not once during a night, he would call a valet who was always nearby and order him to record on a slate blackboard the thoughts which occurred to him. In the morning he copied them into his notebook.
The Tsar's business papers and notebooks were preserved in special cabinets. In the Bedroom stands a cabinet of Italian work dating from the second half of the seventeenth century. It is decorated with engraved ivory plaques and has a large number of sliding drawers including secret ones.
The historically unique objects of the palace include Peter's screen which separated the bed from the rest of the room. Datable to the first quarter of the eighteenth century, it is bound with stamped leather and decorated with polychrome painting in the chinoiserie style testifying to European artists' interest in Chinese art. Earlier this screen was at the Peterhof palace of Monplaisir. Such screens were usually used as a protection against draughts.
The decor of the bedroom has a memorial character. The glazed showcase displays an everyday costume of Peter the Great cut according to the European fashion of the 1710s and 1720s: it consists of a juste-au-corps and culottes sewn of a brown cloth and embroidered in light brown silk, with buttons braided with the same silk thread. Contemporaries witnessed that the Tsar himself wore very modest clothes, not forbidding his grandees, however, to array themselves in rich garments.
A magnificent bureau panelled with mahogany, an English work of the early eighteenth century, stands near the window. The shelves of its upper tier are used to display rarities and eighteenth-century books on history, geography, physics, mathematics, philosophy and metrology. Part of them dating from the Petrine age, are in Dutch, German, Latin and French. Peter had a fairly good command of the first three languages and could understand French too, but would not like to speak it. Besides the books, the bureau contains various objects of decorative and applied art of the eighteenth century produced by European, Russian and Chinese master craftsmen. These are articles of china, ivory, amber and metal. Worthy of special interest among them are amber caskets produced in Poland at the end of the seventeenth century. Such artistic objects came to Russia as diplomatic gifts from German kings and electors.
On the unfolding cover of the bureau is a copper candlestick once owned by Peter the Great and dated 1711.
Placed between the vases is the figure of a Chinese, Pagoda, produced at the Meissen Factory in 1722, one of the best exhibits in the palace painted in bright varicoloured enamels.
The Bedroom. Costume of Peter the Great. 1710s-1720s.
The Bedroom. Kornelisz Geismans. A winter Town Scene. Holland. Early 18th century.
The Bedroom. Bureau. England. Early 18th century.
The Bedroom. Caskets. Gdansk. Late 17th century.
The Bedroom. Vessel for sake. Royal Porcelain Factory, Meissen. 1725.
The Bedroom. Pagoda. Royal Porcelain Factory, Meissen. 1722. Modelled by G. Frietzsche.