The Stroganov Palace was built for baron Sergei Stroganov in 1753 by the court architect Francesko Bartolomeo Rastrelly (1700-1771). This was a time when Russian architecture was "trying out" new devices, borrowed from Western Europe and Scandinavian architecture. Foreign architects worked alongside their Russian counterparts on the construction of the capital.
The Stroganov Palace - represent the apex of Russian barouque; original,colourful, and distinnct from west European Baroque. The Palace was passed through several generations of Stroganovs,one of Russians oldest and most illustrious families.
The palace decor was designed by the Italian painter Guiseppe Valeriane,who worked alongside numerous other sculptors, carvers, and gilders.Valeriani's plafond Telemachus on Olympus adorns the Large Ballroom to this day. Thanks to the efforts of its first owner, the pallazzo Stroganoff became a haven of the muses, a depository of works of art and the setting and the setting for diplomatic receptions.
The most famous member of family - Count Alexander Stroganov, marchal of the capital's nobility, Lord High Chamberlein and president of the Academy of Arts - did much to add to the glory of the palace as a "concentration of fine taste". He charge the architect Andrei Voronikhin and Fyodor Demestrov at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries withcardinally changing the face of the state interiors. In place of the former chambers, he created a series of wonderful new rooms,amongst them the eastern enfilade, home to the Mineralogical Study, the Picture Gallery, Library and Phisics Study. The most famous was the Picture Gallery,which Alexender Benois called "the heart of the Stroganov manison". It boasted the masterpieces of Sir Anthony van Dyck, Niclaus Paussin, Cloude Lorraine and Guide Reni, the result of long years of collectings, completed by Alexender in 1793 with his publication of Russia's first picture catalogue. His collections of minerals, medals and coins were equalle outstanding.
Voronikhin designed a series of quarters in the southern and western wings for Alexander's son, Pavel.the most intersting among them are the Little Drawing Room and the Little Library.
The last owner of the palace was Sergei Stroganov. He spent most of his life in Italy and France, where he died at the start of the 1920s.
The Stroganov Palace was nationalized after the 1917 revolution. From 1919 to 1931 it was the Museum of How We Used To Live, which was then abolished. In 1929 the Soviet Government took the tragic decision to liquidate the collections of the Stroganov Palace. Its works of art and minerals and its library were scattered across various museums, some of them vanishing without trace. A military organization took over the palace in the 1930s, closing its doors to the public and art historians alike.
New life was only breathed into the Palace in 1989 when it was transfered to the Russian Museum. The interiors of several state rooms are already accessible to visitors.
Address: Nevsky Prospect,17
for adults - 140 rub.
For childs and students - 70 rub.