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Palaces and museums of Saint Petersburg - Marble Palace

The Marble Palace is one of the most beautiful palaces in Saint-Petersburg. It was     commissioned by Catherine II to Antonio Rinaldi as a present for one of her favorites Count Gregory Orlov. It was decided that the palace would be situated at the end of the Palace Embankment on the north edge of Tsarina’s Meadow (the present-day Field of Mars). It necessary to emphasize that the Marble Palace is faced with natural materials: for the construction of this brilliant sample of the early classic architecture the celebrated architect Rinaldi, who pioneered the use of natural rocks (7 kinds of marble and granite) in the palace’s decoration, accomplished the facades and the interior of the palace in 32 kinds of marble, all arranged with tremendous taste according to subtle shades of color, hence the name of the palace. The facades are decorated with two statues which were made by Russian sculptor Shubin.

As the palace was completed in 17 years his first owner Grigory Orlov did not see its magnificence, because he died in 1783, and the palace was transferred into State Treasury. Then the palace was presented to Catherine’s grandson, Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich who became married. 1832 palace became the property of Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich and was reconstructed by Alexander Brullov. During the reconstruction the interiors of the palace were changed completely. The Academy of the History of Material Culture got the palace after the October Revolution of 1917. Since 1992 the palace is owned by the Russian Museum, the largest museum of Russian  art in the world.

 


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