Stroganov Palace
The Stroganov Palace is a Late Baroque palace
A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the...

 at the intersection of the Moika River
Moika River
The Moyka River is a small river which encircles the central portion of Saint Petersburg, effectively making it an island. The river, originally known as Mya, derives its name from the Ingrian word for "slush, mire"...

 and Nevsky Prospekt
Nevsky Prospekt
Nevsky Avenue |Prospekt]]) is the main street in the city of St. Petersburg, Russia. Planned by Peter the Great as beginning of the road to Novgorod and Moscow, the avenue runs from the Admiralty to the Moscow Railway Station and, after making a turn at Vosstaniya Square, to the Alexander...

 in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. The palace was built to Bartolomeo Rastrelli
Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli
Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli was an Italian architect naturalized Russian. He developed an easily recognizable style of Late Baroque, both sumptuous and majestic...

's designs for Baron Sergei Grigoriyevich Stroganov in 1753-1754. The interiors were remodeled by Andrey Voronikhin
Andrey Voronikhin
Andrey Nikiforovich Voronikhin was a Russian architect and painter. As a representative of classicism he was also one of the founders of the monumental Russian Empire style...

 at the turn of the 19th century.


The first house for the Stroganovs
The Stroganovs or Strogonovs , also spelled in French manner as Stroganoffs, were a family of highly successful Russian merchants, industrialists, landowners, and statesmen of the 16th – 20th centuries who eventually earned nobility.-Origins:...

 was built on the site probably in 1720s. It was building of one storey. Аrchitect Mikhail Zemtsov
Mikhail Zemtsov
Mikhail Grigorievich Zemtsov was a Russian architect who practiced a sober, restrained Petrine Baroque style, which he learned from his peer Domenico Tresini...

 in 1740s erected second two-storeys house.

In 1752 baron Sergey Stroganov commissioned the palace design from Italian architect Francesco Rastrelli
Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli
Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli was an Italian architect naturalized Russian. He developed an easily recognizable style of Late Baroque, both sumptuous and majestic...

, then at work extending the Catherine Palace
Catherine Palace
The Catherine Palace was the Rococo summer residence of the Russian tsars, located in the town of Tsarskoye Selo , 25 km south-east of St. Petersburg, Russia.- History :...

 and building the Smolny Convent
Smolny Convent
Smolny Convent or Smolny Convent of the Resurrection , located on Ploschad Rastrelli, on the bank of the River Neva in Saint Petersburg, Russia, consists of a cathedral and a complex of buildings surrounding it, originally intended for a convent.-History:This Russian Orthodox convent was built to...

 for Empress Elisabeth. Since the Stroganovs were the richest family in Russia and were related to the Empress by marriage, Rastrelli could not turn down the commission and hastily prepared a design for the townhouse
A townhouse is the term historically used in the United Kingdom, Ireland and in many other countries to describe a residence of a peer or member of the aristocracy in the capital or major city. Most such figures owned one or more country houses in which they lived for much of the year...


Like the Vorontsov Palace
Vorontsov's Palace (Saint Petersburg)
The Vorontsov Palace is a Baroque palace compound which occupies a large parcel of land wedged between Sadovaya Street and the Fontanka River in Saint Petersburg, Russia....

 (also designed by Rastrelli for Stroganov's in-law Mikhail Vorontsov
Mikhail Illarionovich Vorontsov
Count Mikhail Illarionovich Vorontsov was a Russian statesman and diplomat, who laid foundations for the fortunes of the Vorontsov family....

), the Stroganov Palace was built not rapidly. The Main Staircase decorated with marble sculptures led to the elegant Grand Hall, which featured a huge painting by Giuseppe Valeriani, a Venetian artist. After Sergey Stroganov's death in 1756, the decoration was completed by his son Alexander
Alexander Sergeyevich Stroganov
Alexander Sergeyevich Stroganov was a Russian baron and a member of the Stroganovs family. He was a member of the Private Committee of Alexander I and assistant to the Minister of the Interior, a long time President of the Imperial Academy of Arts, director of the Russian Imperial Library and a...

 in 1760. Within several years, the new empress, Catherine II, introduced the Neoclassical
Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome...

 taste. The style was also championed by Alexander Stroganov, who became President of the Imperial Academy of Arts
Imperial Academy of Arts
The Russian Academy of Arts, informally known as the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, was founded in 1757 by Ivan Shuvalov under the name Academy of the Three Noblest Arts. Catherine the Great renamed it the Imperial Academy of Arts and commissioned a new building, completed 25 years later in 1789...

 in 1800.
In the 1790s and first decade of the 19th century, architect Andrey Voronikhin
Andrey Voronikhin
Andrey Nikiforovich Voronikhin was a Russian architect and painter. As a representative of classicism he was also one of the founders of the monumental Russian Empire style...

 was charged with refurbishing the interiors in the Neoclassical style. Voronikhin's mother was the Stroganovs' serf, and it was rumored that his father was Alexander Stroganov. First suites by Voronikhin are Cabinet of Minerals, Picture Gallery, Library and Physical Cabinet for Alexander Stroganov. Another two anfilades in west building was prepared for Pavel Stroganov. Survival is Small drawing room.

After Alexander Stroganov died in 1811, the palace passed to his son Pavel. Pavel Stroganov had four daughters, but his only son was killed in the Battle of Craonne
Battle of Craonne
The Battle of Craonne was fought on March 7, 1814, and resulted in a French victory under Napoleon I against Russians and Prussians under General Blücher.Craonne is a village on the Chemin des Dames, in the département of Aisne....

. He then established the Stroganov entail, i.e., a non dividable estate which would pass to the oldest family member. This chain of ownership was kept until 1919 when last count Sergey Stroganov sold his rights on entail. The new apartment was decorated for Aglaida Pavlovna Stroganov by Carlo Rossi in 1820 (later disappeare almost totally). After the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 in 1917, the remaining Stroganovs emigrated from Russia, and the palace was nationalized. The family is now extinct.

The Soviets declared the palace a national museum chronicling the lifestyle of Russian nobility. In 1929, the museum was shut down, and much of its contents (including some priceless paintings and objets d'art) were taken to the Hermitage Museum
Hermitage Museum
The State Hermitage is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. One of the largest and oldest museums of the world, it was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been opened to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display,...

. The palace was given over to a botanical institute. The Ministry of Shipbuilding occupied the premises for half a century, starting in 1939.

In 1988 the palace was handed over to Russian Museum
Russian Museum
The State Russian Museum is the largest depository of Russian fine art in St Petersburg....

 and became its branch in order to house some of the exhibitions. The dilapidated building underwent a thorough and painstaking restoration process between 1991 and this moment. In keeping with Rastrelli's original design, its walls are now painted light pink (rather than dark green, as they were in the mid-20th century). It is one of the few Baroque structures on Nevsky Prospekt that has preserved its original aspect.


The main façade of the Stroganov palace streetwards to Nevsky Prospect. Here, Rastrelli refuses the cour d’honneur in the French manner, which can be seen in the composition of the Count Vorontsov’s Palace built by Rastrelli in 1744-1750. By this time, Rastrelli develops his own style based on exploring the impressive façade, which implies the presence of three risolites, the subordination of a single center, refusing verticalizing, and stretching the building horizontally. Rastrelly runs through the building with a single mass movement toward the center. He skillfully emphasizes this by subordinating lateral risolites to the central, valiant group of columns that are purely not architectonic, decorative function, deliberate buildup of tension to the center of the plastic front. Plastic expression, increasing toward the center, presents such a favorite architect’s method of a strong concentration in the building. Rastrelly uses the giant order, the method of visual fusion of windows of the second and third floors, typical for the Baroque, the differentiated arrangement of columns, closely adjacent to the wall in order to create a masterful effect and the impressive Baroque façade on the main line of St. Petersburg. There is no doubt that Italian architect Guarino Guarini’s heritage reflected in the work of the Russian architect. It should be mentioned that a treatise on architecture by Guarini Guarini gained popularity in Europe, including remote St. Petersburg. It is likely that the architects who worked at the court of the Russian Empress, and directly Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli who was the chief court architect, were familiar with the basic provisions of this work, and often resorted to constructive methods of its author.
The facade carries an entrance arch supported by two Corinthian
Corinthian order
The Corinthian order is one of the three principal classical orders of ancient Greek and Roman architecture. The other two are the Doric and Ionic. When classical architecture was revived during the Renaissance, two more orders were added to the canon, the Tuscan order and the Composite order...

 columns. The arch is crowned with a pediment bearing the Stroganov's coat of arms. The space between windows in the facade of Stroganov Palace features a man's profile. There is two close to anecdote attempts to identity of this man. According to one version, the man is the first owner of the palace – Baron Sergey Stroganov, whom Rastrelli wanted to surprise. However many historians claim that the famous architect in fact left his own profile on the palace walls. According to second version, Rastrelli decided to put this as an unusual signature to commemorate his work.


  • Noveishii putevoditel po Stroganovskomu dvorcu. Ed. S. Kuznetsov. SPb.: B. S. K., 1995. - 77 p. - ISBN 5-88925-001-9
  • Kuznetsov S. Dvorcy Stroganovych. SPb., Almaz, 1998. - 160 p.
  • Kuznetsov S. Pust Francia pouchit nas "tancovat". Sozdanie Strogonovskogo dvorca v Peterburge i svoeobrazie pridvornoi kultury Rossii v pervoi polovine XVIII veka. SPb., 2003. - 512 p. - ISBN 5-3-3-0010901
  • Kuznetsov S. Ne chuze Tomona. Gosudarstvennaya, mecenatskay< sobiratelskaya deaitelnost roda Strogonovych v 1771-1817 gg. i formirovanie imperskogo oblika S.-Peterburga. Spb.: Nestor, 2006. - 447 p. ISBN 5-303-00293-4
  • Kuznetsov S. Dvorcy i doma Strogonovych. Tri veka istorii. SPb.: 2008. - 318 p. - ISBN 978-5-9524-3471-4

See also

  • Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
    Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
    Belosselsky-Belozersky Palace is a Neo-Baroque palace at the intersection of the Fontanka River and Nevsky Prospekt in Saint Petersburg, Russia...

    was built in the 19th century on the opposite side of Nevsky Avenue as an architectural mirror of Stroganov Palace

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