The Weapon Gallery

The Weapon Gallery. Designed by V. Brenna (1790s). Display of arms (early 19th century). Water-colour by E. Hau, 1880 THE WEAPON GALLERY replaced an open promenade joining the main and Kitchen blocks. The promenade was constructed by A. Rinaldi in the 1780s. Later V. Brenna walled up the upper floor, cut out semicircular windows, put up paired marble columns along the facades and upholstered the gallery interior in crimson damask. The threadbare cloth was replaced by wood panelling in the 1820s on which a collection of arms was displayed in decorative patterns. The unique collection of the Gatchina Palace includes over a thousand pieces of arms which came from renowned armories of various countries. Each piece is notable for a high technical and artistic level of make, the handicraft displayed in the locks, butt-ends and handles being always of special concern.

Blue steel, mother-of-pearl, ivory, semiprecious and precious stones were widely used for weapon ornamentation. The entire collection was taken to a safe place when the war broke out. It will be displayed again as it used to be upon completion of the restoration work in the gallery.

The Chesme Gallery

The Chesme Gallery. Designed by V. Brenna. 1790s. Water-colour by E. Hau, 1877 THE CHESME GALLERY ranks among V. Brenna's finest creations, its interior glorifying the victory of the Russian Navy off Chesme in 1770. The reserved rhythm of the pilasters adorned with moulded medallions of Roman warriors and fasces, the decorative trophies of arms, the oak leaf garlands, the huge canvases by P. Hackert representing scenes of the naval battle, the standards in stucco-work, and the figure of a victorious eagle above the overmantel mirror - all joined to lend the hall an air of solemn dignity. At the side end of the gallery was the balustered choir section for the orchestra. The gallery overlooks the broad span of the White Lake. The mirrors set between the windows reflected the festive decor of the opposite wall and created an impression of great spaciousness. The semicircular layout of the interior served to enhance its decorative effect.

The Greek Gallery

The Greek Gallery. Designed by V. Brenna (1790s). Water-colour by E. Hau, 1880 THE GREEK GALLERY looked lit with the radiant sun due to the light-orange hues of the walls and the orange-coloured curtains of the semicircular windows. As a kind of reminder of sunny Hellas, golden air hovered in the apartment which intrinsically combined the furnishings and decor details associated with the art of ancient Greece. The walls were adorned with reliefs of dancing bacchantes and medallions showing profiles of antique heroes, moulded bracket carried marble busts of Roman emperors and philosophers and marble statues of antique gods and goddesses were standing opposite the windows. Four large canvases by Hubert Robert depicted architectural sights of ancient Rome. The Greek Gallery completed by Vincenzo Brenna in the 1790s terminated the ceremonial palatial apartments retaining the 18th-century decorations.

A. Elkina, N. Tretyakov

Main Page  •  Preview  •  The Antechamber. The Marble Dining Room  •  The Throne Hall.  •  Rinaldi's Communicating Room. The White Hall  •  The Picture Hall. The Crimson Drawing Room  •  The State Bedroom. The Dressing Room. The Green Corner Room  •  The Weapon Gallery. The Chesme Gallery. The Greek Gallery  •  The Late 18th-century Private Apartments  •  The Lower Dressing Room. The Lower Throne Hall. The Lower Chevalier Chamber  •  The Gothic Gallery. The Chinese Gallery  •  The Oak Chamber. The Arsenal Block Drawing Room  •  The Chinz Chambers  •  The Arsenal Block Drawing Room. The Arsenal Hall

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© Historical Magazine «Gatchina Over the Centuries»