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Marble Palace is one of the first Neoclassical palaces in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is situated between the Field of Mars and Palace Quay, slightly to the east from New Michael Palace.
The palace was built by Count Grigory Orlov, the favorite of Empress Catherine the Great and the most powerful Russian nobleman of the 1760s. Construction started in 1768 to designs by Antonio Rinaldi, who previously had helped decorate the grand palace at Caserta near Naples. The combination of sumptuous ornamentation with rigorously classicizing monumentality, as practiced by Rinaldi, may be attributed to his earlier work under Luigi Vanvitelli in Italy.
The palace takes its name from its opulent decoration in a wide variety of polychrome marbles. A rough-grained Finnish granite on the ground floor is in subtle contrast to polished pink Karelian marble of the pilasters and white Urals marble of capitals and festoons. Panels of veined bluish gray Urals marble separate the floors, while Tallinn dolomite was employed for ornamental urns. In all, 32 disparate shades of marble were used to decorate the palace.