Stroganov Palace

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The Stroganov Palace (Russian: Строгановский дворец) is a Late Baroque palace at the intersection of the Moika River and Nevsky Prospect in St. Petersburg, Russia. The palace was built to Bartolomeo Rastrelli’s designs for Baron Sergei Grigoriyevich Stroganov in 1753-1754. The interiors were remodeled by Andrei Voronikhin at the turn of the 19th century.

The first house for the Stroganovs was built on the site probably in the 1720s. It was a one-storey building. Аrchitect Mikhail Zemtsov erected a second, two-storey house on the site in the 1740s.

In 1752, Baron Sergei Stroganov commissioned the palace design from Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli, then at work extending the Catherine Palace and building the Smolny Convent 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.[1]

Like the Vorontsov Palace (also designed by Rastrelli for Stroganov’s in-law Mikhail Vorontsov), the Stroganov Palace was not rapidly built. The Main Staircase decorated with marble sculptures led to the elegant Grand Hall, which featured a huge painting by Venetian artist Giuseppe Valeriani. After Sergei Stroganov’s death in 1756, the decoration was completed by his son Alexander in 1760. Within several years, the new empress, Catherine II introduced the Neoclassical taste. The style was also championed by Alexander Stroganov, who became President of the Imperial Academy of Arts in 1800.

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