Pavlovsk Palace near St Petersburg, Russia is the summer residence of one of the happiest couples among the Russian monarchs – Paul I and his wife Maria Fyodorovna – are known for its exquisite style of both -the outside architecture and its interiors. For Maria Fyodorovna, under whose guidance worked famous European and Russian architects – this palace was first and foremost a family nest. That’s why she devoted all her love and passion to make the residence luxurious and stylish but at the same time comfortable and welcoming.
During their honeymoon trip to Europe The Grand Duke and The Grand Duchess du Nord (fake names that the just-married took to travel in disguise in Europe) visited various workshops and purchased precious pieces of art – statues, paintings, pieces of furniture, etc.
Today their palace is a museum, one of the pearls of the Russian architecture from the late 18th century until beginning of the 19th century. Especially for this year the museum curators inaugurated an exhibition with the aim to show a rich collection of Florentine mosaics in Pavlovsk. The Florentine mosaic technique was created in Italy during Renaissance. The idea was to use different types of marble which was in abundance in the country to decorate tables with pictures of serene landscapes, still-lives and allegorical scenes. It is one of the most time and labour-consuming techniques when the master has to choose thoroughly the stones taking into account their colour, shade, shape and other natural characteristics. Then each piece of stone is carved, filed, and measured to connect perfectly with a neighbouring one.
The Florentine mosaic exhibition in Pavlovsk Palace will be open until December 31st, 2015 and various mosaics and table tops are represented. Ten of them – those in golden frames – were bought by Grand Duke Paul and his wife in Europe. Russian artisans also adopted this technique and some of their works dating back to the 19th century are also shown at the exhibition. If Italian masters used mainly marble, Russian craftsmen praised the beauty of the Russian stones such as jasper, rhodonite and malachite.