Thursday, 17 November 2016

Book-Lined Staircase to Green Dining Room

In 1840, A. Briullov designed an interior staircase between the Gold Drawing Room and the White Hall in the apartments of Empress Marie Alexandrovna on the 2nd floor of the Winter Palace.

As the rooms of the Empress had no space for books, she arranged bookcases on the walls of the staircase landing. I have a design of the staircase from the 1840s showing the wide width of the landing, from the northeast corner of the Gold Drawing Room. It is the same as the corridor to the White Hall and HM Own Staircase.

There was no dining room in the apartments of Alexander II and Empress Marie. They ate their meals with Nicholas I’s family in one of the three dining rooms in Empress Alexandra’s suite.

In 1850, A. Stakenschneider demolished the staircase and created the green dining room in the rococo style we see today.

Photograph (below) of the Green Dining Room today

L. Premazzi’s 1852 Watercolor (below) of the Green Dining Room. The clock is part of the fireplace rocaille set and I have photos from past decades of it on the mantel.

There are no windows in the dining room. The three doors that led to the Gold Drawing Room, White Hall and service pantry allowed the architect to add three fake doors for symmetry. The table extended to seat the 24 chairs.

I continue my search for information on where the bookshelves were moved to after the renovation. Is it possible that the bookshelves shown below in the Hermitage today were originally on the Empress’ staircase landing?


  1. Joanna,
    You said you would do a post about The Green Dining Room and you did and it was great! It was interesting to learn that previously there was a stair case there and the apartments of Alexander II and Empress Marie had no dining room, did they ever use it after A. Stakenschneider created it?
    The Green Dining Room was always a puzzle to work out where it was, having only L. Premazzi’s 1852 Watercolour to work from, I would stare at the picture then look at the floor plan and couldn’t work it out, look at the picture again, then re-look at floor plan and still couldn’t work it out, logic was telling me it was next to the Golden Drawing room but I could see in the mirrors what I thought were windows which made me think it had windows and the doors kept throwing me as well, so back to my hamster wheel I went, going ‘round and ‘round. It wasn’t until I tweaked that the image of the window in the mirrors was possibly (?) a window in The White Hall which made me realise its only place could be next to the Golden Drawing room, then when you put out the floor plan you confirmed it for me to which I was very thankful for. :)

  2. Alexander II and Marie still dined in Alexandra's apartments until her death in 1860 and after used same, Pompeian and Moorish. Marie used the green dining room for gatherings of guests, she held literary and musical salons in the Gold Drawing Room, etc.