Russian Museum
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Main Drawing Room in the Mikhailovsky Palace. Before 1896

Liphart Ernst,
Oil on canvas
64,5 х 53,5

State Russian Museum


The Mikhailovsky Palace, built in 1818–1825 from a design by Carlo Rossi and occupied today by the Russian Museum, had already acquired its pan-European fame as a perfect example of the Empire Style during the architect’s lifetime. On the second floor of the palace, Rossi created a brilliant suite of ceremonial rooms with decorated mirrors, moulding, paintwork, silks, mosaic parquet, and carved gilded furniture. In the late 19th century, the decoration of the halls were seriously damaged during the process of adapting the palace to serve as an exhibition space for the Russian Museum, but in their current appearance, they are able to render the viewer speechless with their simultaneous elegant splendour and classical harmony. The Second Ceremonial Living Room occupied a special place among the rooms, which was also known as the White-Columned Hall or the White Dining Room. In this room, the lady of the palace, Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna regularly held literary and musical evenings that were resplendent with the talents of Russian and European luminaries, among whom were Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt, Mikhail Glinka, Anton Rubinstein, and many others.

Author's Biography

Liphart Ernst

Liphart, Ernst Friedrich von
1847, Derpt– 1932, Leningrad
Painter, watercolourist, engraver, art historian, restorer, author of compositions on religious and mythological themes, decorator. Son of the German art historian and collector Carl Eduard von Liphart. Studied in Derpt (1863–1873) under W. Krüger, E. Steckler, P. Cornelius in Italy and under Franz von Lenbach (Florence, from 1865), studied decorative painting under Gustave Jacquet in Venice (1869–1873), art history under his father Carl Eduard von Liphart, art historians Adolfo Venturi and Wilhelm von Bode; studied at the Académie Julian in Paris (from 1873). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1869). Lived in St Petersburg (from 1886). Member and exhibitor of the Paris Salon (1877–1885 with intervals); Society of Russian Watercolourists (1887–1917), St Petersburg Society of Artists (1894–1915 with intervals). Worked on commissions for the Imperial court. Academician of painting (1893), taught drawing at the Society for the Encouragement of Arts (1885–1896). Full member of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1902). Worked at the Imperial Hermitage (from 1906; from 1908 –officially).

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