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This subcollection from the William C. Brumfield Collection -- Photographs of Russian Architecture contains views contains images of Gatchina, a former imperial estate located in the southwestern suburbs of St. Petersburg. The Gatchina estate was granted to Count Grigory Grigorevich Orlov in 1765 as a reward from Catherine II (the Great) for Orlov’s assistance in her gaining the throne (1762). Architect Antonio Rinaldi began work on the Large Gatchina Palace in 1766, completing his innovative vision of a Medieval English fortress combined with a standard Baroque palace in 1781. After Orlov's death in 1783, Catherine granted to estate to her son and heir Paul. At this stage, the palace interiors were remodeled in an ostentatious Rococo style with detailed molding, gilding, and painting on the both the walls and ceilings. The grounds around the palace, which include Silver Lake, were extensive and provided its inhabitants with the voguish sense of domesticated wilderness. The overall impression of the palace and its grounds is one of pseudo-rugged comfort.
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