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This subcollection from the William C. Brumfield Collection -- Photographs of Russian Architecture contains views of the grounds and buildings of the imperial estate of Oranienbaum, located on the Gulf of Finland to the southwest of St. Petersburg. Oranienbaum traded hands many times since their initial presentation to the Prince Menshikov by Peter the Great in 1707. The complex today houses three palaces, multiple pavilions, and a fortress ensemble. The majority of the buildings within Oranienbaum are consistent with 18th century Baroque style, featuring heavy Classical influence, curved plans, elaborate detail, and bright color. Also of note is the popularity of Asian architecture and decoration within Oranienbaum, best seen in the aptly-named Chinese Palace. Though there was neither demand for nor understanding of real Chinese art and architecture, the heavy use of ultra-detailed botanical painting, furniture, and sculptural motifs (termed chinoiserie) throughout rooms of the palace was considered both authentic and highly stylish.
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