Stroganov Palace Museum
The Stroganov Palace (Dvorets Stroganova) was built in 1752-1754 to the design of Bartolomeo Rastrelli, the greatest architect of the period. It stands on the corner of Nevsky Avenue and the Moika Embankment, keeping strictly in line with the other buildings on these two streets.
The architect’s anxiety not to disturb this line is evident in his treatment of the façades. There is not a single sharply projecting part, and the numerous ornaments merely emphasize the length of the building. In the center of the Nevsky façade there is an arched gateway through which the coaches drove into the front court. A mask in the shape of a lion’s head is inset above the arch which is flanked by double columns supporting a small broken pediment. The platband round the window above the arch is lavishly decorated with stucco moulding and figures of the Atlantes, placed in profile. All the other platbands of the main floor are as decorative, with a lion’s mask at the top and a medallion with a man’s profile in haut relief at the bottom. The ones round the windows of the ground and second floors are much more modest in size and decoration.
The general tone of conversation in Count Stroganov's house had always been, so to say, liberal and somewhat critical; the doings of the Court were a favourite topic. Yet the old Count was always on good terms with the Empress Catherine. She liked to see in him a man who had known her old friends the encyclopaedists, and who was not a stranger to any of the doctrines or sayings of that sect.
Memoirs of Prince Adam Czartoryski, 1832
The two façades of the Stroganov Palace are not identical. The same decorations are used but in different combinations. For instance, the central part of the Moika façade is offset by six semi-columns, uniting the two top floors, and the corner of the building is rounded off with pilasters.
The interior of the palace was completely done over in the 1790s by Andrei Voronikhin, a brilliant Russian architect who began life as a serf of Count Stroganov. The exterior has remained unchanged.
Part of Russian Museum
The Stroganov Palace is now part of the Russian Museum.