Peterhof Great Palace -Vestibule and Oak Staircase
Entering through the glass doors in the center of the building and crossing the spacious vestibule with a marble floor, you pass through the archway in the west wall and reach the Oak Staircase, which was the Grand Staircase in the old Upper Chambers. The architect Jean-Baptiste Le Blond designed it as a rather narrow three-flight staircase in keeping with the original, modest appearance of the chambers. The exquisite décor and the beautifully carved oak balusters by Nicolas Pineau make the Oak Staircase one of the most interesting specimens of the Petrine architecture.
When another floor was added to the palace in the middle of the 18th century Rastrelli increased the size of the windows and the height of the room by making a large oval-shaped opening in the ceiling through which you could see the painting on the ceiling belonging to that period by Ivan Vishnyakov showing the goddess of the dawn, Aurora, in her chariot.
On the west wall in a richly carved oak frame hangs a portrait of Peter the Great. It is thought to have been painted from life in 1716 by the Danish artist Benoit Coffre during a visit by Peter to Copenhagen.