Recreation of the interiors of the Maple Drawing Room in the Alexander Palace

PHOTO: view of the sofa, recreated for the Maple Drawing Room
© Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Reserve

This is the second of two articles on the recreation of the Maple Drawing Room, one of the personal rooms of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna situated in the eastern wing of the Alexander Palace. The first article The History and Restoration of the Maple Drawing Room in the Alexander Palace, was published on 25th November 2020.

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PHOTO: view of the recreated Maple Drawing Room
© Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Reserve

The recreation of the textile decoration for the Maple Drawing Room in the Alexander Palace is nearing completion, The craftsmen relied on small fragments of fabrics and historical photographs which had been preserved in the storerooms of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum.

The interior decoration of the Maple Living Room is a classic example of Art Nouveau. The room features: moulding, carving, stained glass framed by a fireplace mirror and artistic textiles, which are best described as a “vividly manifested synthesis of the arts”.

The Art Nouveau style is also reflected in the design of the fabric textiles: curtains on the windows and the doorway to the adjacent Pallisander (Rosewood) Drawing Room, furniture upholstery, in particular, on the corner sofa under the mezzanine and the bracket-shaped sofa – elements which add elegance to this room.. 

PHOTO: view of the recreated Maple Drawing Room
© Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Reserve

The corner sofa under the mezzanine is covered with greenish-olive moire silk with a pattern of stylized lilies and leaves in the form of hearts. The same fabric upholstered the panel of the wall under the mezzanine with a jardiniere [flower box].

The brace-shaped sofa, situated in the center of the room is covered with a pink silk lampas fabric decorated with a fawn pattern of plant shoots and roses.

PHOTO: recreated knurled white silk curtains with lace ornaments
© Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Reserve

On the windows are knurled white silk curtains with lace ornaments and pink silk curtains with gold ornaments, made at the Sapozhnikov brothers factory in Moscow. Fabulous motifs in fabric ornamentation are highlighted with lily branches, rose bushes, and sirin-birds.

The floor in Empress Alexandra Feodorovna’s Maple Drawing Room was covered with a stitched gray-green beaver carpet. This design made it possible to replace individual elements of the carpet, which over time wore thin. The recreated stitched carpet of New Zealand wool covers an area of ​​182 m2 and weighs 400 kg. A fragment of the reseda-green carpet from the early 20th century, which had been preserved in the palace storerooms, allowed experts to recreate the carpet.

PHOTO: recreated fabric for the Maple Drawing Room
© Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Reserve

PHOTO: recreated fabric for the Maple Drawing Room
© Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Reserve

PHOTO: recreated fabric for the Maple Drawing Room
© Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Reserve

The fabrics for curtains and upholstery were made by RUBELLI in Italy. Models were made from the recreated fabrics and the curtains were sewn at the “Le Lux” factory in St. Petersburg. The carpet, metallic braid and lace inserts were made at the “RE KON ART” factory in Poland.

Various pillows for the sofas and armchairs complemented the upholstered furniture for this room. The brocade pillows were made by the Sapozhnikov brothers’ manufactory, and velvet pillows decorated with peacock feather ornaments, are the works of students of the Stroganov School, as well as a purple pillow made of a veil-type shawl. 

In the future, various pieces of furniture will be recreated for the Maple Drawing Room, with fabrics made according to historical patterns.

NOTE: all photos © Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Reserve

© Paul Gilbert. 11 March 2021

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Fifteen interiors situated in the eastern wing of the palace, are now scheduled to open to visitors in 2021. Among the recreated interiors are the New Study of Nicholas II, Moorish Bathroom of Nicholas II, Working Study of Nicholas II, Reception Room of Nicholas II, Pallisander (Rosewood) Living Room, Mauve (Lilac) Boudoir, Maple Drawing Room, Alexandra’s Corner Reception Room, the Imperial Bedroom, among others.

In the future, the Alexander Palace will become a memorial museum of the Romanov family – from Catherine the Great to Nicholas II, showcasing the private, domestic life of the Russian monarchs who used the palace as an official residence. The eastern wing of the palace will be known as the Museum of the Russian Imperial Family. The multi-museum complex, which includes the Western wing is scheduled for completion no earlier than 2024.

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Dear Reader: If you enjoy my articles on the history and restoration of the Alexander Palace, then please help support my research by making a donation in US or Canadian dollars to my project The Truth About Nicholas II – please note that donations can be made by GoFundMePayPal, credit cardpersonal check or money order. The net proceeds help fund my work, including research, translations, etc. Thank you for your consideration – PG

 

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