Ulitsa Yunosti 2, Moscow, 111402
The Kuskovo country estate was built in full compliance with the tastes and rules prevalent in the life of the Russian nobility and the 18th century art. This is the compositional center of the Kuskovo ensemble, one of the earliest examples of the summer countryside residences in Russia. According to the design of its owner, count Pyotr Borisovich Sheremetev, the Kuskovo country estate was intended to be larger and more beautiful than the estates of other nobles, and to be no inferior to the tsar’s residences. The construction of the estate was carried out in the 1730 s-1790 s on an area of over 300 hectares, including three parks: the French regular park, the English landscape park and the pond portion, a system of ponds and channels, small and large architectural and park ensembles. The Kuskovo estate was intended specially for guest reception and mass outdoor fetes. The most solemn receptions were held in the Palace.
The Kuskovo Palace was built in 1769-1775 by Moscow architect Karl Blank in the style of early classicism. The Palace was built from wood, the traditional material for Russia, plastered and painted in soft rosy colors. The entrance is made in the form of a high six-column portico with a front staircase and ramps decorated with the sphinx figures. The one-storey building with mezzanines rests on a high stone socle. The Palace’s layout represents an enfilade arrangement of its interiors. All the rooms are consistently grouped into three compositional groups. The largest group of the interiors is located in the western portion of the Palace and consists of 12 state-rooms. The other two groups of the interiors are concentrated in the smaller eastern portion of the building.
The vestibule opens the interiors of the Palace and its main enfilade of state-rooms. The walls are painted in oil spread over a coat of plaster and imitate marble. The niches accommodate vases made of plaster of Paris by renowned decorator Johannes Justus.
The antechamber that is also a reception room reveals the basic principles of the artistic decoration of palace interiors in the 2nd half of the 18th century. An exquisite fireplace and an oven with multicolored tiles demonstrate the European trends and Russian traditions.
Tapestries-verdures made in Flanders at the end of the 17th century depict European specimens of parks and gardens and seem to remind visitors of similar analogues in Kuskovo.
One of the front rooms got its name from the color of its wall drapery and furniture upholstery. The room’s ornament combines the elements of various styles of the 18th century - baroque, rococo and classicism.
The interior decoration is borrowed from France. Exquisite and festive, state bedrooms served as a sort of reception rooms demonstrating the owner’s individual taste.
It opens a series of intimate chamber rooms for personal use. The study was made in honor and memory of Emperor Peter I. The note table is one of the most unique objects in the Kuskovo collection, which has preserved with documentary accuracy the look of the country estate of the late 1780s (marquetry technique).
During festive receptions ladies and gentlemen used this room to make their exquisite toilets. At the center of the room there is a table with the mirror in the modeled porcelain frame. An enameled shaving receptacle and a jug with the handle in the form of a dragon are located nearby The furniture specimens testify to the fact that Chinese art was the object of passion in Europe.
This room with one window and a high divan was a room designed for rest
As a compulsory room in the palaces of the enlightened nobility, the library in Kuskovo acquires the meaning of a study of rarities. The four bookcases kept only favorite books and items linked with science and art.
The every-day bedchamber was designed for rest. To the right there is a fireplace faced with marble and featuring insertions painted by French artists in the Pompeian style. The portraits of the Sheremetev family stress the intimate nature of the interior.
As in all the galleries of the time of Catherine II, the pictures in the Kuskovo country estate are arranged by the color, theme, and size, and almost completely hide the flat walls.
The dancing hall is the artistic and essential center of the Palace’s composition. The dancing hall is undoubtedly one of the masterpieces of Russia’s estate art. The silvery of mirrors and the crystal glitter of lighting devices complement the festive magnificence of the white and gold pattern of the interior.
This room was intended for entertainment. Carved card tables were designed both for card and chess playing.
The center of the composition is the billiard-table made in England in the I770s. The plafond Allegory with the medallions featuring The Seasons of the Year by an unknown Russian artist, the panel Ruins above the fireplace by Italian decorator A. Perezinotti reveal interest in the mythological and biblical themes typical of pictures in the homes of the 18th century Russian nobility.
One of the most ceremonial rooms was designated for festive dinners of selected guests. Each element of the decor is reminiscent of the valor and significance of the Sheremetevs.