RINALDI, Antonio
(b. ca. 1709, Italia, d. 1794, Roma)

General view

Marble Palace, St. Petersburg

Standing between Millionaya Ulitsa and the Neva River at the north-west corner of the Field of Mars, the Marble Palace is among the most impressive of St. Petersburg's former Imperial residences, and arguably the finest work of architect Antonio Rinaldi, a pioneer of Neoclassicism in Russia.

The Marble Palace was originally built for Count Grigory Orlov, who as a young artillery officer had led the conspiracy to dethrone Peter III in favour of the Emperor's wife, the future Catherine the Great. Among the rewards for his support and counsel during the early years of her reign, construction began on the Marble Palace in 1768, and alongside Rinaldi many of the finest foreign and Russian craftsmen and sculptors of the day were employed to provide its intricately decorated interiors. The name of the palace comes from the fact that in total 32 different types of marble were used to create the exterior and interior ornamentation of the Palace.

The photo shows the Marble Palace as seen from the Neva River.