The pantry belonged to the personal apartments of the Empress in the Great Palace (the Catherine Palace) and until 1761 formed part of the Dressing-Room of Empress Elizabeth. In the mid-1800s the room was divided by a white damask partition, behind which a servants’ pantry was arranged during dinner parties.
The present interior of the Pantry has been completely restored after the wartime destruction. The walls are lined with white cloth in carved and gilded frames. In the corner stands a tile with painted tiles. The doors are adorned by gilded dessus-de-portes with fantastic Baroque carving. On the wall between the windows that overlook the palace’s parade-ground is a mirror in a carved and gilded frame with two candle sconces.
On the ceiling now is a painting by the well known Italian artist Pietro da Cortona (1596–1669). Catching Corals was transferred to Tsarskoye Selo from the stocks of the State Hermitage in the post-war period. Two decorative compositions in the grisaille technique depict putti with garlands of flowers and cupids on a dolphin. The painted insets are enclosed in exquisite stucco ornament in the form of twining shoots.
The furniture in the Pantry dates from the eighteenth century: there are Baroque armchairs made by Russian craftsmen at the same time as the carved decoration of the palace halls; a French marquetry chest of drawers and bean-shaped tables made in St Petersburg workshops, one of which specialists associate with Catherine II’s court furniture-maker Christian Meyer. This room also contains two eighteenth-century Western European still lifes and two animal compositions by the artist Johann Friedrich Grooth that were painted in the mid-1700s for the Monbijou pavilion at Tsarskoye Selo.