Military Wiki

The Military Gallery of the Winter Palace, painted by Grigory Chernetsov, 1827

The Military Gallery (Russian: Военная галерея) is a gallery of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The gallery is a setting for 332 portraits of generals who took part in the Patriotic War of 1812. The portraits were painted by George Dawe and his Russian assistants Alexander Polyakov and Wilhelm August Golike.

The top-lit barrel-vaulted hall in which the gallery is accommodated was designed by architect Carlo Rossi and constructed from June to November 1826. It replaced several small rooms in the middle of the main block of the Winter Palace - between the White Throne Hall and the Greater Throne Hall, just a few steps from the palace church. The gallery was opened in a solemn ceremony on 25 December 1826.

Plan showing the location of the Military Gallery within the palace

Less than ten years after its completion, it was destroyed by fire in 1837. The fire burned slowly and Dawe's portraits were saved from the flames. The architect Vasily Stasov recreated the hall exactly as it had been before.

During the Soviet era, the gallery collection was enriched with four portraits of palace grenadiers, the special troops created in 1827 to guard the house for veterans of the Patriotic War. The portraits were also painted by George Dawe, in 1828. More recently, the gallery acquired two paintings by Peter von Hess from the 1840s.

Today, as part of the State Hermitage Museum, this room retains its original decoration.

See also