The marble Palace, one of the most famous buildings of the XVIII century, was built 1768 and 1785 by the order of Empress Catherine II.
The Palace was built by the architect Antonio Rinaldi, marble relief with a portrait which is installed on the wall of the main staircase at the entrance to the Palace. Portrait appeared on the request of the first owner of the Palace of count G. Orlova, Express their admiration for the talent of an architect.
In the middle of the XIX century Palace rebuilt by the architect Alexander Briullov (see “Architecture and interiors”).
Architect N. E. Lanceray, conducted in 1937 reconstruction of premises of the adaptation to the needs of the new Museum, kept largely decorative finish of the historic interiors. However, subsequent updates of the Museum exposition (1969 – gg.) has resulted in further finish was almost completely lost.
A new stage in the life of the Marble Palace began in 1992, when he was transferred to the State Russian Museum. Since that time there has been systematic study and scientific restoration of a unique monument. Restored decor, a historical planning and volumes of premises.
The exposition deployed in the restored halls of the Marble Palace, reflect the role and place of Russian art in the context of the world. Understanding this role allows a better understanding of the diversity of national traditions and originality of Russian masters and at the same time, to feel the traditional pan – European roots.
The artistic process of the XX century are presented in the halls of the Museum Ludwig in the Russian Museum”. One of the world’s finest collections of works by contemporary artists, including Russian, was donated to the Russian Museum the largest German collectors married couple, Peter and Irene Ludwig and displays. This collection reflects many of the characteristic tendencies of modern art, and the appearance of the exhibition in the halls of the Palace, which is part of the Russian Museum, allows to see Russian culture in comparison with the world. This purpose is served and temporary exhibitions of Russian and Western artists, held in the marble Palace.
Part of the exhibition halls of the second floor is occupied by a vast collection of the brothers Joseph and Jacob Rzevskij donated to the Russian Museum by these well – known Petersburg collectors.