Plate from the Raphael Service
This dinner plate comes from an important ceremonial dinner service, known as the Raphael Service, commissioned by Tsar Alexander III from the Imperial Porcelain Factory in St Petersburg during the late 19th century. The service was created for the palace at Tsarskoe Selo, near St. Petersburg, and was completed under Tsar Nicholas II in the early twentieth century. The design of the service follows that of the Raphael loggia at the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the pope in Vatican City. The loggia was replicated in a new wing of the Winter Palace at St. Petersburg, between 1787 and 1792, under the rule of Catherine the Great. The three plates in the Dorich House collection, which carry different central motifs, follow the palette and designs of the ceiling of the Raphael loggia.