The 1723 baroque Kadriorg Palace follows trends in French baroque chateaux, while the interior reflects Italian baroque influences. The project was designed and directed by wellknown Italian architect Niccolo Michetti. Artists from Stockholm, Riga and Tallinn worked alongside Russian and Italian craftsmen. It was to be the Russian imperial family's summer home and it was used as such by most of Russia's successive rulers.
The ballroom is one of the most beautiful in Estonian and Northern European baroque architecture. The main hall spanning two stories is ornamented by lavish stucco work, Peter and Catherine's monograms are painted above the hearths and there is a grand elliptical ceiling painting inspired by Ovid's Metamorphosis.
The palace's vestibule and several rooms and fireplaces retain their 18th century appearance.
In 1929, the palace became the home of the Estonian head of state, a banquet hall was added and several rooms were redesigned in a national romantic style.
The Estonian Museum of Foreign Art's collection includes more than 900 Western European and Russian paintings, drawings, sculptures and modern art from the 16th to 20th centuries. The painting collection is centred around about 100 Dutch Masters from the 16th to 18th centuries.There is also an abundance of German paintings, while Italian art is represented by such masters as Bernardo Strozzi and Francesco Trevisani.
Russian porcelain painting from the 18th and 19th centuries and Russian academic realist paintings from the late 19th century-Ivan Shishkin, Ivan Aivazevsky and lIya Repin et all have a significant role in the collection. Also on display: furniture and media such as porcelain, glass, metal. Baltic German graphic art associated with Kadriorg and environs is presented in a separate room, offering insight into the area's historic significance in the local cultural context. The silver vault contains the work of gold- and silversmiths from Estonia, Russia and England.