IMPERIAL SAINT PETERSBURG: FROM PETER THE GREAT TO CATHERINE II
From July 17 to September 12, 2004
The "Imperial Saint Petersburg: from Peter the Great to Catherine II" exhibition evokes the first century of the city's existence, from Peter the Great's decision to build a port on the banks of the Neva in 1703 until the death of Catherine II in 1796.
More than 600 works were compiled, including religious art, paintings, tapestries, carriages, furniture, ceremonial clothing, goldworks and tableware, mainly from the collections of the Hermitage Museum and the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts. Spectacularly-sized 18th-century models reproducing Rastrelli's Smolny convent and Saint Isaac's Church by Italian architect Rinaldi are also presented. There is true alchemy between the curator, Brigitte de Montclos, chief heritage curator and Russian specialist, and scenographer François Payet, who has reconstructed this magical and grandiose world.
The staging allows you to experience the spectacular dimensions of the city of St. Petersburg, which appeared out of nowhere upon the command of the tsar, and to recreate the atmosphere and splendours of court life under the reign of Catherine II, a great collector and enlightened lover of art.