This publication features 200 magnificent portraits, costumes, cameos, plus porcelain, glass, metal, and polished stone collected by Empress Catherine (1729-96), who deservedly earned the title, "the Great."
Catherine not only instituted major social reforms and exhibited political prowess, but she sent her agents throughout Europe, collecting art on a scale unimaginable today - scooping up so many treasures that England and France issued laws forbidding the export of large quantities of their art. She commissioned works from artists, and under her art patronage academies, journals and libraries were established.
The works here are from a singular exhibition in Edinburgh that was developed by the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, which Catherine had built, and the National Museums of Scotland. The empress and her contemporaries were prolific writers of letters, journals, diaries and memoirs, and quotes from this rich legacy and the illustrated essays reveal Russia as it takes its first steps towards Westernization.
Empress in Waiting
The Small Hermitage
Art of War
Art and Architecture