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16 February 2018 – 28 May 2018

Saint Petersburg, State Russian Museum

Organized by:
State Russian Museum 
State Russian Museum, State Historical Museum, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, State Tretyakov Gallery, State Hermitage, The Moscow Kremlin Museums, State Museum and Heritage Site ‘Pavlovsk’, State Museum and Heritage Site ‘Peterhof’, State Memorial Museum of A.V. Suvorof and many other museums, archives and private collections

Pieces from the Orlov service

The Moscow Kremlin Museums participate in the exhibition held at the State Russian Museum, that offers a perspective on how Russian internal and geopolitical transformations, related to the reign of Empress Catherine the Great, were reflected in art. 

 The layout provides insight into the epoch of Catherine II and into the changes in social and political life, science, culture, military arts etc by bringing together over five hundred unique works from the leading Russian museums, archives and private collections. Among them are paintings, drawings, sculptures, works of fine and applied arts, dresses and archival documents.

The display includes full-dress portraits of Catherine II, painted by prominent artists of that time, as well as allegorical paintings where the Empress is represented in the likeness of Minerva.

 The Moscow Kremlin Museums present pieces from the Orlov service, executed by Jacques-Nicolas Roettiers (1736-1788), a renowned silversmith of Louis XVI. One of the most significant services of that time, comprising over three thousand items made of silver-gilt and silver, was granted to Count Gregory Orlov by the Empress in 1772 and named after him. On Gregory Orlov’s death the set was bought back for the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, and in 1924 it came into the collection of the Armoury Chamber. The service was made up of a soup tureen, wine and wine glass coolers, candleholders, shell-shaped plates for oysters, egg cups, fish servers, various dishes and other pieces. On display will be a silver soup tureen, wine cooler, candleholder with bobéche, a pair of oyster plates and a silver-gilt plate from the dessert part of the Orlov service. 

The exhibition is complemented with a unique exhibit from the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums—ormolu table clock in the shape of a lyre. Such clock got widespread in the epoch of Louis XVI. Chest-high portrait of Catherine II in profile traces back to the portrait made by the medallist I.B. Gass, who had been working in Saint Petersburg from the 1760s.