THE LARGEST exhibition in Lisbon of elements from the Imperial Russian art collections in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, will go on display in October.
It will be officially inaugurated by the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and Portuguese President Cavaco Silva.
The exhibition, entitled ‘Art & Culture in Imperial Russia – Peter the Great to Nicholas II’, will be open to the public on October 26 until February 17 in the Dom Luís Gallery at the Palácio Nacional da Ajuda.
The priceless collection, estimated to be worth 1.5 million euros for insurance purposes alone, contains around 500
as-yet-unspecified pieces including painting, sculpture, weaponry, jewellery and porcelain.
One of the greatest art collections in the world, the Hermitage includes not only a vast panorama of Western European painting from the Renaissance to the 20th century, but also the fabulous jewelled and enamel Easter eggs which the Imperial families of Tsar Alexander III (r.1881-1894) and Nicholas II (r.1894-1917) presented to one another each year.
The collection is so large that only around 10 per cent of the collection is on display at any one time, most of it being held in vast depositories beneath the complex of riverside palaces which make up the Russian museum.
This will be the first of three exhibitions to be held in Portugal. The next is to be held at the Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis in Porto in 2008.
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