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Russia through the eyes of foreign engravers (1600-1750)

27 April - 01 November 2000
Marble Palace

The exhibition was arranged within the framework of the "Foreign Artists in Russia" permanent exhibition and contains printed graphic works of foreign artists who lived and worked in Russia or were commissioned by Russian rulers. West European metal engraving had long been known in Russia since the XVIth century. Metal engravings were brought for sale to Moscow alongside other goods in the XVIIth century. In the late XVIIth century engravings were commissioned abroad. In 1685 the gala portraits of the tsars Ioann and Peter Alexeyevich were made in Paris from the originals transferred to France through the Russian embassy. On the verge of the XVII-XVIII centuries a Dutch engraver Schenck was commissioned a number of portraits of the Russian statesmen ( Lefort, Golovin).The engraver made one the best portraits of Peter I. The development of metal engraving in Russia and etching in particular is associated with the name of Peter I and dates back to the early XVIIIth century. Peter I regarded engraving as one of the means of propagation of the military triumphs of Russia. PeterI studied engraving under A.Schonebeck and commissioned engravings from the best European masters. In 1740-1750s there appeared a popular trend of sketches on brass based on traditions of Dutch school of engraving, the Armory Chamber and the Publishing House in Moscow. In Saint Petersburg the leading role was played by the Chamber of Engraving at the Academy of Sciences. Throughout the XVIIIth century many foreign masters worked alongside the Russian craftsmen. The exposition contained mostly the works of French, Dutch and German engravers.