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Drawings and Water-Colours. 18th Century

24 March - 23 May 2005
Mikhailovsky Castle

The Drawing and Watercolours in Russia. The Eighteenth Century exhibition was the first stage of the large Three Centuries of Russian Drawing exhibition project. The aim of the project was to show the masterpieces of national drawing of the 18th - 20th centuries. The State Russian Museum owns the most complete and multifaceted collection of drawings and watercolours by Russian artists. Each exhibited sheet is now a precious treasure. Most of the sheets have been exhibited for the first time. The exhibition included drawings by painters, sculptors, engravers and architects, both famous and unknown, Russian and foreign whose creative oeuvre was associated with Russia. It put on display the works by M. I. Kozlovsky, M. F. Voinov, I. E. Starov, S. I. Lukyanov, S. F. Schedrin and G. S. Sergeyev, I. A. Yermenev, J.-B. Le Prince, A. N. Voronokhin and G. A. Quarenghi, A. P. Losenko and L.-J.-F. Lagrénée. The earliest work among those exhibited was a panegyric decorative frame to Peter the Great by Alexei Zubov (1712) - the only drawing by the renowned Russian engraver of the first quarter of the century. The visitors had a rare opportunity to see the famous St Petersburg views by Mikhail Makhayev (1750s). The portraits of Catherine the Great by Fedot Shubin and Dmitry Levitsky and such significant works as Self-Portrait (in the Cabinet of Engravings of the Hermitage) by Gavriil Skorodumov ranked high on the exhibition. The exposition contained the recently attributed works such as the drawings by I. F. Tupylev. Yevgenia Ivanovna Gavrilova (1927-2002) as a well-known specialist in the field of the Russian drawing of the 18th century spent many years engaged in the research lying at the heart of the exhibition. A catalogue for the exhibition has been published.