The exhibition is dedicated to the 275th anniversary of Dmitry Levitsky.
The famous “Smolyanki” series by the Russian artist Dmitry Levitsky is presented for the first time after the long restoration. The “Smolyanki” series are the seven portraits of students of the Educational Society of the Noble Maidens attached to the Smolny Institute. These portraits that were created in the period from 1772 to 1776 are reasonably regarded as one of the highest achievements of the Russian and European portrait painting of the XVIII century. These paintings are distinguished by the high quality of executing, by depth and fineness of the psychology characteristic. There are also exhibited the materials on the history of restoration of the “Smolyanki” portraits. The restoration started in the second half of the 1990’s and continued during the whole decade. The Russian Museum’s restorers succeeded in maximal approach of Dmitry Levitsky’s paintings to their initial appearance and in revealing the unrepeatable appearance of the author’s picturesque manner that was distorted by the losses and damages or hidden as a result of the earlier restorations.
There are also presented for the first time seven earlier unknown paintings by Dmitry Levitsky. Among them there is the portrait of admiral I. Golenishchev-Kutuzov, the portrait of A. Labzin, Vice-president of the Academy of Arts, and the researcher’s sensational discovery – the portrait of Pavel the First, created not long before the tragic death of this Emperor. Alongside with the art works there are presented the unique musical instruments of the XVIII century and the archive materials presenting the history of the Institute of the Noble Maidens from the moment of foundation to 1917.
The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the State Hermitage, the State Museum Reserve “Peterhof”, St. Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music History, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), the Institute of the Russian Literature of the Russian Academy of Science (the Pushkin House), the Central State Historical Archive of St. Petersburg, the Russian National Library and the private collectors.
The exhibition is supported by OJSC Lukoil and OJSC NOVATEK.