The permanent exhibition shows Russian art of the first half of the XIX-th century, the time when St.Petersburg established itself as complex and contradictory unit of the urban and social environment. It was during this period that concept «St.Petersburg Society» was formed, expressed in terms of people and social groups.
St Petersburg is captured in a wide variety of paintings, graphics, sculpture and applied arts of the first half of the XIX-th century. This is above all the case in portraiture, including miniatures and watercolours, techniques seeing a revival at this time; in city scenes, whose staffage can tell much about the curious life and values of the capital city; in the depiction of society functions, celebrations and parades; in the fine grace of figurines of St Petersburg's national and social characters.
Among the works displayed at the exhibition there are watercolours by V.Sadovnikov, J.Charlemagne, C.Collmann, paintings by the Makovsky brothers, series of drawings depicting city types, as well as series of St.Petersburg views by Nurenberg artist Johann Georg Mayr, completed during 1796-1803.
The key art work of the exhibition is the painting «Parade on the Tsaritsa Meadow» by Grigory Chernetsov. The painting depicts St.Petersburg Society in 1830s. This work is almost a complete portrait of St.Petersburg and the St.Petersburg society at one of the most enlightened periods in its history.