The exhibition presents one of the most interesting and large private collections that became part of the Russian museum collection and in many respects determined its character.
Alexei Romanovich Tomilov (1779-1848) became a prominent art collector in the early XIXth century. In his hospitable house in St. Petersburg and in his manor at Uspenskoye (near Staraya Ladoga) such artists as O.Kiprenskiy, A.Orlovsky, A.Egorov, J.Kvarengi, T.de Tomon, and later P.Zabolotsky, A.Chernyshev, I.Aivazovsky and others used to gather and sometimes stayed for a long time. Tomilov who collected mostly the artworks by his contemporaries was not only a patron but also a tutor and true friend for many of artists. He succeeded in gathering a unique collection that numbers hundreds of drawings and engravings by Russian and foreign artists who lived in Russia in the first half of the XIXth century. After the death of A.Tomilov there was no such active collector among his descendants for a long time. The collection was preserved, but some works from it were sold. Another collector of this family was Evgeniy Shwarts (1843-1932?) who was a husband of Alexei Tomilov's granddaughter. He had supplemented the collection with works by artists of the second half of the XIXth century, particularly I. Repin and B. Kustodiev and preserved the artistic heritage of his brother Vladimir Shwarts, the artist, who had early died. In 1917 - 1918 the entire collection was given by E. Shwarts to the Russian Museum and later was included in its collection.
The exhibition presents over 100 works from the Tomilovs-Shwarts collection. The painting section is presented by the names of V.Borovikovsky, O.Kiprenskiy, A.Egorov, A.Varnek, A.Venetsianov, K.Brullov while the graphic section includes the works by A.Orlovsky, I. Repin, B.Kustodiev and other artists.