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Paris Back From U.K. Sojurn

Published: January 23, 2014 (Issue # 1794)



  • Mark Stadler of HSBC Russia and Olga Taratynova, director of Tsarskoye Selo.
    Photo: for SPT

The Judgment of Paris, a monumental canvas by Italian Carlo Maratta dated circa 1708, had been installed in Tsarskoye Selo for more than 50 years before receiving a new lease on life thanks to an unprecedented exhibition that brought it renewed attention.

Once part of the collection of Sir Robert Walpole, Great Britains first Prime Minister, the painting had hung high above the main staircase at The Catherine Palace in Pushkin since entering the palace collection in 1960, following the completion of post-war restoration work.

Sent to the U.K. as part of the Houghton Revisited exhibition, the painting is now back in St. Petersburg and has been placed in a new location.

Masterpieces Take Summer Vacation

Walpoles collection was one of the most celebrated art collections of its time and included works by Van Dyck, Poussin, Maratta, Rubens and Rembrandt, which are today held by the State Hermitage Museum, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, the State Tsarskoye Selo Museum and other important Russian museums.

In 1779, Walpoles descendants sold 200 paintings from the collection to Catherine the Great, for which the Russian Empress paid £40,550. Centuries later, the canvasses from Russias leading museums were returned to the family estate of the collections founder.

This landmark project highlights the historic ties between Russia and Great Britain as well as the excellent taste of two remarkable 18th-century leaders, said Mark Stadler, CEO of HSBC Russia, the company supporting the exhibition.

The idea for the exhibition came about when Thierry Morel, former director of the Hermitage Foundation (U.K.) and current member of executive board of the Hermitage Foundation (U.S.), discovered the plan for the original hanging at Houghton secreted in the Hermitage archives. The exhibition that developed from this chance encounter was dedicated to the 250th anniversary of Catherine the Greats accession to the throne.

From May to September 2013, for the first time in over 200 years, all of the paintings were reassembled in the original setting of Houghton Hall.

I would like to thank the State Hermitage Museum and other Russian museums for providing an opportunity to show this collection to the British public. This may be the first time when such a privilege has been granted to a private house, said the Marquess of Cholmondeley, a direct descendant of Walpole and current inhabitant of Houghton Hall.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Oct. 30


Dental-Expo St. Petersburg 2014 concludes today at Lenexpo. Welcoming specialists from throughout the federation, the forum is an opportunity for dentists to share tricks of the trade and peruse the most recent innovations in technology and equipment, with over 100 companies hocking their wares at the event.



Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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