State Hermitage Displays Portrait of Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna

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Portrait of Grand Duchess Yekaterina Pavlovna. Circa 1809–12. Artist: K. Novosiltsov
From the Collection of the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

On 2 November 2018, as part of the Hermitage Days in Tver, the exhibition “From the collection of the State Hermitage. K. Novosiltov’s Portrait of Grand Duchess Yekaterina Pavlovna” opens in the Tver Regional Art Gallery.

The exhibition is timed to mark the 230th anniversary of the birth of Grand Duchess Yekaterina Pavlovna (1788–1819), the fourth daughter of Emperor Paul I. Between 1809 and 1813, she was the mistress of the Tver Imperial Palace, the building that now houses the Tver Regional Art Gallery. The Portrait of Grand Duchess Yekaterina Pavlovna is going on public display for the first time.

The collection of the State Hermitage’s Department of the History of Russian Culture includes a portrait of Grand Duchess Yekaterina Pavlovna showing her standing in a room by a window next to a marble bust of her illustrious grandmother, Empress Catherine II. With her left hand she is pointing to a panoramic view of the city. The artist depicted one of Tver’s main architectural ensembles: the imperial palace that stands on the bank of the Volga and a garden with a broad path running down to the river, as well as the Transfiguration Cathedral that is located on the central square. This is a view of the palace when it was in its heyday, the time when Grand Duchess Yekaterina Pavlovna was its mistress.

The portrait was painted by K. Novosiltov, whose signature has survived on the lower part of the painting. It has proved impossible to find any information about this artist. Most probably he was an amateur painter who lived in Tver.

The Portrait of Grand Duchess Yekaterina Pavlovna adds to the previously known iconography of the Grand Duchess and enlarges the range of visual records showing the appearance of the architectural ensemble of the Tver Imperial Palace and the Transfiguration Cathedral.

The exhibition curator is Natalia Yuryevna Bakhareva, senior researcher in the State Hermitage’s Department of the History of Russian Culture.

A booklet in Russian has been prepared for the exhibition with texts by the Hermitage researchers Natalia Bakhareva and Viacheslav Savelyev. 

© State Hermitage Museum. 7 November 2018