The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg houses a
relatively small but choice collection of 16th- to 19th-century
British paintings, among them Thomas Gainsborough's vibrant
"Portrait of a Lady in Blue" ("c." 1770) and his rival Sir Joshua
Reynolds' vast "Infant Hercules Strangling the Serpents" ("c."
1786), commissioned by the Russian Empress Catherine II and
symbolizing a young Russia's growing strength. 135 paintings--works
by artists from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales--are
presented in this comprehensive catalogue. Also included are
portraits from the famed War Gallery created by English painter
George Dawe, who was awarded a prestigious commission to produce
more than 300 images of Russian generals for the Gallery of 1812 in
the historic Winter Palace, now part of the museum complex.
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