• Apotheosis of the Reign of Catherine II

    Artist:
    Guglielmi, Gregorio. 1714-1773
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    107x168 cm

Guglielmi, Gregorio. 1714-1773

Apotheosis of the Reign of Catherine II

Italy, 1767

‘Apotheosis of the Reign of Catherine II’ is a detailed sketch of the ceiling of the Great Hall of the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoye Selo. The ceiling was never executed. It was the sculptor Etienne Falconet who advised the Empress to commission an Italian master, then unknown in Russia, to do this painting. Guglielmo, who at that time was working in Augsburg, was sent an outline of a future work, although we do not know who its author was. In the centre of the composition is Catherine II shown as Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom - her traditional allegoric representation - but wearing the Imperial Regalia and with the blue ribbon of the Order of St Andrew across her shoulder. She is flanked by the figures embodying spiritual and temporal authorities, as well as the allegories of Peace and Prudence. The reign of Empress Catherine II was the golden age of science and art, of which the figures of Painting, Music, Architecture and Astronomy at the foot of her throne serve as a reminder. The country's wealth is embodied by the female figure with a sheaf - Fertility - and Mercury, god of trade and protector of the crafts, who has a cornucopia full of gold coins. Flocking towards the throne from both sides are the peoples who inhabit the Empire, while in the clouds above are represented the patron saints of Russia.

School:

Title:

Apotheosis of the Reign of Catherine II

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

107x168 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermtiage in 1923; transferred from the Detskoselsky Palace Museums' Administration; formerly in the collection of Alexander II in the Catherine Palace

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-5531

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