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Exhibition December 23, 2020 − March 28

The art of photo reproduction of the second half of the 19th century. Photos of Raphael's works in the State Hermitage collection

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see how the works of Raphael and other Italian artists were presented in the Hermitage at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.The new exhibition of the Department of the History of Russian Culture of the Hermitage tells about the art of photo reproduction and continues the series of exhibitions devoted to the history of early photography. Visitors are invited to trace the development of the genre of reproduction using the example of prints made from the works of Raphael in the second half of the 19th century by European photographers. More than forty photographs presented for the first time allow us to analyze the quality of different printing techniques, find out what difficulties photographers of that time faced, what technical and artistic problems they had to solve, and also look at the works of the great artist through the eyes of a 19th century viewer. The exposition includes photographs and original negatives of the first photographer of the Imperial Hermitage, Fyodor Lvovich Nikolaevsky. His photographs show not only the view of the museum interiors, but also the exhibits in the halls at that time. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see how the works of Raphael and other Italian artists were presented in the Hermitage at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Since the invention of photography, the reproduction of art objects has been seen as one of the main areas of its application. Reproduction photography was considered one of the most difficult areas of light painting, and good photo reproductions were valued and often collected along with paintings and drawings. Samples of photo albums presented at the exhibition tell about this popular hobby in the society of the second half of the 19th century. The exhibition includes photographs of the famous works of Raphael from the collections of Empress Maria Alexandrovna, Counts Stroganovs, Princes Yusupovs, Duke M.G. Mecklenburg-Strelitsky, statesman and public figure P.P.Semenov-Tyan-Shansky. Photographs of Raphael's works became diplomatic donations: the exhibition displays photographs of Raphael's frescoes in the Villa Farnesina, which were presented by the Roman photographer Dovitsieli to Emperor Alexander II.


Prepared based on materials from the official website of the museum The State Hermitage Museum.