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National Museum of Scotland opens Catherine the Great. An Enlightened Empress

National Museum of Scotland presents Catherine the Great. An Enlightened Empress, an exhibition on view 3 July – 21 October 2012.

Portrait of Catherine II on her horse Brilliant, by Vigilius Eriksen, after 1762. Image © The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.

The exhibition features more than 600 priceless works collected by the Empress. See spectacular paintings, outstanding costumes and uniforms, dazzling cameos, snuffboxes and jewellery, hunting weapons and exquisite works of art seldom seen outside Russia

Catherine the Great was one of Russia’s most successful rulers and one of the greatest art collectors of all time. Presented in partnership with the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, this unique exhibition is showing only in Edinburgh.

Explore Catherine’s reign through her collections, which vividly reflect her own interests and provide a fascinating glimpse of the wealth and magnificence of the Imperial Russian court. Learn of a woman who won wars and built palaces, wrote plays and books, built a rollercoaster for her own entertainment and who put Russia firmly on the cultural map of Europe. – www.nms.ac.uk

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