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Saving beauty, 09.10.2018

Painting restorer Raisa Slepushkina (see ptoto in Chinese Blue Drawing room at left, click to enlarge) has celebrated her 90th birthday by visiting the halls she revived at the Catherine Palace, where she is always mentioned by the guides along with the other restorers and former imperial owners of Tsarskoe Selo.

Still beautiful and lively, Slepushkina worked together with legendary restorers of Leningrad who brought the Catherine Palace and park pavilions back from the ruins of the Second World War.

From 1956 to 1978 her 22-year work at Tsarskoe Selo, besides the unprecedented restoration of silk wall painting in the Chinese Blue Drawing Room which Slepushkina recreated with her own technique from pre-war photographs (see below left), included restoration of the canvases in the Picture Hall, the painting of tile stoves there and in the Crimson Pilaster Room, the painting of the doors and faience columns in the Bedchamber (below right), the ceiling painting in the Upper Bathhouse pavilion and painting conservation at the Agate Rooms.

Her restoration works in St Petersburg, among others, include the Gatchina, Kamenny Island, Stroganov, Tauride, Vorontsov and Yusupov Palaces and the Great Palace of Peterhof, St Isaac’s, Peter and Paul’s and Kazan Cathedrals, St Michael’s Castle, the State Hermitage, the Russian Museum and the House of Scientists.

Click pictures to enlarge them

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