English Landscape Parks of the 18th Century
in Engravings from Catherine II's Private Collection
Folder with 32 prints from the collection of the Tsarskoe Selo Stet Museum and Heritage Site, with an article and annotations
Article English Landscape Engravings from Catherine II's Collection and annotations by Larisa V. Bardovskaya and Iraida K. Bott
Russian Collection Publishers
St Petersburg, 2010
Number of printed copies: 100
Where to Buy:
Only at Official Museum Shop in Catherine Palace Vestibule
A set of thirty two eighteenth-century English engraved prints from the collection of Empress Catherine the Great formed during 1750s–1780s from nearly a hundred engravings, which were on display in the Dutch Hall of the Admiralty pavilion in the Catherine Park and survived thanks to evacuation in World War II.
Click pictures to enlarge them. Put cursor over pictures to see captions.
The set includes facsimile prints with an article and annotations. As a limited print run of 100 copies, it is destined to become a bibliographical rarity.
Catherine’s collection of engraved prints survived by chance because it was removed from the Dutch Hall for restoration right before the war and then evacuated.
The collection includes nearly a hundred pieces. Most of them are “illuminated” (hand-coloured) and therefore very unusual and probably could not be found in any other museum in the world. Fond of English architecture and landscape design, Catherine collected views of then well-known mediaeval and modern constructions that were in fashion in Europe in the late eighteenth century. Catherine's court architects borrowed some ideas from those prints when they worked on the parks of Tsarskoe Selo, which is understandably referred to by some Russian researchers as the “Russian Stowe”.
Although Catherine never set her foot on Albion, she had this wonderful collection of engraved prints with different views of England and thought of a Russian publication with quotes from Thomas Whately and William Chambers.
The first time published set of prints includes views of English towns and estates, such as Stowe, Kew, Chiswick, Richmond, West Wycomb, Wilton, Hall-Barn and others. Some of them show the English inspirations for the Palladian (Marble) Bridge in the Catherine Park and the Arsenal pavilion in the Alexander Park.
Similar English prints served as prototypes for paintings on the famous porcelain Green Frog Service, commissioned from Wedgwood by Catherine the Great and currently on display at the State Hermitage Museum.
The set is available for purchase only at the Official Museum Shop in the Vestibule of the Catherine Palace.