The exposition of Russian and European artists working in Russia in the genre of portrait illustrates the blossom of its two types, intimate and ceremonial and reflects the mood of the environment as a space of a large festive hall or Russian provincial country-seat.
Florence portraits created in 16th and 17th in Italy mark the birth of the fashionable portrait tradition. In the gallery collection the honourable place among masterpieces of the Russian portrait school belongs to D.Levitsky and his work "Selfportrait" and programme portrait "Yekaterina-II lawmaker", appeared in the circle of St.Petersburg nobles and copied by an Austrian artist I.B.Lampi with some deviations from the original.
The place of the artist in the Russian artistic culture, the appearance of art collections, meetings, patronage of the arts, all these phenomena represent the main characteristics of the Russian culture of Peter the Great epoch, baroque and classicism, sentimentalism and romanticism and contribute to the blossoming of the unique phenomenon of the Russian art culture, its archetype -the Russian country-seat..
Its blossom is connected with philosophical, stylistic and artistic phenomena: the blossom of the architecture of the Russian "lyrical" classicism among the natural landscape park going to the nature where a Russian peasant lives. Closeness and mutual penetration of two types of cultures in the country seats: traditional peasant and noble culture, remembering its essence because of this closeness, (A.S.Pushkin was the one who expressed this idea more deeply and vividly) give birth to harmonic connection, ynthesize of original peasant and intellectual culture becoming look like European but Russian in its essence, synthesize called the Russian classical culture, the golden age, the Pushkin time. Carvings of S.Galaktionov, A.Ukhtomski, K. and I.Cheskikh, A.Martinov depict the image of the Russian country seat where we can see the proportion of the essence of ideal and elevated, simple and sophisticated beauty in the composition, in the sculpture, in the fountain, in watery and green stalls, in a special r ythm of silhouettes of ladies and admirers walking in the park.
This time in Russia is marked by the genius of Pushkin. Noble proportions of natural harmonies, given in strict, architectural shapes, the image of city ensembles, and the world of the Russian countryseat are a bright and symbolic phenomenon of classicism. The light and reasonable world, overcoming dark man's passions and mystical horrors, the triumph of Apollo beginning - the Sun and the Intellect.
We can find works of Pushkin time in portraits: faces of artists, generals, officials and nuns, St.Petersburg beauties and aristocrats, representatives of imperial dynasty and suite, heroes of antic myths in drawing, sculpture and painting. Orest Kiprinski, Alexander Orlovski, Pyotr Sokolov, Vasili Shebuyev, Karl Brullov, a French artist Jean Loran Monier, an English artist Gorge Dow. Pushkin knew all presented in Pushkin classical part of exposition who lived and created at Pushkin's time. Myths, legends, real meetings and events, inspired creating work, burning, alive quivering tissue of life is pulsing in a noble and ardent structure of these monuments.