Opening of the permanent exhibition
The West European Silver
The Alexander Hall opened after restoration housed the permanent exhibition of the West European Silver. The Hermitage collection, which is one of the world’s biggest, comprises the works of craftsmen from France, England, Germany, Italy, Spain, countries of the North and Eastern Europe from the XVI century to the beginning of the XX century and enables to trace all tendencies of this art’s development.
The unique Wine cistern by English craftsmen of the XVIII century are of special
value and interest. These massive ware filled with ice would
be lodged beside festively laid tables. Bottles and flasks of wine were
put into them. Fountains - high,
Kings’ and tzars’ tables used to be furnished in the centre with a silver
Plat de Menage - an original tabletop decoration.
Masterpieces of the French silversmiths’ art are exposed in the collection.
The items fabricated by London Huguenot craftsmen – Paul de Lamerie,
Simon Pantin, Paul Crespin - attained worldwide fame. These include tubs,
The collection of silver from the leading art centres
Among other things, the Hermitage houses silverware from Italia, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Sweden and Poland. These collections are not so extensive, but the available specimens provide a glimpse of the high level reached by the art of silversmiths in these countries.
The Hermitage assemblage is based on silver art objects, which would
be acquired or ordered from Europe for the royal family and the imperial
household since Peter I until the time of Nicholas II. Many valuable jewellery
works came from nationalized collections of the Russian noblemen after
the revolution. Such collections concern, first of all,
The Curator of the exhibition is Marina Lopato, Doctor of Art History, Director of the Sector of Metalwork of the Department of the West European Applied Art of the State Hermitage.