Talk: St Petersburg and the Walpole Collection

The acquisition in 1779 of Sir Robert Walpole’s collection of European paintings by Catherine the Great of Russia has been described as one of the greatest events in the life of the Hermitage State Museum.

Walpole’s remarkable collection, rated in Britain as second only to that of the king, included works by Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyck as well as Poussin, Claude and Murillo; it could conceivably have formed the basis for a National Gallery in England.

In 2007, writer and art historian Linda Bolton travelled to St Petersburg to research events around Catherine’s phenomenal purchase and to discover to what extent the loss of the Walpole collection shaped the future of London’s National Gallery.

In her talk, Linda describes her experiences as a researcher in Russia, unravelling the links between these two remarkable national collections.

To book: please call 0870 050 3688

Venue information

Opening times

Daily, including bank holidays, 10am – 5pm Closed 24 – 26 Dec

Entry details

10 2.30pm

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)