Wednesday 20th April 2016 - Imperial Patronage: the Art Collection of Catherine the Great - Theodora Clarke

Catherine the Great was born in Germany but went on to become Empress of Russia ruling the country for over 30 years. So how did a minor German princess become Catherine the Great, the most powerful ruler in Europe? This lectures focused on her life and her collection allowing us to understand Catherine’s personal and political life. The objects examined demonstrate her role as a keen promoter of intellectual and cultural life in Russia and demonstrate her importance as a collector and patron.

We will consider Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, as an art collector and this famous collection of eighteenth-century European art. Works discussed include paintings from the English, French, Italian, Flemish and Spanish schools, with masterpieces by Van Dyck, Poussin, Albani, Rubens, Rembrandt, Velazquez and Murillo.

about our lecturer:

Theodora Clarke is an art historian, lecturer and critic specialising in Russian art and European modernism.

She is a frequent and popular commentator on culture, travel and politics in TV, print and radio. Theodora has written for a number of publications including the Telegraph, The Art Newspaper, The Burlington Magazine, NADFAS Review, The Commentator and Total Politics. She is also a columnist for both Huffington Post and Russia Beyond the Headlines.

She has previously lectured at institutions which include the Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate Britain, Harvard University, the Courtauld Institute of Art, the University of Bristol and Cambridge University. Theodora has also taught adult art history courses and day schools at the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol on Russian art and twentieth century avant-garde art.

She was inspired to set up Russian Art & Culture and Russian Art Week whilst studying for her PhD on the Russian avant-garde at the University of Bristol. Following the success of the project she left her studies to run the business full time.

Theodora has a First Class degree from Newcastle University and a Masters in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art.

To learn more about Theodora Clarke please go to her website