portrait_redThe Faculty of Arts at The University of Melbourne proudly presents a four-part masterclass series in partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria’s exhibition Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great. Catherine the Great is the most famous and longest-ruling female monarch of Russia. Her passion for education, the arts and culture heralded the Golden Age of Russia during the Enlightenment era.

As a patron of the arts, Catherine amassed a vast art collection over her thirty-four year reign, which ranged from Old Master of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to the newest contemporary art of her day. Within a relatively short time Catherine had amassed a collection that rivalled many of the greatest collections in Europe. It was this collection which formed the basis for the State Hermitage Museum, founded in 1764 by Catherine and today considered to be one of the finest museums in the world.The current National Gallery of Victoria exhibition has brought to Melbourne a range of works from the Hermitage that were collected by Catherine, the exhibition traces her interest in art from Italy, Flanders, the Netherlands and even China. The University of Melbourne is presenting a series of masterclasses that will explore the life and the art collection of  Catherine the Great. All are welcome to join these talks (book for one or for the whole series) where experts will discuss a range of subjects from the social and political world of Catherine the Great’s Russia to the shifts in culture and philosophy at the Russian court. Each session includes evening lectures by speakers from the University of Melbourne and the NGV, followed by after-hours exhibition viewing with floor talks in the exhibition space. Light refreshments will be served.

Dates: Tuesday 29th September, 6, 13 & 20 October, 6–8.15pm

• Tue 29 Sep: A Philosopher Queen: An ‘Enlightened’ monarch and her challenges

• Tue 6 Oct: The Goddess Minerva: Catherine as collector and builder

• Tue 13 Oct: Building a cultural legacy: The importance of a powerful patron

• Tue 20 Oct: Catherine the Great: Portraits and Identity

Speakers | The University of Melbourne

Prof Glyn Davis, Vice-Chancellor; Prof Peter McPhee, Prof Parshia Paul Lee-Stecum, Dr Christopher Marshall, Dr Lisa Beaven, Dr Vivien Gaston, Mark Shepheard, John Weretka and Callum Reid

Speakers | National Gallery of Victoria

Dr Ted Gott, Sophie Matthiesson, Laurie Benson, Cathy Leahy, Dr Amanda Dunmore, Dr Matthew Martin and Holly McGowan-Jackson

Cost $60 Alumni, $65 Non Alumni & NGV Members (per session)/ $220 Alumni & NGV Members, $240 Non Alumni (for the series)

Bookings here.