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: 2016-10-23
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  The Hermitage is one of the very few on the Continent   which contains
  a special section  for English pictures.

   Portraiture, landscape painting  and satire art  in which England
excelled ,  are  represented    by a number of first-class paintings and
prints executed by the most outstanding artists of British School,
mainly of the 18th century. A number of 17th-19th century works are on
show too. There are also some notable specimens of applied art, among
which is a fine group of objects  in silver and Wedgwood potteryware .
English paintings of the 17th century  are extremely  rare outside
England.The Hermitage possesses several  works of this period. These
are: the Portrait of Oliver Cromwell  by Robert Walker, two portraits 
by Peter Lely, of which the Portrait of a Woman reveals   the artists
 sense of colour to great advantage; also the Portrait of Grinling
Gibbons  by Godfrey Kneller, to name only the most outstanding 

       The collection has no paintings by William Hogarth, but some of
his prints selected   from a large  and representative collection
possessed  by the Museum are usually on show.

      Joshua Reynolds is represented  by four  canvases  all painted  in
the  1780-s.

An interesting example of his late work is the Infant Hercules
strangling  the Serpents, which is an allegory of the youthful Russia
vanquishing her enemies. The picture was commissioned from Reynolds by
Catherine II, and was brought to Russia  

ture entitled The  Snake in the Grass, owned by the National 
Gallery, London 

      Reynoldss Girl at a window is a copy with slight modifications,
from Rembrandts canvas bearing the same title, and owned by the Dulwich
Gallery. It may be regarded as an example of Reynoldss  study of the
old masters works.

      A fair idea of the British artists achievements in the field of
portrait painting can be gained from the canvases by George Romney
Thomas Gainsborough, John Opie, Henry Rdeburn, John Hoppner and John
Russell, all marked by a vividness of expression and brilliance of
execution typical of the British School of portrait painting in  the
days when it had achieved a national tradition. Highly important is
Gainsboroughs superb Portrait of the Duchess of Beaufort painted in a
loose and most effective manner characteristic of his art in the late
1770s. For charm of expression and brilliance of execution, it ranks
among the masterpieces of the Museum.The Tron Forge by Joseph Wright
of Derby is an interesting example of a new subject in English18th
century art: the theme of labour and industry, which merged in the days
of the Industrial Revolution.

     The few paintings of importance belonging to the British school of
the 19th century include a landscape ascribed to John Constable; the
Boats at a shore by Richard Parkers Bonington; the Portrait of an old
woman by David Wilki, three portraits by Thomas Lawrence and portraits
by George Daive, of which the unfinished Portrait of the Admiral
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