The Arts Society Tring Park June: Catherine the Great - The world’s greatest collector

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For the Arts Society Tring Park’s next talk on June 12 at 10.30am at the Civic Centre, Berkhamsted, jewellery specialist Andrew Prince examines Empress Catherine II’s fascinating collecting passions and her glittering Court.

In 1745, a young princess from the minor province of Anhalt-Zerbst in Saxony, married Prince Peter Karl Ulrich of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf, heir to the Imperial Russian Throne.

She was Princess Sophie Auguste Frederike, and by 1762 had deposed her husband and had been crowned Empress Catherine II, to become the sole ruler of the vast Russian Empire.

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With seemingly inexhaustible wealth, she set about creating the most glittering Court in Europe, if not the world. From the arts, sculpture, architecture and the most dazzling jewels, her taste and collecting zeal formed the nucleus of the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, and transformed a nation.

Catherine the GreatCatherine the Great
Catherine the Great

In this talk for the Arts Society Tring Park, jewellery specialist Andrew Prince takes a journey through this fascinating time. He illustrates what was created, lost, and survives to this day, as well as Catherine the Great’s private passions.

The Arts Society Tring Park is one of some 370 local branches of the Arts Society. Members can join at an annual cost of £53 for 10 monthly lectures, held on Wednesday mornings at the Civic Centre Berkhamsted (plus outings at extra cost).

Lectures start at 10.30am, and guests are welcome by prior arrangement with the membership secretary at a charge of £8: