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Quiz about Catherines Collection for the Hermitage
Quiz about Catherines Collection for the Hermitage

Catherine's Collection for the Hermitage Quiz


In 1764 Catherine the Great purchased several hundred paintings that were to become the start of the collection in the Hermitage Museum. Here are ten of them.

A photo quiz by looney_tunes. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
looney_tunes
Time
3 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
411,478
Updated
Jan 08 23
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
94
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
-
Question 1 of 10
1. This is one of the two paintings from this artist that were in Catherine's original collection, and you can still see it in the Hermitage. What Italian painter of the High Renaissance painted 'Madonna with Beardless St. Joseph'? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. This is one of a series of six paintings by Titian (or artists in his workshop) showing a figure from Greek mythology who was seduced (some might say raped) by Zeus in the form of a shower of gold coins. Who is the subject of this painting? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The list of paintings acquired by Catherine the Great included one by the older brother of a painter often identified as "the Younger", to distinguish him from his artist father. The creator of this painting had a first name of Ambrosius. What was his surname?


Question 4 of 10
4. This painting by the Venetian artist Paolo Caliari (known as Paolo Veronese, because he was born in Verona) is titled 'Pietà', a common theme in religious paintings. This lets us know that the subject matter is the death of what man? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Catherine's purchase included 13 paintings from the hand of the Flemish artist who painted this 'Madonna and Child'. Which of these was it? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. What is the title of this painting from Frans Hals which was part of Catherine's collection?


Question 7 of 10
7. This painting by the Flemish artist Jacob Jordaens is one of seven that Catherine acquired for her collection. Did Jordaens follow the usual practice of the time, spending several years living in Italy to master his craft?


Question 8 of 10
8. This is a self-portrait that was part of Catherine's collection, one of five paintings from the same Flemish artist who was knighted by King Charles I of England. Which of these is portrayed? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Rembrandt van Rijn was responsible for 13 paintings in Catherine' collection. Which one of them is shown here? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. This painting, titled 'The Idlers', was painted by a Dutch artist known for the humour he instils in many of his paintings. Which of these created 'The Idlers'? Hint



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May 04 2024 : desertloca: 6/10
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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. This is one of the two paintings from this artist that were in Catherine's original collection, and you can still see it in the Hermitage. What Italian painter of the High Renaissance painted 'Madonna with Beardless St. Joseph'?

Answer: Raphael

This painting is thought to have been painted by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, commonly known as Raphael, around 1506, as a commission for the Duke of Urbino. Despite his early death at the age of 37, Raphael was a prolific artist, painting, drawing, printmaking, and even dabbling in architecture.

This painting is from the middle period of his work, when he was developing his talents under the influence of Florentine artists. From 1508 until his death in 1520 he worked for the Vatican, and produced most of the works for which he is best known.
2. This is one of a series of six paintings by Titian (or artists in his workshop) showing a figure from Greek mythology who was seduced (some might say raped) by Zeus in the form of a shower of gold coins. Who is the subject of this painting?

Answer: Danaë

Catherine actually purchased two paintings of Danaë, on by Titian and one by Rembrandt. Titian's six paintings all have the same central figure, virtually identical in each one. The other details, however, are quite varied. In the Hermitage's version, Zeus's face can be discerned in the clouds, while a servant seems to be collecting the coins in her apron. It didn't work - she became pregnant with Perseus, who would eventually kill her father (exactly how depends on which myth you are reading), fulfilling the prophecy that had led to her being locked up in a tower in the first place.

Zeus was certainly creative in gaining access to the object of his desire. He visited Leda in the form of a swan, fathering Pollux (whose twin Castor was fathered by her husband, the king of Sparta); Europa, who he seduced in the form of a bull; Eurymedousa gave birth to Myrmidon following a visit from Zeus in the form of an ant.
3. The list of paintings acquired by Catherine the Great included one by the older brother of a painter often identified as "the Younger", to distinguish him from his artist father. The creator of this painting had a first name of Ambrosius. What was his surname?

Answer: Holbein

Hans Holbein the Younger is more familiar to many, due to anecdotal familiarity with his painting for Henry VIII of Anne of Cleves that led to that monarch's disappointment on meeting his future wife. Ambrosius Holbein, however, was a fine artist whose output was curtailed by his early death at around the age of 25.

At least, he is presumed to have died, possibly due to one of the fevers that ravaged Basel in 1519, as his work stopped abruptly at that time. The oil-on-wood painting in the Hermitage titled 'Portrait of a Young Man' was probably painted in 1518, shortly before his death. Like his father and brother, he specialised in portraits, but also ventured into drawing, printmaking, and goldsmith work.
4. This painting by the Venetian artist Paolo Caliari (known as Paolo Veronese, because he was born in Verona) is titled 'Pietà', a common theme in religious paintings. This lets us know that the subject matter is the death of what man?

Answer: Jesus of Nazareth

A pietà, whether a painting or a sculpture, usually focuses on Mary, cradling the body of Jesus after his crucifixion. However, there are examples of other configurations, and Veronese chose to place Mary behind her son, with a red-robed angel having a more prominent position. Recent x-ray images have shown that at one time there was a second angel planned, to the left of Mary.

It is thought to have been painted between 1576 and 1582, intended for the Venetian Church of Saints John and Paul. Veronese is best known for his monumental works, both mythological and religious, such as 'The Wedding at Cana', now in the Louvre, which measures 6.77 m × 9.94 m. 'Pietà' is a mere 1.47 m × 1.15 m.
5. Catherine's purchase included 13 paintings from the hand of the Flemish artist who painted this 'Madonna and Child'. Which of these was it?

Answer: Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens was one of the prime movers of the Flemish Baroque movement, due to the large number of students he employed in his workshop, some of whom were listed as the incorrect options. Rubens often worked collaboratively in producing paintings, with each artist contributing their specialty.

He often worked with Frans Snyders, whose strength was portrayal of animals, and with Jan Brueghel the Elder, who was known for his landscapes, especially the plants. Rubens contributed the people - although often he only finished the faces and hands, leaving the rest for his apprentices to fill in.
6. What is the title of this painting from Frans Hals which was part of Catherine's collection?

Answer: Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Glove

Frans Hals (1582? - 1666), who worked in Haarlem during the Dutch Golden Age, was a renowned portrait painter. He did indeed paint at least one self-portrait, but this was a portrait of someone whose name has been lost. Indeed, many of his portraits are now known simply by a generic title indicating the gender, and sometimes the rough age, of the subject, and some identifying object such as a book, watch, or in this case a glove.

Hals did a lot of commission work, and was very popular during his lifetime - but was out of fashion before his death, and experienced financial difficulties. His work is often compared to that of his contemporary Rembrandt, as the two of them played significant roles in the dramatic evolution of portraiture during their lives. One of the trademarks of Hans's portraits, especially in the earlier years, was his use of facial expressions that included a smile - sometimes seeming genuine, sometimes ironic in appearance.
7. This painting by the Flemish artist Jacob Jordaens is one of seven that Catherine acquired for her collection. Did Jordaens follow the usual practice of the time, spending several years living in Italy to master his craft?

Answer: No

In fact, he barely left the city of Antwerp. He did learn from his contemporaries who had spent time in Italy, such as Rubens and van Dyck. In fact, he worked in Rubens's workshop, and was invited with Rubens and van Dyck to paint the three altars in St Paul's Church in Antwerp.

He worked with Rubens on a number of projects, including the completion of several projects which were incomplete when Rubens died. His work covered a wide range of subjects, including a number of illustrations of traditional sayings, and the drawings for a large number of tapestries, a field in which he was considered pre-eminent.
8. This is a self-portrait that was part of Catherine's collection, one of five paintings from the same Flemish artist who was knighted by King Charles I of England. Which of these is portrayed?

Answer: Anthony van Dyck

Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) was chief assistant to Peter Paul Rubens at a young age, but soon realised that the city of Antwerp was going to offer him few opportunities at the time, so spent a lot of his life working abroad: to England (briefly) in 1620, then to Italy from 1621 to 1627, back to Antwerp for five years, then to London in 1632 to be Court Painter for Charles I.

He spent most of the rest of his life there, and was buried in St Paul's Cathedral. The Great Fire of London (1666) destroyed his tomb, and his body was completely incinerated.

The facial hair known as a van Dyke beard was a common feature of many of those who sat for his portraits, including Charkes I, and he sported one himself, although not in the painting used here.
9. Rembrandt van Rijn was responsible for 13 paintings in Catherine' collection. Which one of them is shown here?

Answer: Ahasuerus and Haman at the feast of Esther

This is one of the few Rembrandt paintings for which a complete provenance has been established, starting with Jan Jacobsz. Hinlopen, who owned it from 1662 until his death in 1666.

It was inherited by his daughter Sara, who bequeathed it to the Geelvinck family in 1749. They sold it to Gerard Hoet, and Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky picked it up in his estate sale, then included it in the collection he sent to Catherine the Great. It remained in the Hermitage Museum until 1862, when it was given to the Rumyantsev Museum in Moscow, from which it reached its current resting place in the Pushkin Museum.

The painting, which has darkened over the years, is based on an incident in the Book of Esther which is the basis for the Jewish celebration of Purim. Esther has just finished pleading with the king (here called Ahasuerus, but rendered Xerxes in some translations) to spare her cousin and the rest of her people from being killed, as his councilor Haman, the third figure, had urged was an appropriate response for Mordecai's failure to bow respectfully to the king's viceroy.
10. This painting, titled 'The Idlers', was painted by a Dutch artist known for the humour he instils in many of his paintings. Which of these created 'The Idlers'?

Answer: Jan Steen

Jan Havickszoon Steen (1626 - 1679) was one of the leading genre painters of the Dutch Golden Age. He specialized in everyday scenes, usually full of humour, and often using vibrant colours. As he aged, he changed focus, with the number of people being reduced, until finally he was just painting landscapes. It has been suggested that this may be, at least in part, attributed to his purchase of a tavern a few years after the deaths of his first wife and his father. He apparently spent a great deal of his time there, not just managing it.

'The Idlers' is not one of Steen's most overtly humourous paintings, but there are distinct touches - the expression on the man's face, the way the woman seems to have had a bit too much to drink as witnessed not only by the fact that she is slumped on the table, but also by the broken pipe on the floor next to what appears to be her other shoe.
Source: Author looney_tunes

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor ponycargirl before going online.
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