2017 May: Michelangelo & Sebastiano Friends Event

On 25 May 2017 a large group of Friends attended a private view of the exhibition Michelangelo & Sebastiano at The National Gallery in London. We were in good company, because the Director of the National Gallery, Gabriele Finaldi, was taking round Tristram Hunt, Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum (who lingered - of course - in front of the Hermitage loan, a painting by Sebastiano).

This exhibition – the first ever to be devoted to the hugely productive creative friendship between Michelangelo and Sebastiano del Piombo – explored the complementary talents and divergent personalities of two great artists. They became friends when Sebastiano, a young Venetian painter, arrived in Rome and met Michelangelo, then working on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. With 70 works – not just paintings (including a loan from The State Hermitage Museum (The Lamentation over the Dead Christ) but drawings, sculptures and letters – the exhibition traces their friendship over 25 years, a dramatic time for Italy, one of revolution, war and theological schism, but also of great intellectual energy and artistic innovation.



2017 May: David Hockney Friends Event

For Friends only:

David Hockney at Tate Britain - private curator-led tour: Thursday 4 May 2017 at 8.45 am - avoid the crowds at this extremely popular exhibition!


David Hockney at Tate Britain – private curator-led tour

Tate Britain, Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG
Thursday, 4 May 2017 at 8.45 am

Avoid the crowds at this extremely popular exhibition!

Widely regarded as one of the most successful and recognisable artists of our time, this exhibition celebrates Hockney's achievement in painting, drawing, print, photography and video. The chronological overview traces his development from his student days (1961) through to his iconic works of the 1960s and 1970s, on to his recent success at the Royal Academy and beyond. Hockney declares: ‘It has been a pleasure to revisit works I made decades ago, including some of my earliest paintings. Many of them seem like old friends to me now. We're looking back over a lifetime with this exhibition, and I hope, like me, people will enjoy seeing how the roots of my new and recent work can be seen in the developments over the years.’

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2017 April: Gala Dinner London


THURSDAY, 27 APRIL 2017 at 7.15 pm



A good time was had by all – and money was raised for Hermitage programmes – at the Hermitage Foundation UK annual gala dinner. This year it was held in the Enlightenment Gallery at the British Museum (we should note that later this year the Hermitage is sending some 200 of its Scythian gold treasures to a show at the BM – watch this space). In addition to Professor Piotrovsky, General Director of the State Hermitage Museum, and James Dawnay, President and Chairman of the Hermitage Foundation UK respectively, guests included a number of museum directors, among them Hertzog Fischer, Director of the British Museum, Tristram Hunt, who recently took up his post as Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Adrian Jenkins of the Bowes Museum and Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures.

If you missed this one, don’t forget – it is not too late to get your tickets for the Summer Gala in St Petersburg on 30 June. Contact Janice Sacher on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Champagne reception in the Enlightenment Gallery

Built between 1823 and 1827 to house the King's Library, the Enlightenment Gallery is surely one of the most spectacular contemporary adaptations of a historic space for modern museum purposes. It tells the story of how collectors have shaped the Museum over four centuries.

Hermitage Foundation UK Chairman James Dawnay greeted guests and thanked the many kind sponsors of the event. Fittingly, the Enlightenment Gallery includes Greek vases (see case to left) – and some of the money raised by the Hermitage Foundation UK in the past has gone to finance publication of catalogues of the incredible collection of vases in the Hermitage Museum.



Professor Piotrovsky presents a diamond Hermitage Artist Badge to shoe-designer Manolo Blahnik, whose The Art of Shoes is on at the Hermitage (10 May - 22 July); with Hermitage Foundation UK trustee Ekaterina Sirkanian.  But what Manolo Blahnik is really interested in is SHOES – in this case, a sandal worn by a Roman imperial colossal foot of the 1st to 2nd centuries AD.

Successful bid at the auction – all money raised goes straight to the projects of the Hermitage Foundation UK. Among the objects sold at auction were a sculpture by Jan Fabre and a pair of exclusive Manolo Blahnik shoes.