The exhibition includes portraits of members of the Portuguese royal family from the collection of the State Hermitage Museum. The paintings were commissioned by Empress Catherine II by the Portuguese court painter Miguel Antoniu do Amaral (c. 1710 - 1780) for the Chesme Palace, in which a gallery of portraits of the ruling European monarchs and their heirs was created in the 1770s. The entire gallery includes 56 portraits, which entered the Hermitage collection in the 1920s.
The author of the portraits is Miguel Antonio do Amaral, a student of the famous Portuguese portrait painter Francisco Pinto Pereira, whose portraits were highly appreciated by his contemporaries. In 1754, Amaral was admitted to the guild of painters of St. Luke in Lisbon. The artist created paintings on religious subjects, including large-scale paintings for churches and monasteries. Amaral gained the greatest fame as a portrait painter. Throughout his activities, this genre was predominant in his work.