The exhibition, presented for the first time in Omsk, includes 181 exhibits from eight departments of the State Hermitage and presents the brightest pages of the world history of portraiture in all its species and genres - painting, graphics, sculpture, photography, archaeological, numismatics and decorative and applied art. The history of the portrait appears in a large-scale perspective - from the 20th century BC. e. until the 21st century, from Altai masks and ancient Egyptian statues to works by contemporary artists.
The exposition is divided into five sections corresponding to the main cultural and historical stages: • Pre-portrait period and art of Ancient Egypt (XX century BC - I century AD); • Antique and early Middle Ages. The art of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, southern Russia of the antique period (VI century BC - X century); • Art of Western Europe of the Renaissance (XI-XVII centuries); • Art of Western Europe, East and Russia of the New Time (XVIII-XIX centuries); • The newest time. Contemporary art (XXI century).
The main idea of the exposition is to show the genre of portrait in the historical development: its origins and functions, main types, language of portrait forms. The main theme of the portrait is a man, therefore, in the works of this genre, the key questions of his life find expression: his place in society and the world, his role in history and in the present, ideas about the beautiful and ugly, attitude to the divine, heroic. Each epoch gave rise to the "historical form" of the portrait.
For the exhibition in Omsk in the Hermitage, 181 exhibits were selected from the best collections of works of the portrait genre. The viewer will have a very rare opportunity to see world famous artistic monuments that very rarely leave the walls of the Hermitage: the ancient Egyptian statue of Pharaoh Amenemhat III, portraits of the Greek philosopher Socrates and the Roman emperor Philip the Arab; a unique Fayum portrait, images of the Iranian ruler Fath Ali Shah and Chinese dignitaries, medals of the Renaissance; works of outstanding Western European and Russian artists Anthony van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens, Peter Paul Rubens, Alexander Bryullov; sculptures by Jean-Antoine Houdon; a photographic portrait of an Afghan girl created by our contemporary Steve McCurry and has flown around the world.