The greatest exhibition of Russian treasures ever seen in the UK will be shown in Scotland this summer.
Catherine the Great: An Enlightened Empress will see pieces from the tsaritsa’s art collection go on display.
It will also tell the story of the empress from her upbringing as a German princess to usurping her own husband and taking control of the Russian empire. While in charge, she expanded the borders of the empire and pursued social reform.
As well as 600 paintings, sculptures, pieces of jewellery, porcelain and glassware, the show will contain extracts from Catherine’s memoirs, diaries and from contemporaries who visited her Court.
Included will be a portrait of her coronation which has not been seen since the Russian Revolution.
The exhibition is the result of a partnership with the Russian State Museum, where most of Catherine’s art collection is housed.
Dr Gordon Rintoul, director of the National Museum of Scotland, said: "We are proud to have the opportunity to present Catherine the Great: an Enlightened Empress, celebrating a remarkable woman and a remarkable collection.
"The objects are a visual feast and present a compelling story of the life, achievements, legacy and personality of Catherine the Great. This wonderful exhibition will only be seen at the National Museum of Scotland and we are delighted to continue our successful relationship with the State Hermitage Museum."
Dr Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of State Hermitage Museum, said: "It is with great pleasure that we bring treasures from the Russian State Heritage Museum to the beautifully developed National Museum of Scotland.
"The story of Catherine the Great is a very important part of the history of Russia and, of course, the very foundation of our Museum and collections. We look forward to seeing it presented to a British audience in this unique exhibition."
The exhibition starts on Friday and runs until October 21.