hermitage museum foundation

Petrine Era Geographical Maps

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A selection of rare maps and plans are to be restored from an album containing engravings from the first quarter of the eighteenth century. Thanks to the generosity of the Arthur and Holly Magill Foundation, this restoration project has been underwritten and the work has already started.

The Maps

These rare maps and plans relate to events in the reign of Peter the Great during the first part of the 18th Century, and are a historic snapshot of Russia’s rise as a modern nation. Executed by such famous engravers as Adriaan Schoonebeek, Alexei Zubov and Pieter Pikart, the selected 15 works include the first map printed in Russia, “Drawing of the Eastern Part of the Azov Sea,” for which the Emperor himself did the topographic measurements.

The History

Peter the I, also known as the Great, was a tireless reformer who led Russia into the forefront of European politics. Determined to modernize his country, he oversaw the introduction of Western technology including science, mapmaking, shipbuilding, armaments, architecture, fashion and more. These early maps and plans are a vital legacy of how his efforts transformed not only his country, but all of Europe.

The unbound album pages are yellowed and spotted, with creases, folds and tears. Colors have faded and worn. The pages need to be restored, remounted and preserved for scientific study and exhibition.