On 19 April 2022, the exhibition Exotic and Lavish China. Knowledge of the Orient, organized as part of the celebrations for the 350th anniversary of the birth of Emperor Peter I (1672–1725), was formally opened at the State Hermitage Museum.
The exhibition presents some unique memorial items closely connected with Peter the Great. They were presented to him as gifts from the Chinese Emperor Kangxi or acquired from the Celestial Empire on his instructions. The display includes articles made from patterned Chinese silk, porcelain vessels, pieces of jewelry and exotic clockwork toys. The exhibits reflect both Peter’s personal interest in the Orient and historical and political processes taking place in the 17th and early 18th centuries, when contacts between European civilization and China, India and Persia were intensifying. The exhibition also features drawings, books, prints and other items with commemorative associations that are kept in the museum. The exhibition curator is Maria Lvovna Menshikova, senior researcher in the State Hermitage’s Department of the East, keeper of the collections of Chinese applied art and jewelry and of artefacts from Dunhuang.