Given by Marie Anne Mancio
Intent on modernizing Russia, Catherine was devoted to the arts, and sponsored many cultural projects. In St. Petersburg, she had a theatre built for opera and ballet performances—and even wrote a few librettos herself. She also became a prominent art collector, and many of these were displayed in
the Hermitage in a royal residence in St. Petersburg. Catherine the Great commissioned buildings, statuary, gardens, founded academies and libraries. Learn how she won Russian hearts and succeeded in forging a new identity for herself.