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Letter: Picture trail

Sir: Michael P. King's letter (9 April) about the French pictures in Russia is a little puzzling. Surely it is common knowledge that most, if not all, of these pictures were collected by Morozov and Shchukin, who were Moscow merchants? Who were the two 'St Petersburg merchants', unnamed by Mr King, to whom he attributes the ownership of 'the bulk of the collections'?

It is not surprising, nor inconsistent with my previous letter, that a Hermitage guidebook published in 1972 describes the French pictures being then held there, or that guided tours in the Eighties included them. The period I was describing in my earlier letter was the Fifties.

Yours faithfully,


Stanton St John, Oxfordshire

9 April