This lecture coincides with the exhibition of Houghton Revisited in Norfolk this summer. The magnificent art collection of Great Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, was sold to Catherine the Great, and has become one of the highlights of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. This major exhibition in the UK reassembles the collection in its spectacular original setting at Houghton Hall for the first time. So how did a minor German princess become Catherine the Great, the most powerful ruler in Europe? This lecture focuses on her life and her collection, allowing us to understand Catherine’s personal and political life. Works discussed include paintings from the English, French, Italian, Flemish and Spanish schools, with masterpieces by Van Dyck, Poussin, Albani, Rubens, Rembrandt, Velazquez and Murillo. Theodora Clarke is a specialist and expert on Russian art currently completing her PhD at the University of Bristol. She is Editor of Russian Art and Culture, the popular online arts magazine, and Director of Russian Art Week in London.