Computer Graphics and Animation Contest

Tour de France 1717: The Grand Journey of Peter the Great

«He remains the greatest foreign visitor Paris has ever seen», wrote French historian and politician Alfred Nicolas Rambaud.
«It was very flattering for our national pride that the defeater of Charles XII came to study in France and marvel at it» (from the memoirs of the Duke de Richelieu).

Peter I travelled to Paris, already knowing what may be of interest to him in the French capital. What did he want to see first? How did the knowledge he gained and the experiences he had impact upon science, culture and public life in Russia?

Taking part in our contest will give you the chance to do your own research. In Peter’s time many people were interested in the benefits of practical materials such as manuals, textbooks and essays. In the spirit of the Petrine era, we invite you to make an informative game, a handbook, the explanation of a gift brought from France, based on any knowledge you obtain. You can also submit any paper model (design scanner from paper) or interior (a dollhouse), clothes (a paper doll). Your best work has the chance to be presented as part of the games and master classes on the traditional «Night of the Hermitage Museums» on May 20th 2017.

Contest goals:

  • Finding and supporting creative, gifted children.
  • Inspiring interest towards the history and artistic heritage of different eras in young people.
  • Instilling a careful attitude towards the monuments of architecture and culture in children.
  • The ability to use information sources in their work.

Contest Terms

The timeframe of the contest:

From February 19th until April 30th 2017.

Submissions to be accepted in the following categories:

  • Digital art and graphics.
  • Multimedia presentation (PowerPoint etc.).
  • Flash and Gif animation.
  • Video.

Submission Requirements:

  • Graphics will be accepted in the following formats: jpg, gif, bmp. The file size must not exceed 2.5 MB.
  • Multimedia presentations should contain no more than 10
  • The length of an animation or video must not exceed 1 minute.
  • The source code (file *psd, fla, ppt, pptx, pdn, etc.) is required. Each work must be available in electronic form in a separate folder (rar or zip). The name of the folder ___’ Your name and surname. You need to indicate: the school, class, your email address, phone number, name and surname of the teacher and the group number in UTSVT in the folder along with the work in a text file аннотация.txt. The name of the work file must indicate the surname, name and age of the author, the number of the training group, the title of the work. For example: Kotov Ivan— 13 — ko115 — Hermitage.bmp. Underneath work, you must specify the name and surname of the author.

The application period:

Until April 30th 2017.

Papers are accepted either at the following email address:, on the training grounds of the Academy, tel: +7 (812) 612-11-22, or in the office of the volunteering sector, tel: +7 (812) 710-98-76.

The results of the contest:

  • The jury will determine the winners of up the competition until May 10th 2017.
  • The best work will be on display in the halls of the State Hermitage.

Contest themes:

  1. The Secrets of French Diplomacy.

The inquisitive Russian Tsar was very interested in France – a country which became the most powerful and influential nation in Europe during the reign of Louis XIV. For many countries, the governmental system of France was a subject of much imitation. Peter I wanted France as an ally in the war with Sweden, which seemed at long last to be coming to an end. He also had plans for a dynastic marriage that would link the two countries. He also wanted his daughter Elizabeth to one day marry Louis XV.

You’ll learn about the state administration of France as well as what benefits Peter I wanted for Russia, concluding with the first treaty in the history of the two countries in 1717. Information may be presented in the form of diagrams, infographics, in the form of animation or a video with actors and an interesting story.

  1. History through People and Events.

The lavish welcoming ceremony, celebrating the meeting of the Russian Tsar and the young King Louis XV was planned by the French court down to the finest detail. But the ceremony did not go exactly as planned. After meeting with the king, the Tsar picked him up and carried him up the stairs to the reception area saying “I am carrying the whole of France”.

Many stories remain about Peter I’s time in France and he was often a source of confusion for the French. For example, instead of requesting an array of delicious dishes for dinner, he simply asked for bread and turnips.

Who hosted Peter during his time in France? Which Russians accompanied him on this trip? Why did Peter I ask these people to accompany him?

You can compose a gallery of portraits of the trip’s participants, Peter I’s travel route, a video, animation, or comics about the facts and myths of the journey.

  1. Know-how in the art of engineering, industry and economy.

The glory of the powerful navy created by Jean-Baptiste Colbert led the Russian Tsar to send «volunteers» to study in the seaports of France. Peter had heard about the «iron belt» of fortresses created by Marshal Sebastien Vauban. In an effort to make Russia a strong and developed country, Peter imitated the best aspects of other countries. At that time France was the leader producer of tapestries, mirrors, silver and copper medals. The King was particularly interested in the machine, which supplied the water to the fountains of Versailles and Marly. How was France’s experience in the sphere of industry, economy, and engineering utilised by Russia? Did the King imitate the so-called «Machine of Marly» in the fountains found in Peterhof and the Summer Garden? Try to imagine in the form of graphics or animation, the operations of the machines Peter I encountered in France.

  1. Science and education.

The Petrine era was marked by the organization of the first educational institutions to send nobles to study abroad. Peter I visited University of Sorbonne, the College of Four Nations, Academy of Sciences and The Saint-Cyr School for Girls in order to find out how Russia could learn from France in the spheres of science and education. You can see the impact of these visits on the development of the naval and scientific academies such as the Maritime Academy of Museology (Kunstkamera) and the organisation of botanical and pharmaceutical gardens. You could depict what the students or teachers in these institutions looked like in the form of an animation or graphics, as well as how and what they studied.

  1. Art.

The era of the Petrine reforms in the arts is often referred to as the time of «Petrine Baroque». At the same time in France, art was transitioning from the grandiose style of Louis XIV to the Rococo of Louis XV, known as «Regency style». To what extent it is possible to demonstrate the features of this «Regency style»? Which of these styles of French architecture and gardens were adopted by Peter I in the construction of the Winter Palace, the Summer Palace, Monplaisir, Marly? What did Peter’s associates take inspiration from? Were Fyodor Matveyevich Apraksin and Alexander Danilovich Menshikov inspired by this in the construction of their palaces in St. Petersburg? You could also talk about the interesting history of the portraits of Peter I and Catherine I by the French painter Jean-Marc Nattier, or about the bust or equestrian statues of Peter I by the sculptor Bartolomeo Carlo Rastrelli, who worked at the court of Louis XIV.

  1. Court life. The Assembly of Peter the Great.

During his 45-year jubilee celebrations, Peter I was located at Marly, near Versailles, where he had arranged a great feast consisting of food, dancing and fireworks. On returning to Russia the Tsar not only ordered to build his own version of Marley in Peterhof, but also ordered to establish an Assembly – an immense innovation for Russia. Look at the first Russian textbook of secular etiquette «The Mirror of Youth» from 1717, and try to portray through animation or comics how it was recommended to behave. Imagine videos, animations or graphics about fashion, dancing or the theatre from that time. Or perhaps you can depict the action or shapes of the fireworks from Peter’s time?

  1. 1717 in European history.

In 1717, Georg Friedrich Handel enthralled the English king with «Music on the Water» while riding on the royal barks of the Thames, Daniel Defoe writes the novel «Robinson Crusoe» and Antoine Watteau paints «Sailing to the Island of Kythira». What other innovations or events does the world remember from the year 1717 in European science and arts? We hope that they will inspire you to conduct your own research and create a story about it in the form of an interesting video or presentation.

Additional sources of information about Peter the Great’s stay in France:

The organizers of the contest:

  • Volunteer service of the State Hermitage (
  • Computer science teaching centre «Academy» (
  • Scientific-methodical Department of the State Hermitage’s School centre.