ST. PETERSBURG, January 30 - RAPSI. The Stavropol Territory Commercial Court will consider the Hermitage Museum's lawsuit against a St. Petersburg fashion designer on February 18, the Supreme Commercial Court reported on its website on Tuesday.

The museum has asked the court to order Iya Yots to stop using the image of the painting, "A Woman in Blue," by Thomas Gainsborough.

Meanwhile, the defendant's lawyer has rejected the claim, arguing that the image has been removed from the designer's website, according to the court. "The court has proposed that the parties opt for an out-of-court settlement," the court said in the order scheduling the hearing.

Yots representative has refused to comment until after the hearing. RIA Novosti was unable to obtain a comment from the Hermitage.

"A Woman in Blue" has been part of the Hermitage collection since 1916 and is the English artist's only work in Russia. Some art historians believe that it is a portrait of the Duchess of Beaufort.

Yots is from the Stavropol Territory. She is a St. Petersburg-based fashion designer and sells her collections under the "Iya Yots" brand.