This article has been written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2016
On 3 June, a unique exhibition dedicated to the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna opened at the Museum of Fine Arts of Karelia, located in the historic center of Petrozavodsk, Russia.
Maria Feodorovna (born Princess Dagmar of Denmark), was the wife of Emperor Alexander III, and mother of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II.
The life of this great woman was fanned by love. She loved her adopted country Russia in which lived more than half a century, including thirteen years as empress. She loved art, studied painting and was a gifted artist. She was a loving and devoted wife, and a gentle, caring mother and grandmother.
Maria Feodorovna was one of the most prominent women in the Romanov dynasty, patriot of Russia, champion of orthodoxy, protector of the weak and disadvantaged. Thanks to her tireless charity work she acquired the sincere love and respect of the Russian people.
Art has always played a large role at the Imperial Court of Russia. As in European and British royal houses, the appreciation and study of art was a part of the education for members of the Russian Imperial family as well.
Both Maria Feodorovna and her husband received painting lessons from Russian artist Alexei Petrovich Bogolyubov (1824-1896), who later became a good friend to the August family. Bogolyubov was a brilliant master of battle scenes, and gorgeous seascapes, an artist who made a great contribution to the development of Russian plein air painting.
The exhibition features two paintings by Maria Feodorovna, as well as paintings by prominent Russian artists of the 19th century: Ivan Aivazovsky, KY Kryzhitsky, AA Pisemsky, AI Meshchersky, GF Yartsev among others. The exhibition is further complemented by a magnificent collection of porcelain items from the Anichkov Palace in St. Petersburg.
Exhibition: Empress Maria Fedorovna. Love Story runs from 3 June - 18 September, 2016 at the Museum of Fine Arts of Karelia, in Petrozavodsk, Russia
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 23 June, 2016