ROYAL RUSSIA: News, Videos & Photographs About the Romanov Dynasty, Monarchy and Imperial Russia - Updated Daily
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Friday, 1 July 2016
Hotel des Ventes de Monte-Carlo Offers Russian Works of Art, Faberge & Icons on 20 July, 2016
Topic: Auctions

The Hôtel des Ventes de Monte-Carlo will host an auction on 20 July, 2016 in Monaco, offering yet another magnificent selection of Russian works of art and historical memorabilia with an Imperial Provenance.

Highlights of the sale features Fabergé, icons, sculptures, furniture, chandeliers, silverware, crystal, porcelain, militaria, and historical memorabilia, including personal items, gifts and portraits of the Russian Imperial family, and more. 

Click Here to Review 148-page Catalogue 

© Cyrille Boulay. 1 July, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:21 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 1 July 2016 9:29 AM EDT
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Preserving the Romanov Legacy
Topic: Royal Russia

Dear Friends of Royal Russia:

This letter is part of my annual Summer appeal to Romanov enthusiasts and lovers of the history of Imperial Russia.

Established in 1994, Royal Russia has been a personal labour of love for more than two decades, one which I am honoured to share with many others around the world on a daily basis. I am able to achieve this via my web site, blog and Facebook pages, and through the publication of books and periodicals.

The many hours which I devote to Royal Russia are strictly voluntary. I do not earn a salary from Royal Russia - my sole means of income is from my publishing and bookselling business. Royal Russia's existence and continued growth is solely dependent on the sale of my annual calendar, as well as donations from friends and supporters.

In 2015, the Royal Russia web site continued to grow, adding another 342 additional news stories, dozens of new full-length articles, hundreds of new photographs, dozens of videos, plus updates to our film and video archive, an internal search engine and much more. I am sure that you can appreciate that the maintenance and upkeep of a web site and blog of this size is both time consuming and costly. What types of expenses are incurred in maintaining Royal Russia?

Web Site and Blog: my web site and blog now offer more than 50 full-length articles, more than 700 news articles, more than 500 videos, over 2,000 photographs, plus a blog with over 2,000 news clips, videos and photographs and much more. Royal Russia is updated on a daily basis!

The growing number of articles, photographs and videos added annually, coupled with the more than 3 million visitors who visited my web site over the past year have had a serious impact on monthly operational and maintenance costs.

In the past year I have had to double the amount of space and bandwidth, for which I pay a monthly fee to my web-host Lycos-Angelfire. Videos, photographs (JPEGs), music (MPEGs) and online auction catalogues and other documents (PDFs) use up a lot of space, and I am forced to pay a monthly fee in order to provide additional space on my web site so that people can read and enjoy them.

I also pay a monthly fee to keep my web site and blog free from advertising pop-ups which otherwise are so numerous that they become a nuisance. I also have to pay for domain registration and a host of other services.

Translations: the cost of translating books and articles from Russian into English puts the greatest strain on the limited finances I have to work with. Books in particular cost thousands of dollars to translate, including Memories in the Marble Palace by Grand Duke Gabriel Constantinovich, and Last Years at the Court of Tsarskoe Selo, 1906-1909 by Général Alexandre Spiridovitch. The second volume of Spiridovitch’s memoirs, which cover the years 1910-1914 is nearing completion, and should be available later this year.

Giving Back to Russia: over the past 4 years, Royal Russia has donated a total of 70,000 Rubles to the Tsarskoye Selo and Peterhof State-Museum Preserves. These gifts go towards restoration work in the palaces and the acquisition of items for the palace-museum collections. I am very proud that I have been given the opportunity to make at least a small contribution to each museum. I am committed to helping to preserve the Romanov legacy when and where I can, and will continue to make additional donations in the years ahead.

In past years, I have donated Royal Russia publications valued at $380.00, to the Prince George Galitzine Memorial Library in St. Petersburg, and the Holy Trinity Seminary Library at the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York.

If you enjoy all the articles, photographs, and videos on Royal Russia, as well as the weekly news and blog updates, please help support my work by making a donation.

If you would like to show your support for Royal Russia by making a personal donation, you may do this with a credit card by clicking on the Donate button below. Your donation, no matter how small (even $5 would be appreciated) will help to offset growing annual operational costs. 

Please note that there certainly is no obligation, this is merely a request for you to help by sponsoring my work and keeping the memories of old Russia alive.

Thank you for your ongoing interest and support of Royal Russia. 

Sincerely Yours, 
Royal Russia Founder / Website Administrator
JULY 2016
NOTE: If you have recently made a donation, please accept my most sincere thanks for support of my work.
You will receive confirmation and thanks by e-mail or regular post.





Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:00 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 30 June 2016 1:06 PM EDT
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Thursday, 30 June 2016
Imperial Russia: Nikos Floros Pays Tribute to the Romanov Family
Topic: Exhibitions

Greek artist Nikos Floros
The penetrating gaze of Tsar Nicholas II greets visitors in the St Catherine’s side-altar area of the State Museum St Isaac’s Cathedral. The world’s fourth largest basilica and one of the city’s top tourist attractions – featuring green malachite and blue lapis lazuli columns beneath its 101.52-meter gold-plated dome – is currently hosting “Imperial Russia,” an exhibition of new works by Greek artist Nikos Floros.

Commissioned by the Russian state within the framework of the 2016 Year of Greece in Russia, the display focuses on the country’s last imperial family, the Romanovs.

The fate of the last tsar and his immediate family is more or less known: Nicholas II was deposed in February 1917 and he and his immediate family were executed in Yekaterinburg in July 1918. The family was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in 1981.

“The proposal points to Russia revisiting the idea of its ‘Imperial’ tradition, with the country reaching out to its Orthodox and Byzantine roots,” Floros told Kathimerini English Edition. “Besides, it was during the rule of Tsar Nicholas II that Russian literature, art and culture reached their peak.”

At the same time, the House of Romanov mirrored an old system that failed to keep up with the rapidly changing times. At St Isaac’s, the Greek artist brings his own “instinct and sense of responsibility” to a bloody chapter of history through seven mosaic portraits: There’s the majestic – and colorful – Tsar Nicholas II in full military attire, flanked by black-and-white metallic portrayals of his spouse, Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, their daughters Olga, Tatiana, Anastasia and Maria and their son and would-be heir, hemophilic Alexei.

“The works are based on a few of the family’s last official photographs, with a focus on details which, at times, seem to predict the tragic end. Their eyes are filled with sadness,” noted the 46-year-old Floros.

The Romanov faces emerged through the artist’s signature technique, mosaics comprising large numbers of minute pieces of aluminum from soft drink cans – a method he patented in 2003. The creative idea was founded on the notion of recycling as well as a sense of the ephemeral which permeates the present era.

Seven egg-shaped sculptures inspired by the renowned Faberge eggs accompany the portraits.

Floros portraits of members of the Russian Imperial family are currently on display in St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia
Executed in a series of limited editions by Peter Carl Faberge (1846-1920), a Russian of French descent, the original jeweled pieces were known to be the imperial family’s favorite Easter presents. Instead of using gold and precious stones, however, Floros worked with broken glass.

“My aim was to express the tsars’ fragile lives and use the sculptures as vehicles containing their ‘hearts,’ made of red aluminum fibers. Even though they were murdered, their hearts remained intact,” said Floros, adding a metaphysical dimension to the display, which steers clear from hagiography or religious art.

“Following his work on sculptured paintings, the Faberge-style eggs point to a new direction in terms of Floros’s creative style,” noted Aristotelis Karantis, who has been curating the artist’s shows in the last four years.

“In this display contemporary artistic features meet cultural classicism.”

Greece’s consul general in Saint Petersburg, Panos Beglitis, acclaimed Russian actor and current State Museum St Isaac’s Cathedral director Nikolai Burov, and Deputy Regional Governor of the Peloponnese Constantina Nikolakou were among a group of dignitaries attending the exhibition’s inauguration earlier this month. On the day, a short film screened on a video wall inside the museum showed a Coca-Cola can turn into a key raw material on the artist’s canvas, while original footage showed the Romanovs in more carefree times.

Meanwhile, the show promotes the idea of cultural diplomacy which Floros has been nurturing in the last few years. Following a display of works inspired by El Greco at St Isaac’s two years ago, “Imperial Russia” signals his fourth exhibition at state museums in the culture-loving country. It is estimated that over 5 million visitors viewed his sculptures of costumes inspired by Maria Callas and Grace Kelly at Moscow’s Tsaritsyno in 2013, for instance. Julia Sysalova, Floros’s exhibitions director, has been a steady ally all along.

“As a Russian, I’m very proud to collaborate with an artist who chose to create a collection devoted to my country and its history in the frame of the Greek-Russian cross year,” she said.

How do young Russians view the Romanovs today?

“There is a sense of injustice and a feeling of sadness vis-a-vis the family, the children who were killed,” observed Natalia and Vadim, a Russian couple, after visiting the temporary display which they defined as “impressive.”

In the former imperial, revolutionary and presently federal city – as well as President Vladimir Putin’s birthplace – the Greek artist’s metal and glass works are being exhibited under the aegis of the Russian Orthodox Church and will remain on display through August 31. “Our shared spiritual heritage, Orthodoxy, gives special weight to Greek-Russian relations,” noted Floros.

One year prior to the centennial anniversary of the October Revolution, the Russian Church is about to take control, once again, of the cathedral – a museum of atheism during Soviet rule. As a result, “Imperial Russia” is billed as the last visual arts event St Isaac’s will host in its capacity as a museum.
Click on the link below for more information and photos of this exhibition:

Imperial Russia: Nikos Floros Pays Tribute to the Romanov Family

© Kathimerini. 30 June, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:23 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 30 June 2016 5:36 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo and the Romanovs. The Story Continues
Topic: Alexander Palace

This article has been written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2016

The Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, like the Grand Palace in Tsaritsyno, was created at the behest of the Empress Catherine II. At first, the construction of both palaces proceeded well, however, they did not share the same fate. The Alexander Palace, unlike Tsaritsyno, was not only completed, but remained a favourite home to several generations of Romanovs for more than 120 years. A new exhibition which opened this week in the Grand Palace at Tsaritsyno in Moscow features more than 700 authentic objects that are associated with the life of these people, their hobbies, their loves, joys and sorrows.

The first owner of the palace was the Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich, the future Emperor Alexander I. Exactly 220 years ago, in June 1796, he entered the New Palace of Tsarskoye Selo (as it was called until 1856), he had received as a wedding gift from his grandmother, Catherine II . He, among a succession of other emperors liked to visit and spend the summer with their wives and children, among them Emperor Nicholas I, the Tsesarevich Alexander Alexandrovich (future Emperor Alexander III), and Emperor Nicholas II. The last Russian emperor was not only born in the Alexander Palace in 1868, but it remained his main residence right up until his abdication and house arrest in 1917.

The history of the Alexander Palace as a museum is a short one. Before the Great Patriotic War the state rooms and royal apartments of the palace were open to the public. During the occupation of the city of Pushkin, the Palace was occupied by German military units. After the war the building was occupied by various Soviet institutions.

The fate of the works of art - paintings, sculptures, furniture, lovingly collected lived by members of the Russian Imperial family in the Alexander Palace is a sad one to say the least. Many of the items which filled the palace interiors, were lost during the war, and most of the remaining were distributed to different museums and other palace estate museums. According to a 2010 report in the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, a total 5,615 items from the Alexander Palace were moved to Pavlovsk in 1957, where many of them remain to this day.

In 2009, the Alexander Palace was officially taken over by the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve, and soon thereafter the state rooms were open to the public. In the fall of 2015, the Alexander Palace began a large-scale restoration work, which is expected to be complete in July 2018.

The organizers of the exhibition The Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo and the Romanovs. The Story Continues managed to collect a significant part in the exhibition of objects from the historical collections of the Alexander Palace. They are complemented further with items stored in the collections of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve, the Pavlovsk State Museum and the Novgorod Museum Reserve. Some items from these collections are on display at the Tsaritsyno exhibit for the first time since 1941. Among them are magnificent paintings by famous masters, European and Russian porcelain, bronze art, books from the palace library, as well as historical and personal uniforms of the emperors. The exhibited objects give visitors an idea of the decoration of the imperial residence under different owners.

Original letters, diaries, drawings, watercolours, copybooks, notes, photographs and postcards, provided by the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF) in Moscow, allow a more personal touch to the stories of the inhabitants of the Alexander Palace.

More than 700 exhibits of the exhibition The Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo and the Romanovs. The Story Continues present the history of the palace and its owners, beginning with the Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich, the future Emperor Alexander I, and ending with the family of the Tsesarevich Alexander Alexandrovich, the future Emperor Alexander III.

But, as the name suggests, the exhibition is waiting for continuation: the second part of the exhibition project The Alexander Palace in 1917, which will open in December 2016, will be devoted to Emperor Nicholas II, his family and the last days of Alexander Palace as a royal residence. From here 100 years ago, on August 1, 1917, Russia’s last emperor Nicholas II and his family went into exile to Tobolsk.

The exhibition is a joint effort organized by the Tsaritsyno State Museum Preserve, the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve, and the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF).

The exhibition The Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo and the Romanovs. The Story Continues runs from 29 June, 2016 - 31 January, 2018 in the Grand Palace at Tsaritsyno in Moscow.
Click on the link below to view more photographs from this exhibition:

Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo and the Romanovs. The Story Continues - 30 Colour Photographs

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 29 June, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:41 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 30 June 2016 11:08 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 28 June 2016
OBITUARY: Eugenie de S. Chavchavadze
Topic: Chavchavadze

David and Eugenie Chavchavadze
Eugenie de S. Chavchavadze, 76, a supporter of the Russian Nobility Association of America and an organizer of its annual Russian Orthodox calendar New Year’s Eve ball in Washington, died May 30 at her home in Washington. The cause was cancer, said her son, Paul Olkhovsky.

Mrs. Chavchavadze was born Eugenie de Smitt in New York City and had lived in Washington since 1954. She was divorced from Yuri Olkhovsky, a George Washington University Sovietologist, and a supporter of Russian dissidents; and the widow of David Chavchavadze, a descendant of the Romanov dynasty that ruled Imperial Russia for 300 years. He died in 2014. Their house in Northwest Washington became an unofficial sanctuary for Russian dissidents.

For a time, her family said, Mrs. Chavchavadze was a contract worker for the CIA, debriefing Russian émigrés. She was a member of the Foundation of the Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens in Washington, which houses a collection of art from Imperial Russia.
Click on the link below to read about David Chavchavadze:

David Chavchavadze (1924-2014)

© The Washington Post. 28 June, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:44 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 29 June 2016 7:59 AM EDT
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Monday, 27 June 2016
Exhibition: Empress Maria Fedorovna. Love Story
Topic: Exhibitions

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


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:09 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 27 June 2016 11:15 AM EDT
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Follow Royal Russia on Facebook
Topic: Royal Russia


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:01 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 30 June 2016 11:26 AM EDT
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Sunday, 26 June 2016
Want More Royal Russia?
Topic: Royal Russia





Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:03 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 26 June 2016 6:42 AM EDT
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Saturday, 25 June 2016
Important Changes to the Royal Russia Bookshop
Topic: Books

 © Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 25 June, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:54 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 25 June 2016 1:13 PM EDT
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Friday, 24 June 2016
Great Summer Reading - Forthcoming Titles from Royal Russia
Topic: Books

I am pleased to announce the following new titles, to be published over the summer months by Gilbert's Books (the publishing division of Royal Russia).

Please note that the titles listed here have NOT yet been published. An announcement will be made as soon as they are available from the Royal Russia Bookshop.

Royal Russia No. 10 - Summer 2016
Available July / August 2016 

Our 10th issue will feature 8 full-length articles, news and richly illustrated with vintage photographs.

The cover story Elizabeth & Sergei: A History of Love. A History of Lies by Russian historian Valery Mikhailova explores the relationship between Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna. 

The author's research is based on new documents from the Russian archives, including diaries and letters, which put to rest many of the misconceptions and untruths which have endured over the years about the grand ducal couple.

 Of Bygone Days
by Rear Admiral Semyon S. Fabritsky
Available August 2016

Semyon Semyonovich Fabritsky (1874-1941) had a fascinating career during the twilight years of Imperial Russia. 

He served as Flugel-Adjutant to Emperor Nicholas II, a position he served with immense pride and devotion to his sovereign. 

He also served aboard the Imperial yachts 'Polar Star' and 'Alexandria'. His eye witness observations provide the reader with a peek into these "floating palaces".

In these memoirs, Fabritsky offers his own candid personal observations of Nicholas II, noting the treachery, cowardice, and deceit which surrounded him during his 22-year reign.

200 pages, illustrated. First English translation by William Lee.

Romanov Legacy 2017 Calendar
Available July 2016

This is the 4th and final calendar in the series dedicated to the palaces and residences of the Russian Imperial family. 

Our 2017 calendar offers another dozen Imperial residences, including Oreanda (Crimea), Ilyinskoye (near Moscow) and the Palace of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna (St. Petersburg).

NOTE: These titles are not yet available. Please check this blog or the Royal Russia Bookshop for updates on availability.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 24 June, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:49 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 25 June 2016 8:08 AM EDT
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