Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 1 minute, 22 seconds
The new exhibition, At the Court of the Russian Emperors. 18th- and Early 20th-century Costume in the Hermitage Collection
will be open till the end of September so if you are going to visit St Petersburg this summer this exhibition is a must!
On May 17th, the State Hermitage Museum opened two outstanding temporary exhibitions that will most certainly appeal to any one with an interest in the Romanov dynasty and the Russian Imperial Court. If you are going to visit St Petersburg this summer these exhibitions are a must!
At the Court of the Russian Emperors. 18th- and Early 20th-century Costume in the Hermitage Collection
17 May - 21 September 2014
Nicholas Hall, Anteroom, Armorial Hall, Concert Hall, East Gallery of the Winter Palace
The first exhibition, At the Court of the Russian Emperors, showcases the costumes worn by the Russian Royal family and nobility of the 18th-20th centuries. Ceremonial and fancy dresses, military uniforms, and children’s costumes will be showcased in five halls of the Winter Palace.
This new Hermitage exhibition can rightly be called unique. It includes costumes that belonged to Peter I, from his uniforms up to his bathrobes! The museum also possesses two pairs of shoes of the Russian emperor. It is well-known that the 18th century was the time of ladies at the Russian throne. Surprisingly, after the main quaintrelle of the Russian court, Empress Elizabeth, only one dress is left. At the same time it would be of great interest to see the so-called ”uniform dresses” of Catherine II. In fact, since her times Russian emperors or empresses were supposed to be colonels-in-chief of different Russian regiments. That’s why special uniform dresses were created for the female members of the royal family. Nowadays the Hermitage Museum has about 30 such dresses that belonged to Catherine the Great.
In 1834 Emperor Nicolas I established a special law concerning the ceremonies of the court. Thus, ladies-in-waiting of different ranks were obliged to wear dresses of certain colors. For example, a red velvet dress with gold embroidery was typical for the lady-in-waiting of the empress. The length of the train was also important, indicating the status of the lady. Such dresses were either commissioned abroad – at the workshop of Ch. Worth or created in Russia by the famous designer N. Lamanova.
At the exhibition fancy dresses will be represented as well. Masquerades at the Russian court usually had a special theme. In the 1830′s Chinese masquerades were popular. Alexander II preferred European style masquerades.
Servants of the Russian Imperial Court. Late 19th- Early 20th- century Livery in the Hermitage Collection
17 May - 21 September 2014
Arab Hall, Rotunda of the Winter Palace
The second exhibition, Servants of the Russian Imperial Court is the first opportunity ever, both for researchers and a wider audience, to see a major part of the rich Hermitage collection of uniforms, or livery garments, worn by the servants at the Russian Imperial Court. It showcases 250 dress items from the Hermitage collection and unique documents and photographs from the Russian State Historical Archive, Central State Documentary Film and Photo Archive in St Petersburg and private collections of the court servants’ descendants.
The joint exhibitions are accompanied by an illustrated scholarly catalogue (State Hermitage Publishing House, 2014) which includes an Introduction by the Director-General of the State Hermitage Mikhail Piotrowski.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 24 May, 2014