In 2006 the Grünes Gewölbe presented an exhibition at the Moscow Kremlin Museums under the title “The Jewel Cabinet of August the Strong”. Now, six years later, the host museums are paying a return visit to Dresden:
Around 140 masterpieces from the Moscow Kremlin Museums are on show in a special exhibition in the State Apartments of Dresden’s former Royal Palace (Residenzschloss). They include items from the collection of European silver from the Kremlin Armoury, sumptuous garments, precious jewellery and vessels, as well as arms produced by Turkish and Persian craftsmen. These objects will be complemented by 23 items on loan from the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen and the Saxon State and University Library (SLUB), and also from the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel.
The exhibition covers the period between 1547, when Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584) was crowned Tsar, and 1712, when Peter the Great (1672-1725) made Saint Petersburg the new capital of the Russian Empire. The exhibition focuses on the significance of the Kremlin as a crossroads between western and eastern cultures, which led to far-reaching changes and the opening up of Russia to the outside world. The enormous growth of its influence and power, as well as its expanding trade relations, gave this huge country ever increasing importance in the political and economic power structures of the time.
This is illustrated by the lavish objects purchased by the Tsars and presented to them as gifts by foreign ambassadors from both west and east. In addition, the Kremlin workshops – inspired by the numerous diplomatic gifts – produced precious items of goldsmith’s art, garments and ceremonial weapons which combined European and oriental tastes with ancient Russian traditions to create objects of perfect form. In this way, the accumulated treasures demonstrated the Tsars’ attitude of openness to the world and were an essential aspect of courtly display. To contemporaries, they demonstrated the power and wealth of the Russian Empire, and their fascination for today’s visitors is no less great.
An exhibition between the Green Vault (Grünes Gewölbe) and the Moscow Kremlin Museums from
Dates: 1 December 2012 - 4 March 2013
Venue: Green Vault (Grünes Gewölbe), Royal Palace (Residenzschloss) at Dresden, Germany
© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen. 09 December, 2012