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400th Anniversary
A Russian Moment
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Alexander Mikhailovich, GD
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Amber Room
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Anna Feodorovna, GD
Anna Ioannovna, Empress
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Beautiful Orthodox Churches
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Conspiracy Theories
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Dmitri Romanovich
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Eagar, Margaretta
Ekaterinburg Remains
Elena Vladimirovna, GD
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Gibbes, Charles Sidney
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Kerensky, Alexander
Kolchak, Admiral
Konstantin Nikolayevich, GD
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Maria Pavlovna, Senior
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Marie Georgievna, GD
Mikhail Nikolayevich, GD
Nevsky, Alexander
Nicholas Alexandrovich GD
Nicholas I
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Nicholas Mikhailovich, GD
Nicholas Nicholayevich, GD
Nicholas Romanovich
Oleg Konstantinovich, Prince
Olga Alexandrovna GD
Olga Konstantinovna GD
Olga Nicholayevna GD
Paley, Princess Natalia
Paul Alexandrovich, GD
Paul Gilbert
Paul I, Emperor
Peter and Paul Fortress
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Romanov Descendants
Romanov Family Album
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Stieglitz, Alexander
Stolypin, Pyotr
Tauride Palace
Tsarskoye Selo
Tsesarevich Alexei
Vera Konstantinovna, Princess
Vladimir Alexandrovich, GD
Vyrubova, Anna
Winter Palace
Witte, Sergei
World War I
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Xenia Alexandrovna GD
Yelagin Palace
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Wednesday, 20 February 2013
Repin. A Russian Master's Life and Work in Finland
Topic: Russian Art


 Double portrait of Natalia Noordman and Ilya Repin (1903)

The exhibition Repin. A Russian Master's Life and Work in Finland has opened at the recently renovated Kadriorg Art Museum in Tallinn, Estonia. The exhibition, which was organised in collaboration with the Ateneum Art Museum of the Finnish National Gallery, introduces the distinguished artist Ilya Repin's paintings from his Finnish period, which have received less attention. 

"Ilya Repin's work is well-known among the Estonian public. However, it has been predominantly viewed through the prism of the Soviet Union's art policy, which was limited to the social and socially critical portion of the artist's work," Linda Lainvoo, one of the exhibition curators, said. "However, this exhibition focuses on the artist's more intimate paintings and helps us understand the background of Repin's craftsmanship. The artist, who was known for cultivating a realistic style of portrayal and socially critical subjects, is revealed at this exhibition as a sensitive portraitist and passionate drawer."

Repin. A Russian Master's Life and Work in Finland is based on the Repin collection at the Ateneum Art Museum, and is directly connected to the artist's home "Penates" in Karelia, as well as to Finnish history. The works have arrived at the museum as gifts, donations and purchases by the government. Through drawings that were completed at various period of his life, the exhibition also illustrates Repin's lifelong dedication to improving his art.

Ilya Repin (1844–1930) is one of the Russian artists whose work is renowned around the world. He is known primarily as a great realist, and his works, which often contain a socially critical subtext, provide a reflection of the daily lives of simple people and peasants.

The artist settled in Kuokkala, Karelia (today Repino, in the Russian Federation) in the early 20th century. Together with his life partner Natalia Nordmann (1863–1914), who was active in photography and literature, he established his home there, which soon became an active centre of cultural life. After Finland became independent, Repin became increasingly involved with the Finnish art scene and art community. In the 1920s, the artist, who was quite elderly, appeared at exhibitions in Russia and Finland. Despite many invitations from the Soviet Union, Repin did not leave Finland, remaining there until his death in 1930.

© Kadriorg Art Museum. 20 February, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:02 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2013 7:05 AM EST
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Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Imperial Family Exhibit to Tour Russia
Topic: Exhibitions


Olga Nikolaevna Kulikovsky 

Olga Nikolaevna Kulikovsky has organized a traveling exhibit comprised of personal items of the Royal Family to mark the 400 th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty.

The exhibit opened on January 16th in Vladivostok, and will continue on to Tyumen, Ekaterinburg, Moscow and other cities of Russia, said Olga Nikolaevna, as reported by ITAR-TASS.

The exposition is part of a jubilee program called From Ocean to Ocean—From Vladivostok to Toronto, initiated by the Benevolent Fund of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna.

“Most of the exponents will be artistic works and letters of the sister of Nicholas II, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna. We brought a picture from the family archives which was a gift to [Tsar] Nikolai Alexandrovich in honor of the 300th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty. We will also show personal items belonging to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna from Ekaterinburg. It is very likely that they were in the Ipatiev House, where the Royal Family spent their final days on earth and where they were executed,” said Olga Alexandrovna. Her husband, Tikhon Nikolaevich Kulikovsky, the son of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, cherished everything he had which was connected to his family.

Olga Kulikovsky, who recently celebrated her 85 th birthday, lives in Canada, but spends most of her time in Russia. The charity she founded helped Russians in the difficult 1990’s by providing food and medical equipment, and to this day provides aid. Olga Nikolaevna published several books about the Royal Family, her husband, his mother, grandmother and grandfather, Tsar Alexander III, and Empress Maria Feodorovna, and about her spiritual father, Protopriest Leonid Kolchev.

||| Click Here to View 30 Colour Photos from the Vladivostock Exhibit|||

© ITAR-TASS. 19 February, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:38 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 19 February 2013 8:51 AM EST
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Monday, 18 February 2013
A Russian Moment No. 7 - Monument to Alexander II, Moscow
Topic: A Russian Moment

On June 7th 2005, a new monument to Emperor Alexander II was unveiled near the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow.

A previous statue of Alexander II by the Russian sculptor Alexander Opekushin was destroyed in 1918. Producing an exact copy of the previous monument--a superficial, lifeless imitation--would have been inappropriate. Nevertheless, surviving photographs and sketches of the first statue served to aid and direct the creators of the new work, the artists Alexander Rukavishnikov and Sergei Sharov, and the architect Igor Voskresensky.

Together these talented individuals developed their own vision of the statue. Their work combines elements of neoclassical monumental sculpture with new urban design. Facing the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, the monument is a sign of the respect that many Russians today feel for their national history and the noble virtues of the Russian statehood.

The statue was consecrated by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexei II (1929-2008).

© Tretyakov Gallery Magazine. 18 February, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:39 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 30 March 2013 12:59 PM EDT
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Monument to Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich at Kostroma
Topic: Kostroma


A monument to Russia's first tsar of the House of Romanov, Mikhail Feodorovich (1596-1645) has been unveiled at Kostroma.

The bronze bust is three times smaller than the original created by Demut-Malinovsky. The unveiling of the new monument comes on the eve of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty.

Kostroma is home to the Ipatievsky Monastery where Mikhail Feodorovich lived before being offered the crown in 1612.  

The Romanovs regarded Kostroma as their special protectorate. The Ipatievsky Monastery was visited by many of them, including Nicholas IIA wooden house of Mikhail Romanov is still preserved in the monastery.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 18 February, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:34 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 18 February 2013 8:54 AM EST
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Sunday, 17 February 2013
Pageant of the Tsars: The Romanov Coronation Albums
Topic: Exhibitions


The pomp and pageantry of imperial coronations were documented and promoted in lavish albums that became almost as important as the extravagant events themselves. To mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Romanov dynasty in 1613, Hillwood Museum present a special exhibition of the albums created over the course of the family’s reign.

Over the course of their reign, the Romanovs celebrated coronations with elaborate celebrations, which included their grand entry into Moscow, fireworks, and the ruler symbolically crowning himself. Fully illustrating the grand celebration and all its details, sumptuous albums were created to spread word of the event and all its symbolism.

In the year of the 400th anniversary of the crowning of the first Romanov tsar, the most complete presentation ever of these coronation albums, including two copies of the monumental Alexander II album of 1856 with one in its original binding, will be on display at Hillwood. Beginning with Catherine I, Peter the Great’s wife, there were a total of seven coronation albums created by the Russian tsars—each published within a few years of the event. The exhibition will feature five albums from Hillwood's collection, plus supplemental material on loan from the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, and the University of Texas at Austin, bringing together six of the seven coronation albums together for the first time in an exhibition in the United States.

With objects from Hillwood’s Russian decorative arts and paintings collection—the most comprehensive one outside of Russia—an exploration of the Romanovs’ lasting influence on Russian art and culture will add to the understanding of their reign and the coronation albums. Coronation books from other countries such as the Holy Roman Empire will illustrate the bearing that the West had on the Romanovs and the dynamic relationship of the cultures.

The Albums

These lavishly produced albums are art objects in their own right with eye-catching bindings and illustrations—primarily engravings and chromolithographs—by the best artists and craftsmen of their day. Published in small print runs they were presented to other courts, diplomats, family members, and important guests by the Tsar. Because they were not widely available beyond these circles, a public collection like Hillwood’s, with five of the seven albums, is rare. Featuring views of coronation processions and ceremonies; images of official dinners, balls, and imperial regalia; exact copies of dinner menus and more, the albums offer a fascinating portrait of the dynasty, and what each ruler wanted us to see and remember for posterity.

Pageant of the Tsars will run from February 16th to June 8th, 2013 at the Hillwood Museum in Washington, D.C.

© Hillwood Museum. 17 February, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:51 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 18 February 2013 8:01 AM EST
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Saturday, 16 February 2013
Vintage Photo of Nicholas II No. 13
Topic: Nicholas II


Emperor Nicholas II arriving at the Governing Senate in St. Petersburg, 1911. The dome of Saint Isaac's Cathedral can be seen in the background. Photograph by Karl Bulla.

The Governing Senate was a legislative, judicial, and executive body of Russian monarchs. It was instituted by Emperor Peter I to replace the Boyar Duma. The Senate was chaired by the Ober-Procurator, who served as the link between the Sovereign and the Senate and acted in the Emperor's own words, as "the sovereign's eye".

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 16 February, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:43 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 17 February 2013 8:54 AM EST
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Friday, 15 February 2013
Monument to Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich Planned for Perm
Topic: Grand Duke Mikhail Alexan

A proposal to erect a monument to Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich has been submitted to the city of Perm.

The monument by the Russian sculptor Rudolph Vedeneev would be erected in Decembrist Square, located in Perm's city center.

The final design has not yet been submitted, and one of the designs also includes Brian Johnson, who served as the grand duke's private secretary.

In March 1918, Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich and Brian Johnson were sent to Perm where they were imprisoned. They were both murdered by the Bolsheviks on the night of June 11th, 1918.

Their remains have never been found. In August 2012 the SEARCH Foundation returned to Russia to search for the remains of Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich and Brian Johnson. They plan to return in the summer of 2013 to continue their search.

There is currently one monument to Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich in Perm, in the hotel where he and Johnson were held captive.

For more on Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich and Brian Johnson, please refer to the following articles;

Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich Remembered

Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich's Valet, Brian Johnson Has Name Cleared

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 15 February, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:06 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 17 February 2013 8:15 AM EST
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Thursday, 14 February 2013
Pair of Imperial Russian Vases Found in Oklahoma
Topic: Antiques
Two vases from Russia’s Imperial Factory of porcelain were recently found in Oklahoma and have been identified by the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. The vases are valued at $1.5–2.5 million and will be put on sale on Apr. 17 at the Dallas Auction Gallery in Texas.

These monumental vases, 4.4-feet-tall and dating back to 1832, are surely among the most beautiful pieces of Russian porcelain presented on the market in recent years. The estimated worth is $1.5–2.5 million for each vase.

Ekaterina Khmelnitskaya is the curator of the porcelain department at the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg and the expert charged with the authentication of these pieces. “The discovery of these vases is a real event. They mark the golden age of Russian porcelain production during the reign of Nicholas I, and the quality of their execution is exceptional,” says Khmelnitskaya.

During the 19th century, monumental vases like these were created to decorate the vast Imperial palaces and residences. They were often commissioned by the emperor himself, who presented them to royal families or to foreign diplomats. Made in the classical style, their bellies portray reproductions of paintings by Dutch masters from the Hermitage’s collections. “These remarkable paintings are signed M. Golov and M. Meschcheniakov — undeniably the best copy-makers onto porcelain of that time,” Khmelnitskaya says. “And what a surprise to find these treasures of the czar in the middle of the Far West!”

The vases were bought from a Munich gallery in the mid-1920s by Frank Buttram. At the time, Buttram was an oil magnate, philanthropist and art enthusiast from Oklahoma traveling through Europe. Probably, then, the vases are among the countless Imperial riches scattered by the Communists upon their arrival to power.

After nearly a century in the family collection, the vases are finally to be presented to the public and will be put up for sale on Apr. 17 at the Dallas Auction Gallery. Buttram’s descendants have expressed the wish to see the vases return to their country of origin.

© Rossiyskaya Gazeta. 14 February, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:05 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2013 5:43 PM EST
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Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Naryshkin Treasures on View at Pavlovsk
Topic: Pavlovsk


An exhibit which showcases many of the Naryshkin treasures found in a St. Petersburg mansion last year will go on display today at Pavlovsk Palace.

In March 2012, workers found an enormous cache during the restoration of the former Naryshkin mansion on Tchaikovsky Street in the city center. Nearly 2,000 items dating from the 19th-early 20th centuries had been hidden under the floors by the owners of the mansion prior to their escape from Russia during the Revolution.

Silverware, porcelain, medals and awards, jewellery, among other items were found wrapped in old newspapers, dated June-September 1917.

After their discovery, the cache was carefully packed into 40 boxes and coffers and sent to the Konstantin Palace at Stelna for examination and cataloguing.

In January, about 400 items were transferred to Pavlovsk Palace to be put on display. The Konstantin Palace at Strelna hosted an exhibit last year displaying a portion of its share of treasures. Organizers from both museums note that only half of the Naryshkin treasure has been put on display.

Over the decades similar caches of Imperial treasures have been found hidden in other palaces, including the Yusupov and Shuvalov in St. Petersburg.

The Naryshkin exhibit at Pavlovsk will run until June 1st, 2013. The ultimate fate of the collection has yet to be decided by the Ministry of Culture.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 13 February, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:29 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2013 10:00 AM EST
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Historic St. Petersburg Church to Be Rebuilt
Topic: Russian Church


Church of the Assumption. Artist: Karl Beggrov (1799-1875) 

Architectural excavation work on Sennaya Ploshchad aimed at the possible rebuilding of the Church of the Assumption (also known as the Savior on Sennaya), which was located on the square until it was demolished in the 1960s, will begin next month, Interfax reported.

The square will be surrounded by fencing, and major excavation work will take place, exposing the engineering infrastructure on the site, according to Mikhail Malyushin, described by Interfax as the church’s parish priest.

Archaeological work will continue on the site throughout 2013, during which time the final plans for the new church are also to be worked out, Malyushin said.

Artist's concept of the newly rebuilt Church of the Assumption 

The lead designer of the project, Rafael Dayanov, said that construction of the church could begin in 2014.

The foundation of the original church was uncovered during excavation of an entrance for the Spasskaya metro station.

While former St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko was in office, the idea of rebuilding the church on its historical site was first raised and a small chapel built on the spot. In 2011, work on establishing the original footprint of the church began.

The Church of the Assumption was built on Sennaya Ploshchad in the 18th century and was one of the city’s largest houses of worship. In the early 1960s, the church was demolished to make way for the metro station entrance now standing in the square.

© St. Petersburg Times and Interfax. 13 February, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:15 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2013 10:00 AM EST
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