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400th Anniversary
A Russian Moment
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Paul Alexandrovich, GD
Paul Gilbert
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Friday, 22 February 2013
A Russian Moment No. 8
Topic: Tsarskoye Selo


A breathtaking aerial view of the Feodorovsky Gorodok (left) and the Sovereign Feodorovsky Cathedral (right) at Tsarskoye Selo. The Feodorovsky Gorodok is currently under restoration and once completed will serve as the Patriarch's official residence. The Sovereign Feodorovsky Cathedral has undergone exhaustive restorations that span nearly two decades. Both are a short walk from the Alexander Palace. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 21 February, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 3:28 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 22 February 2013 3:39 PM EST
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Thursday, 21 February 2013
Romanov Dynasty Turns 400 Years Old
Topic: 400th Anniversary


A man takes time to view an outdoor exhibition dedicated to the Romanov dynasty in Yekaterinburg

Today, February 21 (O.S. Julian Calendar)  marks the 400th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty, which ruled the country for a little over three centuries, until 1917. On February 21, 1613, a Zemsky Sobor elected the 16-year-old Mikhail Fyodorovich.

His coronation was held on June 11, 1613, in the Dormition Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin, making him the first tsar of the Romanov Dynasty. The Moscow Kremlin museums have unveiled a facsimile edition of the 17th century manuscript which describes the crowning.

Celebrations were held across Russia today.

In Saint Petersburg, a requiem service was held at the tombs of the Romanov buried at the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.

In the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, celebrations began with a divine liturgy and the opening of an outdoor exhibition dedicated to the Romanov dynasty.

The exhibition is centered on the last Russian emperor Nicholas II and his family, who were murdered by the Bolsheviks in the cellar of the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg on July 17, 1918. The Moscow Patriarchate canonized the family in 2000.

The museums of the Moscow Kremlin in 2013 will showcase two exhibitions related to the history of Russia and its rulers. On March 19 the exhibition dedicated to Ivan III opens at the Pillar Chamber – this ruler is often connected with the association of Russian lands around Moscow which became the center of the state, he also adopted the so-called Code of Law.

The Art of Saving Art exhibition which will open on April 9 in the exhibition hall of the Uspenskaya Belfry will reveal the secrets of restoration crafts on the examples of the best art works of Russian and foreign artists - Moscow Kremlin is rich in these works.

In mid-September the Museums of the Kremlin will present a magnificent exhibition Coronation in the Moscow Kremlin (XVI-XIX centuries) dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty.

Among other events taking place in Russia in honor of this anniversary, a memorial Romanov bell will be raised at Novospassky Monastery in Moscow, the 2013 Romanov Festival is being held in Kostroma, the Omsk Museum of Fine Arts is hosting a Romanov Exhibition and Nizhniy Novgorod is hosting a photography exhibition depicting royal visits to this city.

The anniversary is also being celebrated elsewhere around the world throughout the year. For example, in the United States at the Hillwood Museum in Washington DC is presenting a special exhibition of the coronation albums created over the course of the family’s reign. In Great Britain new tableware released by Royal Buckingham for purchase by the public will have the Romanov crest and 1613-2013 depicted on it. A collection of historical carpets called “The Romanovs: A Great Dynasty” will tour to world, travelling to Moscow, St. Petersburg, London, Paris, New York and Madrid.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 21 February, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:05 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 22 February 2013 3:25 PM EST
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Could the Russian Monarchy Return?
Topic: Russian Monarchy


HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, Head of the Russian Imperial House 

While the House of Romanov is celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2013 HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, its head, spoke with Russia Beyond the Headlines about her position and what role her family could play in modern Russia.

||| Click Here to Read the Interview with Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna |||

© Rossiyskaya Gazeta. 21 February, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:38 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2013 6:43 AM EST
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Russia: Tempted by History Exhibit Opens in Moscow
Topic: Exhibitions


Solikamsk (1910). Artist: Alexander Vladimirovich Makovsky (1869-1924). Photo Credit: MacDougall's 

UK-based MacDougall’s Auction House has kicked off an exhibition called “Russia: Tempted by History,” marking the opening of its first Moscow showroom in the late February. Some 20 Russian masterpieces have been brought home for a short stay, including oeuvres by Viktor Vasnetsov, Konstantin Korovin, Nikolai Roerich, and Konstantin Korovin. Experts say the show is a real gift for all Russian art-lovers who haven’t had a glimpse of these rare Russian paintings for over a hundred years.

© Voice of Russia. 21 February, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:49 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2013 6:00 AM EST
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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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