A new exhibition, Russian Empresses: Fashion and Style, Late 18th - Early 20th Centuries will open on April 3, 2013 in the Moscow Exhibition Hall of the Federal State Archives, situated at Ulitsa Bolshoya Pirogovskaya, 17.
The exhibition has been organized by the Federal Archival Agency, the State Archive of the Russian Federation, the State Hermitage Museum with the participation of the State Historical Museum, the Gatchina State Museum, Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts, the Russian State Historical Archive, the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History, and will include items from a private collection in Denmark.
The exhibition coincides with the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty, and reveals two fascinating topics: fashion and style of the Russian empresses.
The exhibition focuses on the fashion and style of seven Russian empresses dating from the late 18th - early 19th centuries.
The Russian Empresses were known throughout Europe for their tastes in style and fashion, quite often becoming trend setters themselves. Their outfits, accessories, jewelry, striking in elegance and luxury was part of the image of the Russian state.
The seven empresses represented in the exhibition were all very different in style, fashion, and personality: Catherine the Great (1729-1796), Maria Feodorovna (1759-1828), Elizabeth Alexeievna (1779-1826), Alexandra Feodorovna (1798-1860), Maria Alexandrovna (1824-1880), Maria Feodorovna (1847-1928), and the last empress - Alexandra Feodorovna (1872-1918) .
The exhibition presents a decree of Emperor Peter I on February 28, 1702 "On the wearing of ceremonial dress on festive and ceremonial days."
The State Archive of the Russian Federation will present drawings, several albums, notebooks, ornate appliques and watercolor paintings, wreaths of dried plants, and a storage box for notebooks.
Of particular note is a sketch of "The Portrait of Alexandra Feodorovna," by G.G. Chernetsova painted from life in 1835 is exhibited for the first time.
With the support of the Royal Danish Embassy in Moscow, Russian visitors will see personal items that belonged to Empress Maria Feoodorovna and her husband Emperor Alexander III, which are now stored in a private collection in Denmark. Included are two unique documents: the list of personal items of the Empress Maria Feodorovna from Gatchina Palace and the inventory of her jewelry and other items belonging to Empress Maria Feodorovna in 1917. Included on the inventory are four pendants in the shape of eggs of jasper, amethyst, jade and rhodonite with ornaments of gold and silver, silver stack of Emperor Alexander III, photos, and also unopened envelope containing the last letter of Maria Feodorovna's son, George at Abbas-Tuman. The letter after his death, and was "returned to sender."
The dresses and gowns on display will be from the collections of the State Hermitage Museum and the Gatchina State Museum, and include paintings, prints, porcelain and jewelry, diaries, letters, drawings, photographs and books.
The opening of the exhibition will be marked with the publication of a beautifully illustrated catalog in Russian.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 27 March, 2013