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400th Anniversary
A Russian Moment
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Friday, 26 April 2013
History Museum in St. Petersburg Hosts Exhibition on Tsarist Easter Cards
Topic: Easter

Photo: A pre-Revolutionary Easter card depicts the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and the Tsesarevich Alexei distributing Easter eggs to soldiers. 

St. Petersburg-based State Museum of History is offering a rich collection of 19th-20th century Easter greeting cards at an exhibition that opened on Thursday, ITAR-TASS reports. Festive attributes and symbols will make it possible to trace all the stages of the great Christian Holiday from the Palm Sunday to the Bright Week. Visitors will also be able to see greetings, addresses and the names of dispatchers and recipients on the reverse sides of the cards.

The first domestic Easter greeting cards include a series of illustrated Easter cards issued by the Community of St. Eugenia in 1898. They are made in water colors and are devoted to “spring themes”. The Community’s publishing house often returned to the Easter theme in future. The sketches for the Easter greeting cards were drawn by Ivan Bilibin, Fyodor Berenshtam, Yevgeny Bem and other famous artists.

The exposition also features greeting cards made by other publishers such as the Richard publishing house in St. Petersburg, the Lenz and Rudolf publishers in Riga, the Kiev-based “Rassvet” (Dawn) publishers, the Vienna-based “M.Munk” and “The Publishing House of I. Lapin” in Paris. They depict traditional Easter eggs, Easter cakes, churches, spring landscapes and people exchanging triple kisses as well as some untypical images borrowed from Western Europe such as rabbits, lapins and chicks.

Photo cards, including portraits and still-life paintings, were no less popular than drawn cards. Most of them were shot in the studio and were often painted manually in aniline colors.

A special section is devoted to Easter cards issued during WWI. New attributes and new characters appeared on those Easter cards such as soldiers and nurses. One of the last cards was issued in 1917. An unknown artist drew a red Easter egg as a symbol of revolutionary events in Russia. Soon, all Easter celebrations were abolished and Easter greeting cards disappeared from Soviet life. Easter traditions were preserved only by Russian emigrants abroad. Church publishing houses printed a small number Easter cards after the Great Patriotic War. The tradition of printing Easter cards started to revive in the late 1980s.

The exhibit runs until June 17th in the History Museum of St. Petersburg which is located inside the SS Peter and Paul Fortress.

© Russkiy Mir. 26 April, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:13 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 26 April 2013 6:19 AM EDT
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Thursday, 25 April 2013
Unique Glass Restoration at Tsarskoye Selo
Topic: Tsarskoye Selo

Mr. Dmitri Rozental and other talented restorers from Yuzhakova’s Studio in St. Petersburg have brought back to life a glass vase that stood in the Alexander Park’s Arsenal and after 1917 in the Alexander Palace.

The piece belonged to a set of large vases with similarly decorated bowls, produced at the Imperial Glass Factory in St. Petersburg during the 1830s-1840s. It came to Tsarskoye Selo from the Winter Palace’s Storerooms in 1855. Disassembled and evacuated in 1941, the vase returned a few years later with some of its details lost and has not been exhibited ever since.

The vase of colourless glass with cobalt overlays has a deep bowl with acanthus decoration and a hexagonal base with six lictor’s fasces connected together with amber glass shields bearing anchors. The unique restoration required a complete recreation of the upper sides of the base and its hexagonal plate with cobalt beaded ornament. The restorers did what seemed impossible just a decade ago by replicating the lost elements with modern polymers that closely imitate 19th-century glass.

The new technologies raise hopes for a revival of the Blue Study or Snuffbox and the Bedchamber, Catherine II’s glass-decorated private rooms in the Zubov Wing of the Catherine Palace.

The festive looking vase will first join the Catherine Palace’s permanent displays and then, after the Alexander Palace restoration, will become a bright accent in one of the palace halls dedicated to Nicholas I and his family’s life at the Tsarskoye Selo residence.

© Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve. 25 April, 2013

Photo © Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:42 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 25 April 2013 7:49 AM EDT
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Russian Edition of Royals Magazine
Topic: Books


The Russian edition of Royals magazine which was launched in 2012, will publish a special issue next month to mark the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. The magazine is only available in Russian and available at booksellers and magazine kiosks in major Russian cities.

Royals is the world's largest Royalty-oriented monthly magazine. Its main editorial offices are in Belgium and published in Dutch and French editions.

Royals is a high-quality magazine that features exclusively positive reports on ruling and non-ruling Royal Houses. It enjoys excellent relations with a number of Royal Courts, including that of Belgium.

The Russian people are prolific readers, but the publication of a Russian editition of this popular royalty monthly is due to an increasing interest that many Russians have in the royal houses of Europe.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 25 April, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:30 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 25 April 2013 6:36 AM EDT
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Tretyakov Gallery Offers Special Exhibit on the Works of Mikhail Nesterov
Topic: Russian Art


Christ with Martha and Mary by Mikhail Nesterov (1911). Marfo-Mariinsky Convent, Moscow   

The Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow has opened its largest exhibition of the year devoted to the outstanding painter Mikhail Nesterov. Nesterov’s creative work reflects the major features of Russian national character and Russian nature, the exhibition organizers note.

“The content and the depth of Nesterov's art in many respects harmonize with the religious searches of Russian literature and philosophy at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. The best embodiment of his art and moral ideals were expressed in his program picture “Vision of youth Bartholomew” (1889-1890), which opened a cycle of canvases devoted to Venerable Sergey Radonezhsky,” the museum’s website explains.

About 300 works from 24 museums of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and 9 private collections are on display at the exhibition. They demonstrate a wide range of creative interests of the master: pictures on religious themes, portraits, landscapes. Besides easel works, the exposition includes sketches for the paintings in the St. Vladimir's Cathedral in Kiev, in the church of the Protection of Our Lady in the Marfo-Mariinskaya Cloister of Sisters of Charity in Moscow and in the church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St Petersburg. In his monumental canvases Nesterov combined the traditions of West European masters (in particular, English pre-Raphaelites, who followed the masters of the Early Renaissance epoch) with the national style of Russian neo-romanticism, appeared at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Many works are exhibited for the first time after they have been subjected to the most complicated restoration work. A number of valuable canvases and drawings have recently arrived to the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery and will become the true revelation for the public and experts.

© Russkiy Mir. 25 April, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:11 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 25 April 2013 6:17 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 24 April 2013
Kolomenskoye Presents Portraits of the Romanovs


In honour of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty, Kolomenskoye is hosting an exhibition  which includes portraits of members of the Russian imperial family from Emperor Peter II (1715-1730) to Emperor Alexander II (1818-1881).

On display are magnificent formal portraits by George Dawe from the Ostankino Palace collection dating from the 19th-century. Emperor Alexander II visited Ostankino in 1855, while he was  in Moscow preparing for his coronation ceremony.

Also on display are works recently acquired from the famous connoisseur and collector of Russian portrait miniature V.E. Ratner. Many of the three hundred items are of exceptionally high quality and on display for the first time.

Among the artists represented are outstanding Russian and Western European miniaturists: D. Bossi, J. Benner, A. Klyunder, AP Rockstuhl, N.A.Salnikov, P. Rossi, A. Lagrene, A. Winterhalter, JB Isabey, C. Robertson.

These portraits are very characteristic of 18th-19th century Russian aristocratic culture - presenting an abundance of royal portraits, from both public places and private homes.

The portraits reveal the private lives of the royal family. Taking special place in the exhibition are portraits of Emperor Alexander I. The time of Alexander I was considered a great period of Russian history. The emperor is remembered for the extraordinary, and enthusiastic admiration of his subjects. His defeat of Napoleon in the battlefields spread this admiration far beyond Russia. The emperor himself, who was considered a youth endowed with "angelic" beauty, willingly posed for the artist.

The 1825 Pavilion at Kolomenskoye, erected for the reception of the Emperor - is an appropriate place to remember one of the greatest rulers of Russia, and with him and his predecessors and successors.

The exhibition runs until in the Palace Hall of the 1825 Pavilion at Kolomenskoye in Moscow.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 24 April, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:30 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 23 April 2013 5:03 PM EDT
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The Romanov Dynasty and Kolomenskoye
Topic: 400th Anniversary


The golden age of Kolomenskoye, which was known as Grand Princes’ and later, Tsars’ residence from the XIV century onward, came with the ascension of the Romanov family to the Russian throne. In many respects the residence retained its role as a second Kremlin until the capital was moved to Saint Petersburg.

Rare graphic representations of palaces built in Kolomenskoye for Romanov Tsars in XVII – XIX centuries, unique authentic items from the palaces, valuable art pieces, portraits of the Tsars and their contemporaries will altogether speak about the history of the royal family and the ancient residence.

The exhibition runs until June 9th, 2013 in the Sitny Yard at Kolomenskoye.

© Moscow State Art and Historical Reserve. 24 April, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:15 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 23 April 2013 4:31 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 23 April 2013
Romanov Memorabilia Handed Over to Russian Consulate
Now Playing: Language: Russian and English. Duration: 3 minutes, 30 seconds
Topic: Dmitri Pavlovich, GD

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. In honour of this historic event, Michael Ilyinsky, the grandson of Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, a U.S. citizen, announced earlier this month that he was donating a portion of his grandfather's archives to the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve.  This rare collection of personal items includes books, photo albums, portraits and other items that once belonged to his illustrious grandfather.

The handing over ceremony was held at the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York. April 9, 2013.

The video offers a first-hand look at many of the items from the collection, including a beautiful portrait of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, albums, photographs, books from Grand Duke Dmitri's library and more.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 23 April, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:33 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 23 April 2013 6:45 AM EDT
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Monday, 22 April 2013
Royal Russia Launches Facebook Page
Topic: Royal Russia


I am pleased to announce that Royal Russia has launched a page on Facebook, the popular online social networking service which serves over 1 billion active users around the world.

The new Facebook page does not mean the end of my blog. I felt that Facebook was a good way to promote Royal Russia to a larger audience. It will also give people the option of viewing updates on both my web site and blog on one page.

Our Facebook page will be updated daily with all the latest updates to our web site, blog, book shop and more.

You can also add your own comments and engage in discussions with others about the Romanov dynasty, their legacy, the monarchy, Imperial Russian history and more.

This is an exciting new venue for Royal Russia, one of which I am sure will be enjoyed by Romanovphiles and Russopiles alike.

Follow us on Facebook page by clicking on the following link;  

Royal Russia - The Romanov Dynasty on Facebook

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 22 April, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:45 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 23 April 2013 10:11 AM EDT
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The Romanovs and Russia Film Week
Topic: 400th Anniversary

The State Russian Film Fund, with the assistance of the Office of HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna will present The Romanovs and Russia Film Week  at the Illusion Cinema in Moscow from April 19th - 25th, 2013.

The grand opening of the film events was held on April 19th at the State Film Archives theater with masters of Russian cinema in attendance. 

In the lobby of the cinema is an exhibition dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the reign of the Romanov dynasty. During the Film Week viewers will have the opportunity to see more than 15 feature and documentary films made in different periods of the last century, and the modern interpretation of the events of the past through the eyes of filmmakers of the century. On the first night film expert E.M. Barykina addressed the attendees on the catalog of films dedicated to Russian rulers of the Rurik and Romanov dynasties. This year's catalog was reissued in an expanded form by Gosfilmofonda Russia.

The Romanovs and Russia Film Week will end on April 25th with a screening of the award willing film Russian Ark by Alexander Sokurov.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 22 April, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:20 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 22 April 2013 9:33 AM EDT
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Sunday, 21 April 2013
Beautiful Orthodox Churches of Russia No. 8
Topic: Beautiful Orthodox Churches


One of the most spectacular churches in the Moscow region is that of Our Lady of Kazan at Kolomenskoye. Construction of the church began during the reign of Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich (1596-1645), and completed by his son Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich (1629-1676) in the 1660s. The Church of Our Lady of Kazan is crowned with five striking blue onion-shaped domes with golden stars.  

After construction works were finished, the church was painted and richly decorated with various fabrics and carpets. The metal floor of the central part and the stone floor of the side-altars were felted to make them warmer. The wall icons were decorated with veils and towels; many icons were kept in carved cases. It was mentioned that most of the court prayed in the refectory, the tsar's confidants prayed in the church in front of the icon-stand. The Tsar and the Tsarina sat on the festively decorated prayer thrones.

Up until the late 18th-century, the church was connected with a vast four-storey wooden palace built by Tsar Alexis in 1667. The palace was dismantled in the 1760s by order of the Empress Catherine II. A reconstruction of the wooden palace began in 2007 and was completed in 2010. Today it is heralded by some as the "Eighth wonder of the world" and has become one of Moscow top attractions. 

The Romanov's decision to dedicate this church to the Kazan Virgin was influenced by the role the icon played during the tumlutuous Time of Troubles. During the siege of the Kremlin in 1612, Russians carried the icon with them, as did the liberation troops, who ousted the Poles from Moscow and restored the monarchy.


The beautiful 17th-century icon of Our Lady of Kazan, mounted into the carved icon screen to the left of the royal gates, was recovered seventeen years after Tsar Ivan IV (the Terrible) captured the Kazan fortress from the Tatars in 1552.

The Icon of of Our Lady of Kazan miraculously appeared in Kolomenskoye on the 2nd of March 1917, on the day of the abdication of the throne of the Emperor Nicholas II, and she is now housed in a side chapel of the church. For more information on the Icon of of Our Lady of Kazan, please refer to the following article posted on March 25th, 2011: The Icon of the Mother of God.

Services at the church ceased between 1941-1942, but have resumed and are now held year round.

© Royal Russia. 21 April, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:15 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 20 April 2013 5:13 PM EDT
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