A new exhibition Family Album. Danish-Russian Dynastic Ties, has opened at the Pavlovsk State Museum Preserve. The exhibit is a joint effort between the National History Museum at the Castle of Frederiksborg (Hillerød, Denmark) and the Pavlovsk State Museum-Preserve. Russia and Denmark have enjoyed strong cultural ties for many years, the Pavlovsk Palace Museum and the Danish royal museums have worked repeatedly over the years on the creation of joint exhibitions, both in Denmark and in Russia.
The main items on display at this current exhibit are unique historical photos from the family album of the Danish royal family and the Pavlovsk State Museum. Close family ties between Denmark and Imperial Russia began from the moment in 1866 when the Danish Princess Dagmar, who upon adopting the Orthodox faith received the name of Maria Feodorovna, became the wife of Grand Duke Alexander Alexandrovich, heir to the Russian throne. After the assassination of his father Alexander II in 1881, he would become Emperor Alexander III.
Princess Dagmar was originally engaged to Alexander’s older brother Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich, who suddenly died of cerebro-spinal meningitis in 1865. His fiancée, Princess Dagmar, consented to become the wife of his brother Alexander, and it proved to be a happy marriage. Alexander III was a faithful husband to his wife, and an exemplary father to his children.
Through the Empress Maria Feodorovna, the Russian Imperial House intermarried with the royal houses of Britain and Greece. The son of Maria Feodorovna and Alexander III, the future Emperor Nicholas II and King George V of Great Britain, the nephew of Maria Feodorovna, were cousins. A cousin of Alexander III, Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinovna, became the wife of the King George I of Greece, the brother of Maria Feodorovna. Thus, the Danish-Russian dynastic ties expanded their influence throughout Europe at the end of 19th-early 20th century. All this is reflected in the exhibition Family Album, in which about 100 photographs form the background in which family relationships reflects the history, life and tastes of the era.
Emperor Alexander III and his family at the court of King Christian IX of Denmark.
Painted in the Garden Pavilion of Fredensberg Palace by the Danish painter, Laurits Tuxen 1883-86
The exhibition is on display in the Rossi Library at Pavlovsk Palace. Along with photos are showcased a number of works of the Danish school of painting. Of particular interest is the painting, The Family of Emperor Alexander III in Denmark, by one of the most famous artists of the late 19th century, Laurits Tuxen. Other paintings include views of the interiors of the Danish royal palaces, by artists Joseph Theodore and Adolf Heinrich Ganzen. These paintings reflect the atmosphere of the era which is seen in these historic photographs. Decoration of the exhibition are enhanced by vases dating from the private collection of Empress Maria Feodorovna (c. 1890s) from the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory. An oval portrait of Maria Feodorovna by artist I. Galkin is considered an iconic symbol of the exhibition.
The exhibition The Family Album. Danish-Russian Dynastic Ties runs from June 18th to September 14th, 2014 at the Pavlovsk State Museum-Preserve.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 01 July, 2014