The Return of Paintings to the Alexander Palace
Topic: Alexander Palace
Olga Taratynova, Director of the TSSMR accepts painting that once hung in the Alexander Palace
A special ceremony took place on March 31st, at the Manege Central Exhibition Hall, in St. Petersburg, when two painting were handed over the Tsarskoe Selo State Museum-Reserve (TSSMR). The watercolours by the artists, Alexander Volkov-Muromtsev, who painted under the pseudonym " A.N. Russova," originally hung in the Alexander Palace, but disappeared during the Second World War.
Up until 1941, the historical collections of the Alexander Palace listed two works by this artist. A View of an Italian Town originally hung in the Mauve Room of the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, while the other, In a Catholic Church, hung in the large cabinet of Emperor Nicholas II.
Independently, the artist began to paint at the age of 35. He painted predominently in watercolours that included genre scenes, interiors of cathedrals, landscapes and views of towns and cities, such as Cairo, Luxor, Constantinople, as well as those of Italy.
In 1880, Volkov-Muromtsev sent several watercolours signed "A.N. Rossova" to the Society of Fine Arts in London, where they sold at unexpectedly high prices. Subsequently, over the next 20 years the Society organized annual exhibitions of his watercolours. In Russia, the artist gained popularlity, his works being purchased by Pavel Tretyakov. Many of the artists' works can be seen to this day, hanging in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
The news of the Revolution in Russia, and the destruction of his family estate reached the artist while he was in Florence. His last years were spent in Venice, where he died in 1928.
The return of the paintings to the Alexander Palace is considered a momentous event by museum staff. Similar events have become somewhat of a tradition over the past few years. In December 2010, a portrait of the Empress Maria Feodorovna, wife of the Emperor Paul I was returned to the museum reserve.
© Государственный музей-заповедник Царское Cело. 4 April, 2011