Topic: Nicholas II
Moscow is filled with museums, many of which are overlooked by visitors from the West. One in particular is the Zurab Tsereteli Museum. The museum is situated in the former Dolgorukov Mansion which is located at 19 Prechistenka Street. It was originally constructed in 1785 and is considered one of the finest examples of Neo-Classical architecture in the city. In 1998-2000, Zurab Tsereteli, President of the Russian Aacademy of Arts restored and reconstructed the former mansion into a museum which today offers a permanent display for his numerous sculptures.
In 2007 Tsereteli unveiled one of his most significant sculptures entitled "Night at the Ipatiev House". The bronze multi-figure composition is dedicated to the murders of Emperor Nicholas II and his family at Ekateinburg on 18 July, 1918.
Visitors to the museum had already seen a small model of the “Night at the Ipatiev House” monument before it was installed in the Gallery’s hall “Knowledge of Good and Evil” with works on the biblical topic in the June of 2007.
The “Night at the Ipatiev House” represents sculptural images of Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Tsesarevich Alexis, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia against the background of the wall dotted with bullets and containing engraved figures of the bloody date – the year of 1918. The composition also comprises texts related to the last days of the Imperial family – citations from letters of the Empress and Grand Duchess Olga.
By odd and terrifying in its symbolism coincidence, the Romanov dynasty crowned in the Ipatiev monastery was overthrown in the so called Ipatiev house. Also on display at the museum are two nails from the basement, where the cruel massacre had taken place, also included by the artist in his sculptural composition.
The murdered members of the Imperial family were canonized because of their death as martyrs. In the last Christian tsar and members of his family we see people who sincerely tried to realize the Decalogue. “In sufferings endured by the Imperial family in the imprisonment with gentleness, patience and humility, in their martyrdom in Ekaterinburg on the night of July 17, 1918 was revealed the light of the Christian faith vanquishing the Evil” - is written in the resolution of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.
It is important to note that "Night at the Ipatiev House" is just one of numerous sculptures of the Russian monarchs created by Tsereteli and on permanent display at the museum.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 29 October, 2012