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Paul Gilbert
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Friday, 4 January 2013
Exhibition of Sculptures Dedicated to the 400th Anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty
Topic: Exhibitions


An exhibition marking the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty has opened in the Governors House in the Russian city of Penza.

The exhibit includes contemporary busts of eight of Russia's most famous rulers: Peter I, Catherine II, Paul I, Alexander I, Nicholas I, Alexander II, Alexander III and Nicholas II.

The sculptures were all created by created by local artists in the studio of Vladimir Trulova. At first glance they appear to be made of bronze or stone, but are in fact made of fiberglass.

The exhibition of Romanov busts will be on display for the duration of 2013.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia.

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:02 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 6 January 2013 11:18 AM EST
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Thursday, 20 December 2012
Exhibition of Literary Classics' Interiors Opens in Moscow
Topic: Exhibitions

The State Pushkin Museum in Moscow will host the exhibition Behind the Curtain. The new exhibit will feature residential and ceremonial interiors described in Russian literature of the 19th-early 20th century.

In several rooms of the mezzanine will feature interiors of bedrooms and living rooms, workshops and offices from the literary heroes of Alexander Pushkin and Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Goncharova and Ivan Turgenev, Feodor Sologub and Lev Tolstoy.

Thanks to original pieces from the Tsarist period, furniture, bronze, porcelain, costume and fine attributes of daily life of late 19th - early 20th century Imperial Russia is recreated. The historic displays will portray the attitude, character, habits and hobbies of the respective literary hero.

In addition to large pieces of furniture will be presented some interesting accessories that reveal the private, intimate life of a person "behind the screen" that accompany the hero in moments of passion and peace, profound experiences or solitary reflection.

Screens can become a kind of window into the world of literature, experience the unique atmosphere of bygone centuries.

In addition to the museum's collection will be exhibited objects from the galleries, Three Centuries and Russian Estate, as well as the company de Gournay and the private collections of A.A. Vasilyev and A.L. Kusakina. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 20 December, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:48 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2012 9:02 AM EST
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Sunday, 9 December 2012
Between Orient and Occident: Treasures of the Kremlin from Ivan the Terrible to Peter the Great
Topic: Exhibitions


In 2006 the Grünes Gewölbe presented an exhibition at the Moscow Kremlin Museums under the title “The Jewel Cabinet of August the Strong”. Now, six years later, the host museums are paying a return visit to Dresden:

Around 140 masterpieces from the Moscow Kremlin Museums are on show in a special exhibition in the State Apartments of Dresden’s former Royal Palace (Residenzschloss). They include items from the collection of European silver from the Kremlin Armoury, sumptuous garments, precious jewellery and vessels, as well as arms produced by Turkish and Persian craftsmen. These objects will be complemented by 23 items on loan from the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen and the Saxon State and University Library (SLUB), and also from the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel.

The exhibition covers the period between 1547, when Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584) was crowned Tsar, and 1712, when Peter the Great (1672-1725) made Saint Petersburg the new capital of the Russian Empire. The exhibition focuses on the significance of the Kremlin as a crossroads between western and eastern cultures, which led to far-reaching changes and the opening up of Russia to the outside world. The enormous growth of its influence and power, as well as its expanding trade relations, gave this huge country ever increasing importance in the political and economic power structures of the time.

This is illustrated by the lavish objects purchased by the Tsars and presented to them as gifts by foreign ambassadors from both west and east. In addition, the Kremlin workshops – inspired by the numerous diplomatic gifts – produced precious items of goldsmith’s art, garments and ceremonial weapons which combined European and oriental tastes with ancient Russian traditions to create objects of perfect form. In this way, the accumulated treasures demonstrated the Tsars’ attitude of openness to the world and were an essential aspect of courtly display. To contemporaries, they demonstrated the power and wealth of the Russian Empire, and their fascination for today’s visitors is no less great.

An exhibition between the Green Vault (Grünes Gewölbe) and the Moscow Kremlin Museums from

Dates: 1 December 2012 - 4 March 2013
Venue: Green Vault (Grünes Gewölbe), Royal Palace  (Residenzschloss) at Dresden, Germany

© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen. 09 December, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:11 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2012 6:24 AM EST
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Wednesday, 5 December 2012
Faces of Russia Exhibit Opens in St. Petersburg
Topic: Exhibitions


Portrait of Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna. Artist: Vladimir Makovsky (1912) 

The 'Faces of Russia' permanent exhibition has opened in the Mikhailovsky (Engineers) Castle, a division of the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. The new exhibit has one of the richest collections of Russian paintings in the world. This is another realization of the idea of the National Portrait Gallery around which the discussions have long been in progress.

As it appears, the collections of Russia’s three leading museums, including the State Tretyakov Gallery and the State Historical Museum in Moscow, and the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg can serve as a basis for such a gallery. Each of them has extensive collections of portraits, which are real masterpieces. This became clear during the first exhibition presentation that was arranged by the Historical Museum. Next in turn is the Russian Museum.

The residents of St. Petersburg say that the idea to create a national portrait gallery was expressed by their compatriot - the prominent Russian artist and art critic – Alexander Benois who considered the Mikhailovsky Palace in St. Petersburg to be an ideal place for paintings reflecting Russia’s history. The new exposition of the State Russian Museum, “Faces of Russia”, has been staged exactly in the Mikhailovsky Palace, the exhibition’s curator Yevgeniya Petrova said in an interview with the Voice of Russia.

"The exposition is divided into two parts. One is dedicated to the emperor’s portraits and the second – to people belonging to other sections of the population (18th century until modern times). It consists of 220 works, including the paintings of well-known artists – such as Repin, Serov, and Kramskoy, and also the works of less known artists. Among their characters are people well known by historical textbooks but only a few people have their visual images. And visitors to the Mikhailovsky Palace will be able not only to learn more about them but also see their portraits."

The Mikhailovsky or Engineers Castle, St. Petersburg 

Of course, the audience is attracted by the possibility to see the portraits of the Russian rulers, including Tsar Ivan the Terrible who ruled in the 16th century, those who ruled after him and the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II. There are portraits of the members of the royal family there too. This chapter of the exhibition in the Mikhailovsky Palace resembles the Romanov gallery that existed in the emperor’s palace until the 1917 revolution. By the way, the official portraits of the Russian tsars and tsarinas are arranged close to their allegorical portraits represented as antique gods and heroes. The portraits of the Russian commanders – mainly, the heroes of the Patriotic War of 1812, are also put on display there. Of course, visitors to the Mikhailovsky Palace can see the portraits of politicians, priests, representatives of the of the world of arts, and rich merchants. The portraits of ordinary people, including town-dwellers and countrymen are also displayed in the Mikhailovsky Palace. The works of old masters have something in common with the works of the 20th - century artists: in the Soviet era times preference was given to the images of workers and peasants – in other words, to the front-rank workers and of course, to the portraits of their leaders. Of interest here is the fact that the photo portraits of visitors to the exhibition – the people of the 21st century are the last in this “historical circle”.

It is not clear yet how the idea of a national portrait gallery will be realized. However, there is a modern and well-tested way of uniting the collections of all museums –the multi-media Internet-portal. Representatives of the museum community favour this proposal.

© The Voice of Russia. 05 December, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:45 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2012 12:21 PM EST
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Thursday, 8 November 2012
New Exhibition Explores Persecutions of the Russian Church
Topic: Exhibitions

Stalin orders the destruction of Christ the Saviour Cathedral, December 5th, 1931 

A new exhibition Overcoming: The Russian Church and Soviet Power will be held from November 8 to December 9 in the State Central Museum of Modern History of Russia in Moscow.

The exposition is dedicated to the persecutions that the Church was subject to during the Soviet era.

According to the rector of Orthodox St. Tikhon University Archpriest Vladimir Vorobyov, within 20 years its historians have collected numerous evidences of confession and martyrdom, traced thousands of destinies, analyzed the history of the intra church disputes provoked by persecutors, and bright pages of fight of the atheistic state against the Orthodox Church.

According to the organizers, the main goal of the exhibition is “to display the history of spiritual resistance to godlessness and to learn the lessons taught by our martyrs to us”.

© 08 November, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:45 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2012 7:00 AM EST
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Tuesday, 6 November 2012
Presidential Library Presents New Collection on Time of Troubles
Topic: Exhibitions

 Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich 

The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library has prepared a new electronic collection covering one of the most significant events in Russian history – the overcoming of the Time of Troubles, ITAR-TASS reports.
At the turn of the 16th-17th centuries in Russia there was a strained domestic- and foreign-policy situation. Dynastic crisis caused by the death of the last representative of Rurik’s kin, famine brought on by a succession of lean years, peasant uprisings, the Polish-Swedish intervention – all this had led to a civil war, questioning the very existence of the Russian state. Only the union of extensive popular forces – urban population, military men, free peasantry – allowed to preserve the independence of the country, to restore the administrative and military system and overcome the Troubles.
The collection, devoted to the 400th anniversary of this historic milestone, included 250 various documents (sources, researches, evidences, fictions, art materials, etc.), reflecting the status of the Moscow state before and during the Troubles, the struggle of various political forces behind the throne and the popular movement against the invaders. Especially highlighted are political, social and religious figures of the troubled times, the Library said at its website.
The collection begins with sources on the history of the Time of Troubles, including “The acts of the reign of Tsar Vasily Shuisky,” “The acts of interregnum”, “The acts of suburban militias and Zemsky Sobor”, etc. Of great interest are the evidences of foreigners on the events in Russia in the late 16th – early 17th centuries. These historical sources allow us to estimate the perception of the Russian reality by the contemporary foreigners. The collection includes documents about the events in Russia on the eve of the Time of Troubles – reign of Tsar Feodor Ivanovich and murder of Tsarevich Dmitry Ivanovich in Uglich. One of the sections of the collection is devoted to the election of Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich Romanov, the founder of a new dynasty, which ruled Russia for more than 300 years.
In the future the collection will become an integral part of the basic thematic collection “Russian People” which was presented to a wide user audience September 1, 2012, and some documents related to historical persons, will make part of the collection “Russia through personalities”.

© Russkiy Mir and ITAR-TASS. 06 November, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:41 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 6 November 2012 8:47 AM EST
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Monday, 5 November 2012
The Last Russian Emperor: The Family and Court of Nicholas II at the Turn of the Century
Topic: Exhibitions


On 26 October 2012 at the Hermitage-Vyborg Centre an exhibition was opened entitled The Last Russian Emperor: The Family and Court of Nicholas II at the Turn of the Century, which will present 285 items from the State Hermitage Museum collection, encapsulating the period from the 1870s to the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917. The exhibition is organised in chronological order and shows the life of Nicholas II and his family using materials, including memorial items from the collections at the Winter Palace, Anichkov Palace, Alexander Palace, the New Michael and the Yusupov palaces, and also items from private collections from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century.

A whole range of items will be on a museum display for the first time. These include tapestry portraits of Their Imperial Highnesses Nicholas Alexandrovich and Alexandra Fedorovna, and items from the wardrobes of the tsar’s children. Drawings by A.A. Parland and I.A. Charlemagne with details of the imperial coronation regalia and military scenes from the First World War will be on display for the first time. Considerable interest has been generated by recent acquisitions of the State Hermitage Museum comprising dinner services and exquisite accessories that emphasise the luxury of the Russian court: a silver vanity case with grey-blue enamel, decorated with sapphires set in gold, a cigarette case, and also figures of animals and insects executed by the leading jewellers at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries I.S. Britsyn, J.F. Olsonius and H. Vigstrom.

The exhibition opens with a section dedicated to period of Nicholas Alexandrovich’s life as Grand Prince going through to his accession to the throne. Portraits are displayed of his parents Alexander III and Maria Fedorovna, and also a series of drawings depicting ceremonial receptions of the emperor and empress at the German ambassador’s residence and a palace ball in the Nicholas Hall of the Winter Palace. Maria Fedorovna, who acted as an advisor to Nicholas II all her life following the death of her husband, lived at the Anichkov Palace and, maintaining her own court, took pleasure in attending all the official ceremonies. Cossack guard served as the bodyguard for the widowed empress - and accompanied her on all her journeys. At the exhibition it is possible to see the parade and regular uniforms of the Cossack guards made by À.À. Kudinov and T.K. Yaschik.

Items associated with the marriage ceremony and coronation of Nicholas II and Alexandra Fedorovna are of particular interest. The coronation celebrations lasted from 6 (18) to 26 May (6 June) 1896, and included balls, military parades, feasts and general festivities. Accordingly various souvenirs were produced: glasses, shot glasses, mugs, which were provided to all participants of the festivities. Among the gifts were handkerchiefs with images of Their Imperial Highnesses and state symbols made at the Prokhovskaya Trekhgornaya and the Danilovskaya textile factories.

The second section of the exhibition is dedicated to the private life of Nicholas II. The tsar spent much of his time with his family. Items from the wardrobes of the tsar’s children, their toys, including teddy bears and dolls, illustrate the modest lifestyle of the imperial family.

Religion played a significant role in the life of Nicholas II, Alexandra, their four daughters and son. This is demonstrated at the exhibition by a display of icons which includes the icon Saint Seraphim of Sarov. Seraphim was one of the most revered saints in the royal family, and the icon with his image hung in the emperor’s office. Nicholas II and his wife participated in the canonisation of St. Seraphim of Sarov in 1903.

The third section of the exhibition talks about diplomatic, military, court, religious and other ceremonies that were held. In 1903, the Winter Palace hosted a fancy dress ball, whose guests were to come in pre-Petrine era costumes. The emperor’s and empress’ costumes of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich and Maria Ilinichna were universally admired. The masquerade of 1903 was the most famous court festivity under Nicholas II and one of the few social events, attended by Empress Alexandra. In 1904, at her request the Costume Ball at the Winter Palace Album was published for charity, using photoengraving (a technique for deep printing) and phototype (a flat printing method). The exhibition shows the phototype printing and also the Romanov family in costume, as well as the striking beauty of the costumes of Duke Georgy Georgievich Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Countess Natalya Fyodorovna Karlova and others.

The final section of the exhibition is devoted the last years of the reign of Nicholas II, including two wars, three revolutions and the complete destruction of the imperial family. The events of the Russian-Japanese war and World War I are shown in the works of famous artists, N.A. Bogatov, G.I. Narbut and others. Wanting to raise the morale of the soldiers and officers, Nicholas II assumed the duties of Supreme Commander of the Russian army, and together with the heir, Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich went to the front. On display are banners, as well as military uniforms belonging to the emperor and his son. The exhibition concludes with photographs of the interiors of the imperial family’s private chambers, made after the storming of the Winter Palace in 1917.

For the Last Russian Emperor: The Family and Court of Nicholas II at the Turn of the Century exhibition an illustrated catalogue (Russian language only)  has been prepared (St. Petersburg: Slaviya, 2012). The curator for the exhibition is Irina Mikhailovna Zakharova, a senior researcher for the Department of the History of Russian Culture at the State Hermitage Museum.

© State Hermitage Museum. 05 November, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:43 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 5 November 2012 1:35 PM EST
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Sunday, 4 November 2012
Estonia Honours the Romanov Dynasty
Topic: Exhibitions


An exhibition of prints and formal portraits of members of the Russian Imperial family has opened in the Estonian capital of Tallinn. The event coincides with the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty in 2013.

The facade of an old stone building in the center of Tallinn is adorned with a huge billboard with a name that has become entrenched with the city's history: The Romanovs. According to museum officials, the exhibition halls are packed to capacity.

Formerly known as Reval during the Tsarist period, Tallinn's importance as a center of monarchical heritage in Russia is surpassed only by that of St. Petersburg and Moscow.

According to local historian Ilya Nikiforov: "Few cities in the Baltic region of the former Russian Empire were visited more than Tallinn." 

"Peter the Great came to Reval in 1711, where he stayed at Maardu. His wife, Empress Catherine I often returned to Maardu where she maintained an estate. During his last visit to Estonia on July 25th, 1723, Peter the Great took rest at a farmstead, then it was from his wife's estate at Maardu that he departed for St. Petersburg onboard the Ingria.

"During the first years of her reign (1746), Empress Elizabeth Petrovna travelled through the Baltic region stopping at Reval. She was accompanied by her nephew and heir to the throne, Peter and his young wife Catherine (the future Catherine the Great).  

The Emperors Alexander II and Alexander III often visited the area, and liked to rest on the waters in Reval (Tallinn) and de Hapsal (Haapsalu). Emperor Alexander II last visited Reval in 1859.

"Emperor Nicholas II visited Reval often as a child and heir to the throne. During his reign he established regular steamer service between Reval and St. Petersburg, and in 1905 ordered the construction of a new Imperial pavilion at the railway station.

"It was at Reval that the Emperor conducted important negotiations with the leaders of Great Britain, France and Germany. In 1908, Nicholas II came to Reval to meet with King Edward VII of Great Britain, followed by a meeting with the French President Faliero the same year. In 1912, the Emperor met with Kaiser Wilhelm II." 

Tallinn City  Council Deputy, Max Kaur has extended an invitation to HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, Head of the Russian Imperial House to visit the city and the exhibition devoted to her ancestors.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 04 November, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:38 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 5 November 2012 8:21 AM EST
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Saturday, 27 October 2012
Nicholas II Exhibition Opens at the Hermitage-Vyborg Center
Topic: Exhibitions


A new exhibition, The Last Emperor of Russia: Family and Court of Nicholas II at the Turn of the Century opened yesterday at the Hermitage in Vyborg, Russia.

The exhibition will feature nearly 300 items from a variety of museums in St. Petersburg: The State Hermitage Museum, Anichkov Palace, Novo-Mikhailovksy Palace (New Michael Palace), the Yusupov Palace; the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo, and from private Russian collections.

The exhibition is arranged in choronological order covering the life and reign of Tsar Nicholas II and his family up until 1917.

The opening ceremony was attended by the Vice-Governor of the Leningrad region, Konstantin Patraev and the Director of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Mikhail Piotrovsky.

The Hermitage-Vyborg Center was opened in June, 2010, and regularly hosts exhibitions from the State Hermitage funds in St. Petersburg since that time.

Vyborg is situated 130 km (81 miles) northwest of St. Petersburg, and 38 km (24 miles) south of the Russian-Finnish border.

The exhibion runs until March 2013.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 27 October, 2012



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:42 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 27 October 2012 1:01 PM EDT
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Sunday, 21 October 2012
Treasures of the Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts and the Russian Tsars
Topic: Exhibitions


Photo: Tsar Ivan IV ("the Terrible") demonstrates his treasures to the ambassador of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Artist: Alexander Litovchenko (1835-1890


A new exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, England next year will examine the development of cultural diplomacy and trade between Britain and Russia from its origins in 1555 when the Muscovy Company was founded. Treasures of the Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts and the Russian Tsars will reveal the majesty and pageantry of the royal courts of Henry VIII to Charles II and Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible) to the early Romanovs as they sought to strengthen their power against a backdrop of religious and social upheaval.


The exhibition will begin with Henry VIII’s consolidation of the Tudor dynasty following his accession to the throne in 1509 and the establishment of the English court style. Charting the exchange between consecutive British sovereigns and ambassadors and their corresponding rulers and diplomats in Russia, it will conclude at the end of Charles II’s reign in 1685, after the re-establishment of the British monarchy had resumed contact with Russia.


Comprising more than 150 objects, the exhibition will chronicle the ritual and chivalry of the royal courts with heraldry, processional armour and sumptuous textiles including furnishings and fine clothing. The leading figures of the time including monarchs, diplomats, wealthy merchants and courtiers will be introduced through portraiture, including paintings and miniatures by court artists. Magnificent examples of jewellery and luxury goods will illustrate the valuable gifts presented by ambassadors.


Martin Roth, V&A Director said: “This exhibition tells us about Britain’s longstanding relationship with Russia as well as highlighting similarities of diplomacy and exchange between both countries - then and today. Our partnership with the Kremlin Museums continues this association and we are delighted to bring together such extraordinary treasures from both museums.”


The works will be drawn from the V&A’s collections, with important loans from Russia, including the Kremlin Armouries Museum and the State Historical Museum in Moscow, alongside objects from British collections including the National Portrait Gallery, National Maritime Museum, the Royal Collection and Royal Armouries.


The exhibition marks the 400 year anniversary of the Romanov dynasty and is part of an ongoing programme of exchange between the V&A and the Kremlin Armouries Museum in Moscow. The exhibition will run 9 March to 14 July, 2013 at the V&A in London, England.


© Victoria & Albert Museum. 21 October, 2012



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 2:35 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 22 October 2012 2:42 PM EDT
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