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Wednesday, 19 August 2015
Forgotten for a Century, Illuminated for Today
Topic: Exhibitions


Archpriest Alexei Maltsev, who kept his vow to preserve the rare collection. Photo © Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
 
The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts just opened a new exhibition entitled "A Collection Forgotten for a Century." The 300 or so items in the exhibit are medals, coins and tokens forming part of a collection previously held in the Museum of Russian History Abroad in Berlin, founded by the Brotherhood of St. Vladimir.

And therein lies a tale.

The Brotherhood of St. Vladimir was founded in Berlin in 1890 by archpriest Alexei Maltsev, the prior of the church of the Russian embassy in the German capital. As the oldest Russian benevolent society in Germany, the Brotherhood provided refuge for emigrating Russians who had fallen on hard times. Its eminent members included representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, aristocracy, diplomats, bankers and even members of the Romanov dynasty.

Maltsev opened the Museum of Russian History Abroad in 1897 and began to build up its collection of coins, medals, prints and various religious items from objects donated by the Brotherhood's members, either brought over from Russia or acquired in Germany. At the outbreak of the First World War, however, the Brotherhood was forced to suspend its activities. Maltsev left Berlin and died a year later in Kislovodsk, and the museum and its collection were thought to have been lost.

But Maltsev had declared that "the purpose of the Historical Museum is the acquisition and preservation of these monuments," and preserve them he did. Before Maltsev left Berlin, he handed the museum's collection over to a German named Oscar Kvaas, whose daughter, Elizabeth, in turn donated the collection to the USSR in 1956. Despite having theoretically been in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts' archive for almost 60 years, only the letter of donation from Kvaas, rediscovered in 2010, shed light on the collection. And so, after five years of research and identification, it is just over a century since these objects have been on display to the public.

Not all of the Brotherhood's collection is on display at this exhibition, but its curator, Ulyana Volkova, said that they are showing "the most interesting coins and medals — they are exhibits which could also be considered to be pieces of art." The objects in the exhibition come from far and wide, and while at first glance they might not seem particularly interesting, each medal, coin and token has a very specific story. For instance, on display are two medals of unassuming appearance. On closer inspection, one is revealed to be a commemorative token celebrating the opening of the Bronze Horseman monument in St. Petersburg in 1782. The other is a satirical coin made in France to "celebrate" the country's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. The inscription reads: "Napoleon III, The Miserable, 80,000 prisoners."

Many of the objects — some delicate, others massive — focus on Russian history, both military and general. They mark major events in the country's past, often with emphasis on conflicts, emperors and empresses, and religious commemorations such as the 900th anniversary of the Christianization of Kievan Rus in 1888, courtesy of the Brotherhood's namesake, Prince Vladimir. This said, they are not exclusively Russian artifacts, and present in the exhibition are coins from England, France, Germany, Austria and Poland, as well as Ancient Greek and Roman coins dating as far back as 479 B.C. 
 
© The Moscow Times. 19 August, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:37 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 22 August 2015 7:59 AM EDT
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Sunday, 2 August 2015
30.000 Visitors Attend Romanov Exhibition in Serbia
Topic: Exhibitions


His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch visits the exhibition “Four Centuries of the Imperial House of the Romanovs
– Awakening of Memories” at the crypt of the Memorial Cathedral of Saint Sava in Vracar
 
On the occasion of the end of the exhibition “Four Centuries of the Imperial House of the Romanovs – Awakening of Memories” at the crypt of the Memorial Cathedral of Saint Sava in Vracar, yesterday this unique space, since it was used for the first time as an exhibition area, was visited by His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch.

His Holiness was welcomed by Their Royal Highnesses Prince Peter and Crown Prince Alexander Karadjordjevic, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Belgrade Mr. Alexander Chepurin, head of the Saint Sava Cathedral protopresbyter-stavrophor Radivoj Panic and the chief architect of the Cathedral Professor Dr. Vojislav Milovanovic, as well as members of the Society for the construction of the Cathedral, who also organized this magnificent exhibition. The attendees were guided through the exhibition by architect Dragomir Acovic.

According to the estimates, over the past two weeks the exhibition “Four Centuries of the Imperial House of the Romanovs – Awakening of Memories” at the crypt of the Memorial-Cathedral of Saint Sava in Vracar has been seen by more than 30.000 visitors.
 
© Serbian Orthodox Church. 02 August, 2015 


The exhibition officially opened on the 17th July, the day of martyrdom and celebration of St. Tsar Nikolai II and his family, and featured 500 exhibits
 
The exhibition "Four centuries of the House of Romanov - Awakening Memory” staged in the crypt of the Memorial Temple of Saint Sava, on the occasion of 400 years since the entry of the Romanovs to the Russian throne. after the Holy Liturgy, served by Serbian Patriarch Irinej, the exhibition was officially opened on the 17th July, the day of martyrdom and celebration of St. Tsar Nikolai II Romanov and his family.

Exhibition is divided into four connected units that show the emergence and strengthening of the dynasty, relations with the Serbian people and the collapse of the empire. It was prepared with historical photographs of Karl Bulla, who was the official photographer of the Imperial Palace over a long period of time, and partly with original photos, reproductions, copies of paintings, graphics and other illustrative material. The exhibits include original personal photographs of the Russian imperial Romanov family, and a part of the collection of the imperial photographer discovers the special ties the of Russian family with the Serbian and Montenegrin royal family.

There are around 500 original exhibits, which provide an overview of the historical events in Russia during the four centuries of rule of the famous family. There are also reproductions of paintings, created before the invention of photography. With many notes of the rulers from the Romanov dynasty, the exhibition is also a reminder of the fact that the period of their rule left a deep mark in the history of not only the Russian Empire, but also of the entire world.

Visitors to the exhibition had the opportunity to see photographs of the Serbian and Montenegrin delegation at the Emperor's wedding, Russian medals given to representatives of the Serbian people, Serbian and Montenegrin kinship tree with the royal family, and the photograph of the Pirot carpet that was brought to Russia as a wedding gift is presented...

It is known that Tsar Nikolai harbored great sympathy towards Serbia and the Serbian people. At the time of his reign, many Serbs lived at the court, and the Serbian King Peter's daughter was married to one of the Romanovs. Two daughters of Montenegrin King Nikola were also married to Romanovs.

The imperial Romanov dynasty ruled Russia from 1613 to the October Revolution, when, without trial, seventeen members of the royal family were killed.

The Russian Orthodox Church canonized Tsar Nikolai II and members of the Romanov imperial family in 2000. Their religious holiday is on 17 July, which is why the opening of the exhibition was preceded by Holy Liturgy, which was served by Serbian Patriarch Irinej in the Temple of St. Sava.

The exhibition "Four centuries of the House of Romanov - Awakening Memory" was organized by the Society to raise the Temple of Saint Sava, headed by Serbian Patriarch and the President of the Republic.

This exhibition also reminds us of the fact that the Serbian people and Russia are connected with numerous threads. During the reign of the Romanovs, especially during the wars of liberation and independence of Serbia and the Great War, Nikolai II crucially influenced the change of attitude of the great powers towards Serbia and stood up for Serbia when it was threatened with destruction. 
 
© Odbrana Serbia. 02 August, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:31 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 3 August 2015 6:48 PM EDT
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Saturday, 18 July 2015
Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna in the Mirror of the Russian Media 1884-1905
Topic: Exhibitions


On July 15th the Elisabeth Sergei Educational Society (ESPO) opened a new exhibition at the Patriarchal Compound Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land in Ekaterinburg, with the blessing of Metropolitan Kirill of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye. The exhibition is part of this years Royal Days Festival in the Urals, and runs until August 30, 2015.  

The exhibit takes a look at Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna in the Russian media during the years 1884 to 1905. It includes items gathered from museum and private collections in Moscow and Ekaterinburg.

The exhibition has been organized by the Elisabeth Sergei Educational Society (ESPO) and includes not only rare photos, but also original materials of the periodical press of the time, which reflect significant events in the private and public life of Grand Duke Sergei and Grand Duchess Elizabeth.

Admission to the exhibition is free. Everyone who visited the exhibition on the opening day received a free booklet in the form of an old paper richly illustrated with historical photographs of the grand ducal couple, dating from the late 19th - early 20th centuries.
 
The exhibition the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna in the Mirror of Russian Media 1884-1905, runs until 30th August at the Patriarchal Compound, Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land in Ekaterinburg. Admission is free.
 

Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna were married on June 15, 1884 in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.  In the spring of 1891, Emperor Alexander III appointed Sergei as Governor General of Moscow, a position he served until his assassination on February 17, 1905. Grand Duke Sergei’s body was buried in a crypt of the Chudov Monastery within the precincts of the Moscow Kremlin. A memorial cross was erected on the spot where he was killed. After the downfall of the Romanovs, the cross was destroyed, the Chudov Monastery was destroyed by the Soviets in 1928. In 1990, building workers in the Kremlin discovered the Grand Duke’s remains, covered with the military greatcoat of the Kiev regiment, decorations, and an icon. In 1995, the coffin was officially exhumed, and after a Panikhida in the Kremlin Cathedral of the Archangel, it was reburied in a vault of the Novospassky Monastery in Moscow on September 17, 1995.

After Sergei’s death, Elisabeth wore mourning clothes and in 1909, she sold off her magnificent collection of jewels and other luxurious possessions. With the proceeds she founded the Convent of Saints Martha and Mary in Moscow and became its abbess. She soon opened a hospital, a chapel, a pharmacy and an orphanage on its grounds. Elizabeth and her nuns worked tirelessly among the poor and the sick of Moscow. Elizabeth's many charitable efforts included visiting Moscow’s worst slums, doing  all she could to help alleviate the suffering of the poor. In 1918, Lenin ordered the Cheka to arrest Elizabeth. On July 17th, Grand Duchess Elizabeth, along with Varvara Yakovleva, a sister from the Grand Duchess's convent, and some of her Romanov relations were beaten and thrown into an abandoned mine pit. Her remains were later found and taken to Jerusalem, where they were laid to rest in the Church of Maria Magdalene. 
 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 18 July, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:36 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 19 July 2015 6:03 AM EDT
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Friday, 17 July 2015
Serbian President, Patriarch Open Romanov Exhibition in Belgrade
Topic: Exhibitions


Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej on Friday opened the exhibition “Four Centuries of the Imperial House of the Romanovs - Awakening of Memories."

The exhibition was opened in the crypt of the Saint Sava Cathedral in Belgrade.

It showcases the period of the Romanovs' reign and is based on a large number of photographs and reproductions divided into four separate parts, including Serbia-Russia ties, chronology and the tale of the continuation and defence of the Russian Empire, the reign of Nikolai II, and the suffering of the imperial family. 

"Serbs know little about their protectors and friends," Nikolic said, and added that it is Serbia's historical and human debt to remember and bless all the selfless assistance the Romanov family bestowed on the country in the course of history.

The president noted that Serbs made "a heavy sacrifice at the altar of ideology of brotherhood and unity, the Yugoslav identity - the memory of everyone and everything, including the imperial family Romanov." 

The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC), Patriach Irinej, recalled that the exhibition opened on July 17 - a tragic day when the imperial family was executed in 1918. 

The exhibition comprises historical photographs of Karl Bulla, a long-time photographer of the Imperial Palace, as well as reproductions, copies of paintings, graphics and other illustrative materials. 

The exhibition will run through July 30. It was organized by the Society for the Construction of Saint Sava's Temple headed by Patriarch Irinej and President Nikolic.

© B92 / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 17 July, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:44 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 17 July 2015 12:00 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 14 July 2015
HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco Inaugurates Romanov-Grimaldi Exhibition
Topic: Exhibitions


The Grimaldis and the Romanovs: Three Centuries of History (17th-20th centuries) opened in the Prince’s Palace, the official residence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco on July 13th. Hosted in the prestigious setting of the Library and Apartments of the Palace, the exhibition aims, through the presentation of archival documents from the Palace Archives in collaboration with the State Archives of the Russian Federation, including paintings, objects of art and other items of historical interest, which trace the dynastic relations between the sovereigns of Russia and Monaco. 

The State Archives of the Russian Federation have loaned the volume of the diary of Nicolas II, in which he refers to the visit of Prince Albert I. It is currently on display in the library of the Prince's Palace, next to the newspaper autographed by the Monegasque ruler, who recounts his meeting with the emperor. Other notable Russian documents on loan include, the original travel documents describing the first Russian ambassador to visit Monaco in 1663; but also an album of photographs, taken in Monte Carlo in 1898 by the Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, sister of the last tsar.

The State Museum of St. Petersburg has also loaned two portraits of tsars: Alexander I and Alexander III. The Het Loo Palace in the Netherlands, and the Museum of Fine Arts Menton compliment the gallery of the last Russian sovereigns, with busts in bronze of Alexander II, Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna. As for the first Empress Maria Alexandrovna, who arrived in Nice in 1856 turned the Riviera into a fashionable Russian resort. Exhibits marking this include a portrait on loan from the Massena Museum in Nice. 
 

 
HSH Prince Albert I of Monaco inaugurates the Romanov-Grimaldi exhibition on July 10th in the Prince's Palace
 
The House of Grimaldi adopted the title of Prince of Monaco in 1612. It was only a year later, in 1613, that the first Romanov tsar ascended to the Russian throne. 

Relations between the two countries date back to the reigns of Prince Charles III of Monaco and Tsar Alexander II of the Russian Empire. During this period the two nations signed numerous treaties and agreements, including the extradition of criminals, mutual legal assistance, recognition of the civil status of people and for medical aid. After the establishment of the Order of Saint-Charles in Monaco in 1858, Tsar Alexander II became the first member of a royal family to be bestowed the Monegasque award. Consular and diplomatic relations were officially established between the two states in 1877, when Charles III appointed Chevalier Jean Plancher as the Monegasque Consul in St. Petersburg.

At the end of the nineteenth century, the Russian Imperial family discovered the French Riviera and Monte Carlo. Prince Albert I established ties with Russian scholarly, and scientific institutions. He travelled to Russia in 1884 and met with Emperor Alexander III, and many years later, hunted buffalo with Emperor Nicholas II in one of the imperial estates and will be received in Peterhof in 1913. In 1896, Crown Prince Louis led the Monegasque delegation at the coronation of Emperor Nicholas II. 

Following the Russian Revolution of 1917 relations between the two states were suspended. 

The Grimaldis and the Romanovs: Three Centuries of History runs from 13 July to 6 September, 2015 in the Prince’s Palace, Monaco. 
 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 14 July, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:57 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 14 July 2015 11:34 AM EDT
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Monday, 6 July 2015
Exhibition - The Romanovs: St. Petersburg to Saint-Briac
Topic: Exhibitions


A unique exhibition, The Romanovs: St. Petersburg to Saint-Briac opened on July 4th at the Convent de Sagesse in the Breton town of Dinan, France. The exhibition recounts the saga of Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, who along with his family moved to Saint-Briac in 1921.

In 1924 the Grand Duke Kirill became head of the Imperial House of Russia, then in 1929 curator of the Romanov throne. For 80 years, four generations of Romanovs lived on the "Emerald Coast" of north-westFrance. It was here that their home became a meeting place of the crowned heads of Europe, and served as the heart of Russian Legitimist movement for many years.  

In October 1917, the Bolsheviks took power in Russia. Emperor Nicholas II was murdered on July 17th, 1918. His murder brought an end to the monarchy in Russia. His cousin, the Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovitch (1876-1938) took refuge in the small Breton village of Saint-Briac, with his wife Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna (1876-1936) and their three children: Maria (1907-1951), Kira (1909-1967) and Vladimir (1917-1992).  
 


The exhibition is spread throughout five rooms, and includes over 300 items from Russian and French private collections. These include portraits of the imperial family, busts, engravings, porcelain, silverware and personal items of the Imperial family, imperial orders of Grand Duke Kirill, a collection of cigarette cases of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, fans of the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna,  and Fabergé objects of vertu of the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna. 
 
The first room is devoted to Alexander II, the grandfather of Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovitch. The last room of the exhibition is considered the highlight of the Romanovs in Saint-Briac. Organizers wanted to involve the locals, many of them donating framed photographs and other historical memorabilia to the exhibit.

The exhibition was organized by the Dr. Marc Bonnel, President of the History and Heritage Association (L'association Histoire et patrimoine du Pays), Vincent Denby-Wilkes, Mayor of Saint-Briac-sur-mer,and Cyrille Boulay, an historian and art expert, and one of today's leading specialists on the Romanovs and Imperial Russia.
 
The Head of the Russian Imperial House, HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna presided over the opening of the exhibition on July 3rd. She was accompanied by her son, Grand Duke George Mikhailovich, and Alexander Konstantinovich Orlov, Russia’s Ambassador to France. 

A gala dinner was held that evening at the Casino Barriere Dinard, under the patronage and in presence of their Imperial Highnesses the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and the Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia.
 

Organizers have prepared a 116-page catalogue (in French). The first part of the catalogue is dedicated to the more than 300 items from the exhibition, and the history of Emperors Alexander II, Alexander III, and Nicholas II and Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich. The second part is dedicated to the family in exile in Saint-Briac with many testimonies of local inhabitants. 

The exhibition, The Romanovs: St. Petersburg to Saint-Briac runs until August 30, 2015 at the Convent de Sagesse in the Breton town of Dinan, France
 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 06 July, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:13 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 7 July 2015 2:06 PM EDT
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Thursday, 2 July 2015
Exhibition: Tsar Ivan IV and Queen Elizabeth I
Topic: Exhibitions


The exhibition hall of the Transfiguration Cathedral at the Monastery of Saint Euthymius in Suzdal is currently hosting a new exhibition: The Russian Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible and the English Queen Elizabeth I.

Ivan IV the Terrible and Elizabeth I of England are among the most important historical figures of European history of the 16th century. Both rulers have been the subject of artists, writers and playwrights, screenwriters and directors.
 
The current exhibition - which opened on June 18th - features 12 works - paintings and other works, made in different materials and techniques, united by one theme. The works are created by the masters of the Vladimir district.

During his 37-year reign, Tsar Ivan IV established very close ties with England. Russo-English relations can be traced to 1551, during which the Muscovy Company retained the monopoly in Russo-English trade until 1698.

With the use of English merchants, Ivan engaged in a long correspondence with Queen Elizabeth. While the queen focused on commerce, Ivan was more interested in a military alliance. 

The exhibition The Russian Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible and the English Queen Elizabeth I runs until July 26th in the exhibition hall of the Transfiguration Cathedral at the Monastery of Saint Euthymius, Suzdal, Russia. 
 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 02 July, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:40 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 2 July 2015 8:51 AM EDT
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Exhibition: Early Colour Photographs of the Russian Empire, 1890s - 1910s
Topic: Exhibitions

A new exhibit, Early Colour Photographs of the Russian Empire 1890s - 1910s opened at the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow on July 1st. The exhibition continues the series of large-scale MAMM projects devoted to early colour photography, some of which have already been exhibited at the Manege Central Exhibition Hall in Moscow (2008), at the Photography Museum in Amsterdam (2013) and Photographers’ Gallery in London (2014). The current exhibition presents new acquisitions in the MAMM collection — pictures produced using the ‘photochrome’ technique, one of the earliest means to create a coloured image. At the same time the exhibition continues the long-term project, ‘History of Russia in Photography’, that MAMM has been developing since 1997.

The desire to master colour dates from the very earliest stages of photography. Initially photographs were hand-tinted, but specialists were already conducting endless experiments with more complex and technological methods of colour reproduction. Hans Jakob Schmid (1856-1924) made a veritable breakthrough in this respect. Working for the Swiss firm Orell Füssli, he invented the ‘photochrome’ in the 1880s. This technique made way for entirely new possibilities in the mass manufacture and distribution of colour prints, and enabled commercial production. Before long the proprietors of Orell Füssliset up a subsidiary company, Photochrom Zürich, specifically to print photochromes. Their products bore the gold initials ‘P.Z’. This trademark can be seen on the majority of prints recently acquired by the MAMM collection and showcased in the exhibition.

A catalogue from the Detroit Photographic Company, who acquired a patent for the technology in the 1890s, describes the merits of the photochrome as follows: ‘This is the only successful means yet known of producing a photograph in the colours of nature directly and without the aid of hand colour work. The results combine the truthfulness of a photograph with the colour and richness of an oil painting or the delicate tinting of the most exquisite watercolour. The colours are absolutely permanent and attain the virility and strength of nature so often lacking in hand coloured work. The prices are no more than those of ordinary photographs. The inventors have spent thousands of dollars and years of study before reaching their present success.’
 

Photochromes are deceptively reminiscent of colour photographs, but magnification dispels this illusion: the visible pigment particles reveal a photomechanical method of printing the pictures, based on inks. The process for creating photochromes was laborious, requiring several lithographic stones (six to fifteen, on average) coated with a specific asphalt-based mixture and specially prepared, each for a different colour. Black-and-white negatives provided the basic material. The identity of the photographer was nearly always omitted, and we can only guess who took the shots that then became photochromes. As a graphic illustration of the technical process a rare preserved pair of images features in the exhibition, with the black-and-white original and the photochrome version. The picture is entitled ‘View of the Moscow Kremlin Towers from Vasilievsky Spusk [St. Basil’s Descent]’ by Pyotr Petrovich Pavlov (1860-c.1925), the famous photographer who kept a studio on Myasnitskaya Street and consistently recorded historical events and architectural views of Moscow from 1898 onwards.

Photochromes were in great demand from ordinary customers and proved a focus for amateur collection. As cards, striking large-format panoramas or average-sized prints on thin paper, they were pasted into albums or framed as wall decoration for bourgeois drawing rooms.

Around eighty photochromes with views of various towns and provinces of the Russian Empire from the late 19th to early 20th centuries are shown in the exhibition, depicting St. Petersburg and environs, Moscow, Warsaw, Reval (now Tallinn), Kiev, Odessa, Helsingfors (now Helsinki), Gurzuf, Tiflis and Crimea.

Early attempts to introduce colour to photographic reproduction may appear naïve to the contemporary observer whose visual experience came from colour photography. But these images are endowed with the indisputable and inimitable charm of times past, and also provide a valuable documentary record of Russian history.

The exhibition: Early Colour Photographs of the Russian Empire 1890s – 1910s, runs until September 6th, 2015 at the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow. 
 
© MMAM and Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 02 July, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:49 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 2 July 2015 7:59 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 24 June 2015
Exhibition: Grandeur of the Russian Empire
Topic: Exhibitions


The exhibition in the Radishchev State Art Museum is dedicated to the unique period of the Russian history which took almost 200 years. More than 170 masterpieces of Russian, West European and Eastern work of the XVIIIth – XIXth centuries are demonstrated there.

The represented monuments are of special historical and memorial significance apart from their high artistic value. Most of the exhibits come from the Imperial Ryust-Kamera, Court Office, Emperor’s chambers, Services store room of the Winter Palace, Kremlin cathedrals and the main collection of the Armoury Chamber.

The XVIIIth century marked the determinate and effective reforms of the army and weaponry as well as formation of the order system and building of the new country capital undertaken by Peter the Great. All these events are connected with the name of the first Russian Emperor.

The exposition starts with items reminding of reforms in the military sphere and weaponry, as well as organization of new factories in Sestroretsk and Olonets instead of closed armory workshop of the Kremlin. There is a dirk of Peter I from the Preobrazhenskiy Palace, officer insignia, sword and mortar which appeared in the Russian army in the early XVIIIth century.

Just like in the XVIth – XVIIth centuries, hunting stayed one of the most popular entertainments at the court. There are impressive specimen of Russian and West European weapons exhibited, such as gorgeously decorated saddle pistols made in Tula, rifle from Petersburg, Bohemian carbine by constructor Leopold Becher and pistols by Turin, the court armoury master of Louis XIV of France.

The construction of the new capital with its palaces and celebrations required producing of new household utensils, furniture and interior decorations. The exhibited tapestry portrait of Peter the Great was executed at that manufactory open in the newly built capital in 1717 after the decree of Peter I. Large, highly artistic pieces made of precious materials, such as the silver dish executed by the Moscow master Alexey Ratkov and presented to Catherine II by the citizens of Smolensk, were also used for interior decoration.

Special significance was given to such representative silver items as silver dinner sets which appeared in the XVIIIth century to serve as household utensils and were at the same time an evidence of the high status of the owner,. The exhibited Paris service is executed by Paris and Saint Petersburg silversmiths.

A group of precious jewelry pieces is demonstrated to relate the atmosphere of the court entertainments, amusements and balls of the gallant XVIIIth century. The exhibition represents toilet bags and watch on ribbon as well as snuffboxes , which were used not only for keeping snuff tobacco, becoming widespread in the XVIIIth century Russia inside, but also for nonverbal communications between ladies and cavaliers.
 


New administrative and territorial division of the country, which began in 1708 with the creation of provinces by Peter the Great, was continued by his successors. Radical reform in this area was undertaken by Catherine II. Representative silver tableware was executed by her order for delivery to provinces. The exhibition presents items from the Mitavskiy service by Saint Petersburg master N. Lund and the Kazan service by Parisian silversmith R.-J. Auguste.

A group of memorial silver pieces related to the development of Siberia in the XVIIIth century occupies the special place at the exposition. The exhibition includes a silver cup, presented to the Irkutsk voevode Larion Sinyavin by Peter I and a group of utensils made for the family of the Governor of Siberia D. I. Chicherin by masters from Tobolsk, a large center of silversmithery in the XVIIIth century Russia.

The beginning of the XIXth is inseparably linked with the name of Alexander I. It’s during his reign that the wars with Napoleon, primarily, the Patriotic war of 1812, have occurred. The exhibition presents his personal items – porcelain utensils made at the Imperial manufactories in Sèvres and Dagoty, France, presented to him by Napoleon on the occasion of the conclusion of the Tilsit peace treaty; combatant weapons used during the war of 1812; the memorial plaque with the text of the Manifesto of the Holy Alliance. Some skillfully executed weapons represented at the exhibition are produced at the factories in Izhevsk and Zlatoust, opened during the reign of Alexander I.

Moscow, destroyed by the enemy invadors, demanded restoration. The process of building begun during the reign of Alexander I continued under Nicholas I. Constuction of the Grand Kremlin Palace, the part of which the new building of the Armoury Chamber is, had the special importance. This section of the exhibition is represented by keys to the Spasskie (Saviour) and Borovitskiye gates of the Kremlin with the monogram of Nicholas I, as well as a new porcelain set made at the Imperial porcelain factory for the new Palace and tapestry produced at the Petersburg Imperial Tapestry Manufactory to serve as decoration for one of the rooms.

There is also a group of exhibits illustrating the formation of the Russian award system. Apart from the Russian orders and insignia, they include items connected to the award system, such as a granted bucket and sabre and award weapons of the XIXth century.

The concluding section of the exhibition is dedicated to the coronations of the Russian monarchs. It presents unique items reflecting the traditions respected during these celebrations which usually lasted for several days.

The exhibition: Grandeur of the Russian Empire runs from 24th June 24th - 13th September, 2015 in the Radishchev State Art Museum, Saratov, Russia. 

© Moscow Kremlin State Museums. 24 June, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:55 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 24 June 2015 6:05 AM EDT
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Monday, 22 June 2015
Exhibition: Russia and Denmark 1700-1900
Topic: Exhibitions

 


 

Click on the START button above to watch a short video of the Russia and Denmark 1700-1900 exhibition (in Russian)
 
Commemorating 300 years since Peter the Great’s visit to Denmark in 1716, this joint exhibition of Tsarskoye Selo and the Museum of National History Frederiksborg Castle (Hillerød, Denmark) is focused on some remarkable moments in Danish-Russian relations from 1700 to the early 1900s.

The idea of this project was conceived at the opening of a joint exhibition titled ‘Denmark and the Russian Empire 1600–1900” at the Frederiksborg Castle in 2013, attended by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and by Danish and Russian officials.

The core of the exhibition ‘Russia and Denmark 1700–1900’ is made up of art and historical objects from the Museum of National History Frederiksborg Castle and completed with items from the collections of Tsarskoye Selo, Peterhof and the State Hermitage Museum.

Our visitors will see portraits and memorial items of Russian and Danish monarchs. Also noteworthy is the famous Flora Danica porcelain depicting Danish flora. It was in production at the 1775-founded Royal Porcelain Manufactory from the late eighteenth century until 1802. Pictures of plants were accurately copied from their colour engravings in Flora Danica, a comprehensive atlas of botany. Legend has it that the tableware was meant as a gift for Catherine II to commemorate peace and ‘eternal alliance’ between Denmark and Russia. However, Flora Danica remained in the country and was split between several collections, the one of Frederiksborg Castle being on display in Russia for the first time now.

Among other stories, the exhibition tells about Tsar Peter’s visit to Copenhagen in 1716, the role played by Catherine II in resolving the Gottorp question and the situation of the imprisoned siblings of the murdered Emperor Ivan VI, and the life of Princess Dagmar of Denmark who came to Russia at the age of 19 to marry the heir to the throne and then had to return back home after the 1917 revolution.
 


The exhibition: Russia and Denmark 1700–1900 runs from 21 June to 20 September 2015 in the Zubov Wing of the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoye Selo. 
 
© Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve. 22 June, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:48 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 23 June 2015 11:00 AM EDT
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