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Thursday, 13 March 2014
Rare Books from the Library of Emperor Paul I on Display at Gatchina
Topic: Gatchina

Bibliophiles will delight in a new exhibit that opened at Gatchina Palace today. A rare collection of more than 200 books from the library of Emperor Paul I, now stored at the Gatchina State Museum, include the emperor’s personal Bible, published in 1778.

This particular Bible is the seventh of only ten copies printed of an extremely rate 18th century Elizabethan Bible in Church Slavonic. The scriptures of the Old and New Testament are printed on octavo sized pages (from 5 by 8 inches, composed of printer's sheets folded into eight leaves), the cover is dressed in a dark red velvet, and interwoven with gold crosses. The book includes nine tasselled bookmarks, an engraved title page with images from the Old and New Testament and views of the Kremlin and Peter and Paul Fortress, a double-headed eagle above each. At the bottom of the inside page are the signatures: Semen Vtorov 1759 and Vasily Ikonnikov 1763.
 

The Bible was kept in the Tower Study, one of the private rooms of Emperor Paul, located on the first floor of Gatchina Palace. The Study included a small library, and included books that the emperor used on a regular basis. The 200-volume collection now on display is diverse in subjects: world history, the history of France, Prussia, and Russia, books on geography, military and maritime affairs, Masonic literature, calendars, reference books, medicine, geography, biology, art, and the history of the Maltese Order. On the covers of some books is the Emperor’s monogram of two interlaced letters "P" or a letter "P". During the Great Patriotic War, many of the books were evacuated, thus saving these rarities from certain plunder or destruction.

Emperor Paul I was a very religious man, which was one of the reasons why his personal Bible and other books on religion were put on display at this particular exhibit. Even as a child he systematically studied the Scriptures. Metropolitan of Moscow Father Plato (Levshin) noted that Paul was considered one of the most educated men of his time. N.A. Sablukov, who served at the Russian Imperial court recalled that, while living at Gatchina Palace, he observed that, "Paul used to kneel, immersed in prayer and often in tears. The parquet floor rubbed in the places where he kneeled. "

The exhibition books from Emperor Paul's personal library are now on display in the Tower Study at Gatchina Palace until June 8th, 2014. 
 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 14 March, 2014
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:59 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 13 March 2014 8:19 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 17 December 2013
Gatchina Palace in Watercolours
Topic: Gatchina


A new exhibition at the Museum of AS Pushkin in Moscow offers a unique opportunity to see the unique treasures from the Gatchina State Museum-Reserve. Beautiful watercolours of the interiors of Gatchina Palace by Eduard Hau (1807-1888) and Luigi Premazzi (1814-1891), include nearly 60 watercolours. This priceless collection from Gatchina Palace allow us to see historic interiors of the palace when it was an Imperial residence. The watercolours are on exhibit in Moscow for the very first time.

The exhibition is dominated by the watercolours of Eduard Hau, depicting the historical interiors of Gatchina Palace from the second half of the 19th century. Between 1874 - 1880, Hau painted 56 watercolours of the interiors of the Gatchina Palace. Today, they are part of a unique collection which include watercolours of the private apartments of Emperors Nicholas I and Alexander II, painted in 1862. In the 1870s, two watercolours of the Gatchina Palace interiors were painted another famous artist - Luigi Premazzi. The watercolours by Premazzi draw attention to detail of the rooms, including the architecture, furniture, and decorative items. All of these watercolours played a crucial role in the restoration projects of Gatchina Palace, which was badly damaged during World War II.

The exhibition runs at the the Museum of AS Pushkin located at Ul. Prechistenka, 12/2 in Moscow, from December 16, 2013 to March 31, 2014.
 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 17 December, 2013
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 3:15 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 17 December 2013 4:01 PM EST
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Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Imperial Interiors at Gatchina
Topic: Gatchina

 

The dressing rooms of the Romanov dynasty and the chambers of their maids of honor became part of the permanent exhibition at Gatchina Palace last week.

The rooms have become part of an exhibition called “The Family Members of the Emperor Alexander III in Gatchina,” which forms part of the museum collection of the former royal estate at Gatchina.

Wardrobes, trunks and other everyday belongings can be seen in the imperial dressing rooms, as well as a unique object called a wardrobe-suitcase, in which one part serves as a wardrobe with coat hangers, while the other is meant for smaller items. Such suitcases were convenient for long journeys, and reflect the new approach to the packing and transport of luggage following the appearance of trains, cruise ships and automobiles.

The interiors of the rooms designated for maids of honor were designed in a simple, formal manner that emphasized the service function of the chambers. There were no decorative elements, only essential belongings, and the furniture was often old.

© St. Petersburg Times. 28 November, 2012


 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:45 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2012 8:19 AM EST
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Wednesday, 4 April 2012
Restoration of the Greek Gallery at Gatchina
Topic: Gatchina

 

The restoration of the Greek Gallery at Gatchina is now underway. Modern-day masters will recreate the elegant 18th-century gallery based on drawings, photographs and watercolours which have survived.

In its heyday before the Revolution, the Greek Gallery was illuminated thanks to the light-orange hues of the walls and the orange-coloured curtains of the semicircular windows. This was intensified by the rays of sunshine coming in through the large windows that ran the entire length of the gallery.

The gallery included the furnishings and decor details associated with the art of ancient Greece. The walls were adorned with reliefs of dancing bacchantes and medallions showing profiles of ancient heroes, moulded bracket carried marble busts of Roman emperors and philosophers and marble statues of antique gods and goddesses stood opposite the windows.

Four large canvases by Hubert Robert depicted architectural sights of ancient Rome. The Greek Gallery completed by Vincenzo Brenna in the 1790s terminated the ceremonial palatial apartments retaining the 18th-century decorations.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 04 April, 2012





Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:40 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 5 April 2012 11:49 AM EDT
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Monday, 25 July 2011
Gatchina Allocated 140 Million Rubles for Restorations
Topic: Gatchina

The Gatchina State Museum-Preserve has been allocated 140 million rubles (double the amount allocated for 2011)  from the St. Petersburg District Budget for 2012.

According to Vasily Pankratov, General Director of the Gatchina State Museum, "the increased funding will allow us to begin work on waterproofing and restoration of the internal facade of the palace, which is in dire need of repair."

© Royal Russia. 25 July, 2011


 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:41 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 26 July 2011 5:44 AM EDT
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