On This Day: Elisabeth Petrovna Crowned Empress of Russia Topic: Elizabeth Petrovna, Empress
Note: this article has been edited and updated from its original by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia
On 6 May (O.S. 25 April) 1742, the coronation of the Russian Empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter I and Catherine I, took place at the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. The celebrations had lasted two months and was distinguished by its unprecedented luxury.
Elizabeth of Russia ascended the imperial throne as a result of a palace coup on 6 December (O.S. 24 November) 1741. Exactly five months later, the new Empress of Russia was crowned. A Chief Marshal and a Master of Ceremonies were specially assigned to arrange the celebrations. When developing the script of the celebrations, the list of state regalia was enriched with the national flag, the state sword and shield. The coronation cortege of the Empress including a dozen carriages, decorated with gold, brocade, velvet, surrounded by hundreds of horsemen, moved slowly to the Kremlin down the streets bordered with regiments holding flying colours. Persian and Turkish carpets were hanging from the windows of houses.
For the coronation of Elizabeth a new imperial crown had been specially made. The empress laid upon herself the robe and the crown, handed over to her by Archbishop Ambrose, as regalia belonging to her by direct inheritance. After the greetings and salutations, which lasted three days, a series of balls with masquerades, Italian opera, fireworks and dinners took place. During the meal in the Faceted Chamber, sang the Italian Choir located in the corners of the room. From May to June in Moscow were magnificent balls, masquerades. On 18 June (O.S. 7 June), the last day of the coronation celebrations, the festival ended with a brilliant illumination.
In 1744 the staff of the Engraving Chamber of the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, completed their work on the ceremonial album. The book contains the description of the coronation, the description of the drawings (prints) and the exposition (description of the fireworks). The album’s frontispiece features the portrait of Elizabeth made in accordance with the original by French painter L. Caravaque, made in the "black style" by I. Shtenglin.
The Coronation album of the Empress Elizabeth has been prepared by the best academic engravers of the time: H. Wortman, J. Staehelin, I. Sokolov, G. Katchalov. The publication contains the description of the coronation ceremony, engravings from the drawings of I. Grimmel on the topics of the coronation ceremony, the images of imperial costumes and jewels, and a portrait image of the Empress.
The Coronation album of the Empress Elizabeth is a masterpiece of domestic engraving art, sumptuous sample of artistic illustration of the Russian book of the 18th century.
Coronation of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna Topic: Elizabeth Petrovna, Empress
The Coronation of the Empress Elizabeth Petrovna took place at Moscow on 6th May [25th April O.S.], 1742.
Her Coronation dress and mantle are currently on display at the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoye Selo.
Elizabeth came to power in December 1741 after a palace coup which overthrew the Regent Anna Leopoldovna and the infant Ivan VI. Celebrations marking her accession to the throne lasted almost two months.
A copy of her Coronation Album sold at Christie's for nearly $100,000 USD in June 2009. The album was first issued in 1744 with a circulation of only 600 copies. A further 950 copies were later issued. The album includes 49 prints and is considered one of the finest books of the 18th century published in Russia.