MOSCOW: SPLENDOURS OF THE ROMANOVS
From July 11 to September 13, 2009
The Romanov dynasty ruled Russia for three hundred years, and all Russian rulers without exception were crowned at the Dormition Cathedral in the Kremlin, reviving the glory of the ceremonies of yesteryear in the old capital. It is this city of Moscow, often neglected in favour of the northern capital of Saint Petersburg, that exhibition curator Brigitte de Montclos is helping visitors discover or rediscover.
From the coronation in the Dormition Cathedral to the intimate moments of the last Romanovs, Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna, immortalised by the emerging technologies of photography and cinematography, visitors are invited to explore life in the imperial court. "Moscow: Splendours of the Romanovs" brings together more than 500 exceptional pieces, both for their rarity and their artistic value, including an iconostasis composed of four rows of icons illustrating the history of the Old and the New Testament, richly-embroidered chasubles, crowns and religious textiles, as well as furniture and tableware items, including a Gouriev porcelain ceremonial service signed by the Imperial Manufacturer. A section dedicated to goldsmithing presents the famous eggs by jeweller Karl Fabergé, as well as many jewels from the houses of Boucheron, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Chaumet, whose expertise was so admired among the Russian Aristocracy.
The scenographer François Payet, author of several noteworthy productions at the Grimaldi Forum ("Imperial Saint-Petersburg" in 2004 and "Queens of Egypt" in 2008), has succeeded once again in revealing the beauty and soul of the collected objects by recreating an authentic Russian atmosphere. The layout evokes the ceremonial aspect of the Orthodox liturgy, town planning, architecture, the splendour of court life, and the magnificence of the palace interiors where the imperial family lived. This historical fresco was fully supported by the Moscow Historical Museum, the Kremlin Museum, the State Tretyakov Gallery and the Vekselberg Foundation.