EXHIBITIONS IN ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
Venue: State Hermitage Museum
In the late 19th - early 20th century Carl Faberge made buying a gift a very simple and pleasurable experience for everyone: from the Emperor to a small clerk. Faberge had jewelry for every taste and budget. This small but stylish exhibition showcases over 170 exquisite and diverse Faberge objects and provides visitors with a chance to see the works the most celebrated Faberge's jewelers. The major highlight of the exhibit is a miniature replica of of the Imperial Regalia that won the Grand Prix at the Paris International Exhibition in 1900 and was later acquired from Faberge by Nicholas II specifically for the Hermitage. Other exhibits include vases, cigarette cases, snuff boxes, photograph frames, clocks, desk sets, jewelry, ecclesiastical items, carved stone figures, and semi-precious stone flowers and berries in rock crystal vases. Every item is memorable for the superb technical skill with which it has been crafted, the elegance of its design and the quality of its ornamentation.
Many items now put on display belong to the Hermitage, others are on loan from different museums and private collections.
The exhibition is open till September 30, 1998. It is a definite must for everyone who comes to St. Petersburg before this date.
Venue: State Hermitage Museum, Room 253 (next to Rembrandt Gallery)
Although Hermitage has an excellent collections of paintings by Rembrandt, "Danae" was always the biggest treasure of this collection. On June 15, 1985 both the Hermitage staff and visitors were shocked by a horrible act of vandalism. At 11:45 that morning a man slashed the canvas twice and then threw acid over it. Later the perpetrator, a Lithuanian national, was judged by the court to be insane. Meanwhile, Danae was feared to be lost forever.
A painstaking process of restoration began several hours after the incident. A team of restoration professionals was formed to perform this work. These people resisted the temptation to repaint the famous canvas: instead they fixed all that remained from the original paints and then the damaged areas were retouched in order to restore the impression of an aesthetically complete picture. All that took the long 12 years of hard work by restorers and artists: E.Gherasimov, A.Rakhman and G.Shirokov.
The exhibition features not only Rembrandt's restored masterpiece, but also works by Titian and J. Blanchard on the same subject. Numerous photographs demonstrate various stages of restoration process. You will also learn a lot about the history of Danae which was painted by Rembrandt in 1636 and reworked ten years later. Catherine the Great acquired the canvas in 1772 in France as part of Baron Crozat collection.
Venue: State Hermitage Museum
Recently revamped outstanding permanent display of the jewelry collection of Russian Tzars. Excellent "Skythian Gold", Greek jewelry from the colonies on the Black sea and a new addition of excessively rich Oriental jewelry. Not as shocking, overwhelming and tiring as Moscow's Armory, but a very tasteful informative and totally enjoyable display in the spirit of the Hermitage Museum.
This vast exhibition is an reconstruction of Museum of Art Culture - exhibition of modern Russian art which was open to public from 1921 to 1925. Kazimir Malevich played an important part in the creation of the original exhibit. The artists are grouped according to their style and direction, just as Maevich had planned. This world's best collection of the early 20th century Russian art starts with the Russian Impressionists and finishes with Russian Avant-garde. The list of names of "participating" artists looks truly impressive. It includes the Blue Rose (the Russian followers of Matisse), the Jack of Diamonds (the Russian followers of Cezanne), the Futurists (Puni, Filonov, Ekster), Cubists (Tatlin, Kulbin, Lentulov), Supermacists (Malevich, Popova, Rozanova), Goncharova, Larionov, Kandinsky, Chagall, Rodchenko, Grigoriev, Petrov-Vodkin, etc. The final room to the exhibition focuses on the French art from Monet to Picasso on loan from the Hermitage and Moscow's Pushkin Art Museum. The catalogue of the exhibition is outstanding - don't miss it.
Venue: Russian Museum (Mikhailovsky Palace and Benois Building)
Since the Russian Museum has the largest collection of Russian art in the entire world it naturally has to employ the best experts in the field. This exhibition shows you the inner workings of the museum which not only displays art objects, but studies and restores them. Professional restorers of the Russian Museum literally make miracles: centuries-old icons and paintings by the most prominent artists get a second life. Come to learn more about their work and see the results, which ARE fascinating.
Venue: Engineers' House of the Peter and Paul Fortress
This exhibition is devoted to the first local history museum of St. Petersburg, formed in 1907 by a group of architects and art historians, including Pavel Syuzor, Alexander Benois and Ivan Fomin. The creation of the "Museum of St. Petersburg" was part of the effort to study various aspects of St. Petersburg life undertaken by the Society of Architects and Artists.
The present exhibition showcases the "cream of cream" of the original collection which now
belongs to the Museum of St. Petersburg History. The most prominent exhibits include:
Good choice for those who love history and antiques. Come with your own guide or with a Russian-speaker if possible.
Venue: "Riznitsa" of Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood (Resurrection Church) - across
the street from the church
This exhibition features lots of authentic memorabilia and is an effort to pinpoint some major stages in the life of this memorable monarch, who was called "Liberator" for orchestrating the abolition of serfdom in 1861. Alexander II also sent Russian fleet to the aid of legitimate government of the United States of America during the American Civil War. Excellent photographs tell the troublesome story of Alexander's family life. His beloved elder son Nicholas died very young while traveling in Europe, his wife Maria Alexandrovna had serious health problems and Alexander became emotionally involved with another woman who later became his second wife as the Duchess Yuryevskaya. Alexander's political life is covered less detail leaving it unclear why Emperor Alexander II was eventually assassinated on March 1, 1881 by revolutionaries from the "People's Will" group.
Good choice for history lovers. Russian-speaking guide is available throughout the day. Come with your guide or with a Russian-speaker if possible.
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