7 must-see exhibitions in Moscow and St. Petersburg this fall

Hermitage
There's something for everyone among these seven must-see exhibitions: masterpieces from the Renaissance to Art Deco to contemporary works; paintings, wood carvings, legendary films, and stunning fashion. Don't miss these extraordinary exhibits, which include many items on display in Russia for the first time.

1. Roma Aeterna: Masterpieces of the Vatican Picture Gallery (Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow)

The 500 works of art in the Pinacoteca Vaticana collection rarely leave the walls of their home gallery, making this exhibit at the Tretyakov Gallery even more extraordinary.

The Entombment of Christ (1602–1603), Caravaggio. / Tretyakov GalleryThe Entombment of Christ (1602–1603), Caravaggio. / Tretyakov Gallery

A rare opportunity not only in Russia but throughout Europe, 40 masterpieces by Raphael, Caravaggio, Bellini, Poussin and other masters will to be on display in Moscow.

From Nov. 23 to Feb. 19, 2017.

2. Rafael: Image Poetry (Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow)

For the first time in Russia, an exhibition dedicated solely to the works of Raphael will open in Moscow. Eight paintings and three drawings arrive from the collections of Italian museums in Florence, Bologna and Brescia. The exhibition will include Self-portrait (1506), Madonna of the Grand Duke, and the paired portraits of Agnolo Doni and his wife Maddalena.

Self-portrait (1506), Rafael.\nPushkin Museum of Fine Arts<p>Self-portrait (1506), Rafael.</p>\n
Madonna of the Grand Duke (1505), Rafael.\nPushkin Museum of Fine Arts<p>Madonna of the Grand Duke (1505), Rafael.</p>\n
Angel (1500), Rafael.\nPushkin Museum of Fine Arts<p>Angel (1500), Rafael.</p>\n
 
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Form Sept. 13 to Dec. 16.

3. Wassily Kandinski and Russia (Russian Museum, St. Petersburg)

This December marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Wassily Kandinsky, founder of abstract art and one of the most important movements in 20th century art.

The exhibition will bring together pieces from the Russian Museum, the Hermitage, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, the Tretyakov gallery, and private collections.

Russian Museum
Russian Museum
 
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Kandinsky's early figurative and abstract paintings will be displayed along with pieces by Kazimir Malevich, Alexei Jawlensky, David Burliuk, Mikhail Larionov, and Natalia Goncharova.

For the first time, Kandinsky's work will be reconsidered through a connection with Russian national traditions. The retrospective will be complemented by icons and traditional folk art, including a variety of spinning wheels, embroidery, and wood carvings.

From Sept. 22 to Nov. 21.

4. Elegance and Splendor of Art Deco: The Kyoto Costume Institute, Jewelry Houses Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels (Moscow Kremlin Museums, Moscow)

Luxuries of the Art Deco era will be the stars of this exhibition, which will open in the Kremlin later this month. More than a hundred garments are on loan from the Kyoto Costume Institute (Japan), one of the biggest fashion museums in the world. The items will be displayed outside the Institute's walls for the first time ever.

The evening dress by Lanvin  / Takashi HatakeyamaThe evening dress by Lanvin / Takashi Hatakeyama

Evening gowns, cocktail and dancing dresses, and robe de style gala dresses by Worth, Lanvin, Callot Sisters, Boué Sisters, Paul Poiret, Madeleine Vionne and others will be exhibited. In the tradition of pairing clothes and jewels together, first introduced by Louis Cartier and Jeanne Lanvin in 1925, dresses in the Kremlin exhibit will be accompanied by historical and contemporary jewelry from Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels.

From Sept. 30 to Jan. 11, 2017.

5. Proof: Francisco Goya, Sergei Eisenstein, Robert Longo (Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow)

This unique exhibition will explore turbulent transitions in world history as interpreted in art.

The famous American artist Robert Longo, co-curator of the exhibition, chose works by the two artists who have influenced him for decades, Spanish painter Francisco Goya and Soviet film director Sergei Eisenstein, creator of Battleship Potemkin and Alexander Nevsky.

Robert LongoUntitled (Mike Test/Head of Goya), 2003Charcoal on mounted paper182.9 x 243.8 cmCollection of the artist / Garage Museum of Contemporary ArtRobert LongoUntitled (Mike Test/Head of Goya), 2003Charcoal on mounted paper182.9 x 243.8 cmCollection of the artist / Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Proof will include more than 35 pieces by Longo, 50 of Goya’s aquatint etchings and 40 of Eisenstein's sketches that have never been exhibited before, along with seven of his films.

From Sept. 30 to Feb. 5, 2017.

6. Jan Fabre: Knight of Despair / Warrior of Beauty (Hermitage, St. Petersburg)

Over ten years in the planning, Flemish artist Jan Fabre curated this exhibition especially for the Hermitage.

According to Dmitry Ozerkov, head of the Hermitage's Modern Art Department, Fabre is presented to the audience as "a knight of art", and this project is his tribute. The exhibition will be displayed in two museum spaces, the Winter Palace and General Staff Building. The artist's works will reflect both Flemish Primitives, which Fabre says he admires very much, as well as contemporary art.

 Jan Fabre / Hermitage Jan Fabre / Hermitage

The exhibition will eventually join the Hermitage's permanent collection in the Knights' Hall. The exposition will also include a performance film, in which Fabre, wearing armor, was filmed walking by the Winter Palace in 2016.

From Oct. 22 to April 30, 2017.

7. Stephan Balkenhol: Sculptures and Reliefs (Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow)

Russia's first retrospective of the German classic sculptor Stephan Balkenhol just opened at MMOMA on Gogol Boulevard.

Babyking. Wawa wood, coloured Height of figure 53 cmCourtesy Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki (Finland) / Stephan BalkenholBabyking. Wawa wood, coloured Height of figure 53 cmCourtesy Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki (Finland) / Stephan Balkenhol

Creating wooden sculptures by an ancient technique, Balkenhol carves shapes out of solid pieces of wood. Imperfect, rough, with inscrutable pagan god-like faces, his intriguing characters invite the audience to unravel their mysteries.

From Sept. 8 to Nov. 13.

Read more: Rare photos of the Imperial residence right before the Revolution of 1917>>>

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