Presenting the Romanovs: Their Lives in Art and Objects

The exhibition "The Romanovs. Portrait of a Dynasty" at the State Historical Museum celebrates the 400th anniversary of the reign of the Romanov dynasty in Russia.

Editor - Stakheev Vladimir, photos - Ruslan Sukhushin, music - Wind Quintet

According to curator Evgeny Lukyanov, the exhibition’s main goal is to show that, in addition to popular monarchs such as Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, and Nicholas II, there were other interesting personalities in the royal family, too.

The exhibition includes both historical content and art. Arranged in chronological order, it tells the story of the portrait genre in Russia, from the early parsuna (secular portraits) of the 1670-80s—represented by a portrait of tsars Mikhail Fedorovich and Aleksei Mikhailovich—up to pre-revolutionary photographs. There are some famous names among the artists exhibited. There is Ilya Repin’s formal portrait of Nicholas II and a marble bust of Alexandra Feodorovna made by Mark Antokolsky. There is also an etching by Ivan Kramskoi with the image of Crown Prince Alexander Alexandrovich, the future Alexander III, which the artist created after his own portrait. Kramskoi called his prints "banknotes" since engravings of monarchs were always printed in large quantities, enjoyed great popularity, and brought artists a handsome income.

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