The Moscow Kremlin State Historical and Cultural Museum and Heritage Site. — Moscow: Azbuka, 2023 — 352 p. —1000 copies. ISBN 978-5-88678-407-7
This catalogue accompanies the exhibition of the same name at the Moscow Kremlin Museums, telling the story of the legends that have surrounded the relics of the Armoury Chamber over the centuries, most vividly manifested during the Romantic period of the first half of the 19th century. It presents over 130 items – state regalia, arms and armour, horse harnesses, graphics and paintings, and silver works from the collections of many leading Russian museums.
Two opening articles introduce the catalogue. The first article provides the reader with the peculiarities of Romanticism as a pan-European phenomenon at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries and describes its influence on Russian culture. It also shows how the characteristics of Romantic thought influenced the formation of professional historical science and were reflected in the study of the pieces kept in the Armoury Chamber. The second article is dedicated to the historical formation of the legend of the Monomachos's Gifts, according to which the Monomakh's Cap and some other ancient royal insignia appeared at the Russian court in the 12th century as gifts from the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos to the Grand Prince of Kiev Vladimir Monomakh. The article pays special attention to the work of A.F. Malinovsky – one of the first authors of historical descriptions of the Armoury Chamber.
The patriotic upsurge that spread through the whole of Russian society during the Patriotic War of 1812, as well as the romantic mood that prevailed at the court of Emperor Nicholas I and in the intellectual milieu, contributed to the rapid growth of interest in national history, including ancient history, combined with a sincere fascination with the history of the Western European Middle Ages. Influenced by this way of thinking, people began to study the works of the Armoury Chamber, the Imperial Museum that housed the main relics of Russian history. Researchers of those years frequently mistakenly associated many of its exhibits with the heroes of the Russian past, thus creating legends.