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October, 05, 2013 - March, 23, 2014

Germany, Stuttgart, Württemberg State Museum

Organized by:
the Landesmuseum Württemberg State Museum, Moscow Kremlin Museums

Fraulein's monogram of Elizaveta Alekseevna and Maria FyodorovnaThe exhibition in the Württemberg State Museum covers the centuries-old history of the close diplomatic and dynastic relations between the Russian Empire and the Duchy of Württemberg, at first, and then - the Kingdom of Württemberg. Having been established long before the Romanovs came to the Russian throne these relations continued to be developed up to the XXth century and involved 5 marriages during the most intensive period of political interactions from 1776 to 1874.

The first act of mutual recognition between the countries occurred in 1776 when Grand Prince and later Emperor Paul I married Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg, who converted to the Russian Orthodox Church, took the name Maria Fyodorovna and gave birth to Russian Emperors Alexander I and Nicholas I. Later on a conjugal union was formed between Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna of Russia and her first cousin Crown Prince William who eventually became King William I of Württemberg. Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna of Russia became the Queen of Württemberg upon her marriage to the future King Charles I of Württemberg. Both women went down in history as distinguished royal persons, held in high esteem in Stuttgart. The later generations of both houses got married: Princess Charlotte of Württemberg married in 1824 Grand Prince Mikhail of Russia and took the name of Helena Pavlovna. Grand Duchess Vera, the Olga's niece, united in matrimony with Duke Eugen of Württemberg.

The exhibition narrates the story of lives of the Russian princesses at the Stuttgart court and explores the destiny of the duchesses of Württemberg in Russia through outstanding items, some of which are rarely exposed outside Russia. Nine masterpieces were loaned by the Moscow Kremlin Museums, including those belonged to Empress Maria Fyodorovna: a corsage and a train of the coronation dress, shoes, a medallion - badge of the Order of St. Catherine, the cross of the Maltese Order of Saint John of Jerusalem and a snuffbox, enchased by the Empress herself.

The project is supported by leading German and Russian museums, i.e. the State Historical Museums, the State Russian Museum, the State Archive of the Russian Federation, the State Museum and Estate "Pavlovsk", the State Museum Reserve "Peterhof", the State Museum-Preserve "Tsarskoye Selo" and others.