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Moscow, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts


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The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts


The State Hermitage, State Tretyakov Gallery, The Moscow Kremlin Museums, State Museum of Oriental Arts, Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography named after Peter the Great (Kunstkammer) of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Centre Georges-Pompidou, Picasso Museum in Paris and others.

The Moscow Kremlin Museums take part in a large-scale exhibition called 'Strange Proximity Happen', which will be the main event in the artistic life of the capital in the fall of 2021. The show will occupy the central exhibition line and several halls of the main building of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. That is a project by the famous French curator Jean-Hubert Martin, who subverts the chronological linearity of art history with unexpected juxtapositions and collisions. He proposes to consider museum objects, abandoning the classical notions of art in the context of the period of their creation. According to the author's idea, it gives the viewer more intellectual freedom and allows everyone to make their own discoveries. About four hundred and fifty exhibits will be on display in thirteen thematic sections. In each of them, Jean-Hubert Martin will compare different works of art and objects with no relation to artistic creation; and trace a connection with the artefacts of ancient cultures in the works of contemporary authors.

The Moscow Kremlin Museums lent two works by European masters of the 17th century – a wine vessel in the form of a celestial globe and a tabletop fountain with a figure of Bacchus sitting on a barrel.

Wine Vessel  – Celestial GlobeA precious wine vessel with a lid on top and two faucets in the form of dragon heads, 75 cm height, was created by silversmith Rudolf Lehmann in the 1620s in Vilnius. This spectacular work reflects the characteristic Baroque striving for all things unusual and magnificent. The surface of the celestial globe is decorated with gilt engraved figures of planetary gods among clouds and stars, and a gilded belt in the middle depicts symbols of the zodiac signs. Atlas – one of the four titans of Greek mythology who supported the cope of heaven – holds the globe in his arms. The figure of Atlas connects the heavenly and earthly spheres. The latter is embodied in the oval base of the vessel, the artistic solutions of which combines embossed floral decoration with miniature cast herbs and figures of lizards and crustaceans.

This highly artistic, representative work was brought as a gift from the Polish King John II Casimir to the Russian Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich in 1651.

Table Decoration – Fountain 'Bacchus on a Barrel'The fountain - table decoration, created by the Augsburg master Melchior II Gelb in 1685-1688, comes from the treasury of the Russian tsars. Fanciful table fountains, gorgeous hand washing sets and various lighting fixtures dominated among the products of the goldsmiths of the imperial city of Augsburg. They were brought to Russia in the 17th century as diplomatic gifts from many European states.

The bell-shaped goblet placed on the top of the vessel connects with the barrel by a narrow tube, hidden in the figure of the young Bacchus, which allows the liquid filling the goblet to pour out of the barrel faucet. German silversmiths often turned to the image of the ancient god of viticulture and winemaking, traditionally depicting him sitting on a barrel with a bunch of grapes or a bowl in his hand, with a belt and a wreath of vines.