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08 December 2016 – 20 March 2017

Saint Petersburg, the State Hermitage Museum

Organized by the State Hermitage Museum

01# Dinner Plate from the Kremlin Service

The Moscow Kremlin Museums participate in the exhibition held at the State Hermitage Museum dedicated to the festive decoration of the imperial table during receptions at imperial residences and Grand Dukes’ palaces. More than one thousand two hundred magnificent pieces of porcelain, earthenware, glass, silver, bronze and other materials reconstruct a scene of an imperial banquet. They are complemented by centerpieces, servants’ liveries, furniture, table covers, table napkins, prints, watercolour paintings, books and photographs with depictions of court feasts of the eighteenth to early twentieth century.

For this exhibition, the Moscow Kremlin Museums loaned the Kremlin service made at the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory in St. Petersburg in 1837-1839 commissioned by Emperor Nicholas I for the Grand Kremlin Palace. A remarkable graphic artist, the researcher of Old Russian art and member of the Academy Feodor Grigorievich Solntsev was entrusted with the artistic design. He was a great expert of the Armoury Chamber’s treasures. He used beautiful pieces of art made of gold, decorated with enamel and precious stones, such as a plate of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich of 1667 and the wash-hand basin of the mid-seventeenth century, which belonged to Tsarina Natalia Kirillovna Naryshkina as an inspiration for Kremlin service’s ornaments. The service was designed for banquets at the Grand Kremlin Palace and particularly for ceremonial dinners which were held after coronations. Since it was often used, occasionally service needed to be supplied with additional pieces. Therefore Kremlin service includes both items from the original set and those made during the nineteenth and early twentieth century.