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07 September 2018 – 05 November 2018

State Historical and Architectural Museum and Heritage Site of Nizhny Novgorod

Organized by: 
The State Historical and Architectural Museum and Heritage Site of Nizhny Novgorod, The Moscow Kremlin Museums
           The Moscow Kremlin Museums



The exhibition at the State Historical and Architectural Museum and Heritage Site of Nizhny Novgorod is timed to the Moscow Days in Nizhny Novgorod. It will be a part of a grand culture festival that is to be held by the decision of the governments of Moscow City and Nizhny Novgorod Region.

The display comprises about forty precious works of decorative and applied art and phaleristics of the 19th-21th centuries depicting architectural sights of Moscow and the Moscow Kremlin.

The 19th century was marked by the growth of interest in national history. The ancient capital and its heart – the Moscow Kremlin have become symbols of all national, original and native.

It couldn’t but found its reflection in decorative and applied art. Depicting architectural views of Moscow on all kinds of wares, i.e. dishes, trays, plates, cups, tableware and cigarette cases was immensely popular in the second half of the 19th century.

A cigarette case of 1851 displayed at the exhibition has a panoramic view of the Moscow Kremlin and Bolshoy Kamenny Bridge. There we can see the Grand Kremlin Palace that was just then reconstructed by K. A. Ton. Thanks to the talented architect who brilliantly integrated the grandiose building into the Moscow Kremlin ensemble, this view still remains the most popular one until today. The palace itself became one of the symbols of both Moscow and all Russia.

The same panorama also adorns an oval silver tray from the tea and coffee set of 1873 made by the famous Moscow firm of A. M. Postnikov. This rarity of historic and artistic value is the gem of the display. This masterly made niello engraving presents the panorama of Moscow from the Borovitskaya Tower to the Saint Basil Cathedral at Red Square. This tea and coffee service was sent to the spouse of the Governor of Hong Kong by Empress Maria Alexandrovna in 1873 in gratitude for a hospitable reception of her son Alexey Alexandrovich in autumn 1872, who was travelling through Southeast Asia to America. Then it changed owners many times. According to one of the inscriptions on the tray, it was served out during Queen Victoria’s visit to Lord and Lady Clanwilliam on 21 October 1895. In 1990 it was presented to the President of the USSR M. S. Gorbachev at the time of his visit to Italy, and later it was transferred to the Kremlin collection.

In the 20th century, when Moscow resumed its status of the capital, the Moscow Kremlin monuments were increasingly associated with the image of power. That is reflected in the medals dedicated to different milestones in the history of Russia. Works of art presenting views of Moscow and the Kremlin are completed with the commemorative medal ‘Inauguration of V. V. Putin as President of Russia’ 2012.

Besides, the display presents precious works of Russian jewellers of the 20th century inspired by the ancient Kremlin architecture. A delicate plaquette made of helmet shell, bearing a relief image of the Moscow Kremlin, is worth special attention. This unique art piece was created by an internationally acclaimed painter A. N. Dolgov.

Today, these exhibits are of interest as samples masterly presenting architectural views of Moscow through various techniques—niello, engraving, painting, carving, chasing, enamelling etc. At the same time, they are a vivid evidence of a rapidly changing appearance of the city and the Moscow Kremlin as well.

‘The Moscow Kremlin—Symbol of Russia’ exhibition is to become a truly special event in the rich cultural life of Nizhny Novgorod.