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November 2, 2015 – February 22, 2016

Moscow, The State Historical Museum

Organised by
The State Historical Museum, The Moscow Kremlin Museums.

01# PallThe Moscow Kremlin Museums are participating in the exhibition of the State Historical Museum dedicated to two outstanding figures in Russian history: Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich, the founder of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, Governor General of Moscow, collector and patron, and his spouse Grand Duchess Elizaveta Fyodorovna, the founder of Saints Martha and Mary Convent of Mercy in Moscow.

The exhibition is a joint project of Elizabeth and Sergius Outreach Society, the State Historical Museum and the State Museum and Exhibition Center “ROSIZO.” The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Jerusalem Patriarchate.

The display gathers around 400 monuments from Moscow and regional museums, as well as archives and private collections. It includes unique memorabilia, such as personal belongings of the Grand Ducal couple, documents, photographs, icons and items of visual art, as well as awards and letters, enabling the visitors to trace the life history of the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess who dedicated their lives to serving their country.

The Moscow Kremlin Museums feature in the exhibition ten significant monuments, including the golden Order of St George of the fourth class awarded to Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich on May 15, 1877, during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878.

The reliquary cross, pectoral icon, medallion and three rings, including the engagement ring, were the golden items Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich was wearing on the day of his tragic death on February 4 (17), 1905, when he was killed by the bomb thrown by the social revolutionary terrorist Ivan Kalyaev on the Senate Square of the Moscow Kremlin. The Grand Duke’s spouse Elizaveta Fyodorovna was picking these belongings crawling on her knees on the site of the tragedy. In June, 1906 the remains of Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich were solemnly transferred to the specially built burial temple on the ground floor of St Alexis Cathedral in the Chudov Monastery. The most precious belongings of her husband were also put there by the Grand Duchess.

Icons presented by the Moscow Kremlin Museums are worth of particular note. One of them is the icon of St Sergius of Radonezh, St Elizabeth and St Tsarevich Dmitry who are depicted on their knees against the Kremlin cathedrals. There is no doubt that St Sergius and St Elizabeth are featured as patron saints of Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Elizaveta Fyodorovna.

The icon “The Descent from the Cross” from the Grand Duke’s burial-vault in the Chudov Monastery is one of the best carved icons in the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums. Dating back to the first half of the 16th century, it comes from Sergey Alexandrovich’s private icons collection, which had been preserved in the Church of Venerable Sergius of Radonezh where the Grand Duke was buried in 1905.

The unique pall is executed in commemoration of Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich. Maria Nikolayevna Ermolova, the maid of honour of Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna and recognized expert in handicraft, contributed to the making of this pall. It was laid on the coffin of Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich, which had been initially located in the Church of St Andrew in the Chudov Monastery.

The unique memorabilia lent by the Moscow Kremlin Museums feature various aspects of the life of the Grand Ducal couple. They serve evidence of the tragic death of Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich, introduce him as a hero of the last Russo-Turkish war, and present the Grand Ducal couple as connoisseurs of fine arts, collectors, and patrons.