Font size:
Major version:

October 03 – November 29, 2015

Astrakhan, The P.M.Dogadin Astrakhan State Art Gallery.

Organised by
the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, The Moscow Kremlin Museums, The P.M.Dogadin Astrakhan State Art Gallery.

01# HelmetThe “Hunt at the Russian court. From the collection of Moscow Kremlin Museums” exhibition is dedicated to hunting, one of the most popular entertainments of Russian Tsars and Emperors. Hunt was an important part of the court ceremonial, aimed at demonstrating the sovereign’s splendor, majesty, authority and power to his subjects and foreign guests.

The display at the P.M. Dogadin Astrakhan State Art Gallery introduces the audience to the wonderful masterpieces which have been stored at the Armoury Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin for centuries. None of the Russian museums possesses a collection of art and historic rarities of this kind. This is because till the beginning of the 18th century it was the Moscow Kremlin which housed court chancelleries – agencies responsible for royal hunt. Here, at the Kremlin workshops, they produced extant hunting arms and equipment for Russian tsars. In 1810, the ancient treasury was completed with collections of emperors’ hunting arms.

Over sixty unique objects tell about different types of hunting, as well as tastes and personal preferences of the Russian Tsars and Emperors of the 17th– 18th centuries.

The display starts with sections dedicated to Armoury and Stable treasuries of the Russian tsars. It is hard to imagine the 17th century royal treasury without them.

Rare exhibits of royal road equipment are displayed in the section “Departure of tsar for hunting.” They create a bright image of the tsar and his suit’s ceremonial departure for hunting.

Other sections of the display represent hunting preferences of tsars of the Romanov Dynasty. Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich preferred riding to hounds and bear baiting. The exhibition displays steel damascened spears, which were used to hunt a bear, as well as charms with bear claw serving as hunting amulets.Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich loved falconry with hunting birds which involved the use of bow in bow case and arrows in quiver, also displayed at the exhibition. A shell bugle used to signal the start of the hunt adorns the exposition. Harquebuses, key objects of the museum collection, made by the Kremlin armourers, as well as carbines, powder flasks, and cartridge boxes were used to hunt forest animals

In the 18th century, hunting became an amazing gallant entertainment enjoyed by Emperor Peter II, Empresses Anna Ioannovna, Elizaveta Petrovna and Catherine II. The display presents the best arms pieces owned by the Russian sovereigns. These are the best works of the leading Russian and Western European armoury centers. The exposition includes rare weapons from the collection of Peter III, such as the pump air gun, rifle, arbalest and others. Objects of “par force” hunting (when dogs drove game), such as collars and leash, are of special interest.

The exhibition introduces the audience to the bright world of the court life of the 17th – 18th centuries and is worth visiting for everyone interested in Russian history, culture and art.

Supported by PJSC LUKOIL