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On 19 May 2023, the Moscow Kremlin Museums will introduce the exhibition ‘The Treasury of King Christian IV of Denmark that will be on show in the state anteroom of the Armoury Chamber. The exhibition is dedicated to the 530th anniversary since official diplomatic relations between Russia and Denmark were established.

The Moscow Kremlin Museums keep unique art pieces of the late 16th – early 17th centuries, made by German silversmiths. These items used to be in the treasury of King Christian IV (1588-1648) of Denmark and Norway and in 1628-1629 they were bought in Archangelsk to replenish the reserves of tsar’s treasury. The exhibition will tell about the most interesting objects of the collection and the history of their acquisition.

Christian IV had ruled the country for 60 years and during this period the science and art in Danish-Norwegian kingdom flourished. He had patronized artists, sculptors, architects, musicians, thus  attracting to Copenhagen the most talented people of his time. It is is worth noting that Denmark became among the first countries of Western Europe that signed an agreement ‘in the name of brotherhood, friendship and solidarity’ with the young Russian state.

The display unites around thirty art objects which give an insight into the rule of Christian IV and show how the relations between Denmark and Russia were forming in the 17th century. The visitors will see the engraved portrait of the monarch and masterpieces that depict the most famous Danish castles – Kronborg and Frederiksborg also called ‘The Castle on Water’. Apart from that the exposition hosts outstanding samples of silver artwork from the royal treasury: the eagle-shaped vessel presented by the nobility of Ösel island, standing cup topped with the figure of a soldier holding a lance - from the cathedral’s chapter of Lund,  goblet decorated with a griffin - from citizens of Malmö, and a giant standing cup with antique hero Actaeon - from residents of border town Wilstermarsch near Hamburg.

Numerous diplomatic gifts, made on behalf of Danish sovereign and his ambassadors, play an important role in the exhibition. Among them is the Nuremberg Cup with a bowl made of nautilus seashell: its stem is accomplished as a figurine of Hercules fighting Hydra and the lid is crowned with figurines of Andromeda and Perseus on a golden horse. This masterpiece was brought to Russia as an offering by the youngest son of King Christian IV Valdemar Christian, who had proposed to daughter of Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich Irina.

The project displays masterpieces from the Moscow Kremlin Museums, State Historical Museum, Russian State Library and Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition will be of interest to the wide audience. Specially for this purpose, guided tours and lectures have been prepared.

 

 

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