The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, January 20, 2019

Russia's Hermitage Museum puts rare collection of tsars' clothes on show
A picture taken on December 15, 2017 shows a woman visiting the Costume Gallery, a permanent exhibition highlighting the clothes dating from the 18th century, most of which belonged to the Romanov dynasty that ruled until 1917, at the Hermitage's Staraya Derevnya restoration centre in northern Saint Petersburg. From Peter the Great's doublet to the wedding dress of the last tsar's wife Alexandra, the Hermitage museum in Saint Petersburg has put on show highlights from its vast and unique costume archive. Olga MALTSEVA / AFP.

by Marina Koreneva

SAINT PETERSBURG.- From Peter the Great's doublet to the wedding dress of the last tsar's wife Alexandra, Russia's renowned Hermitage museum has put on display highlights from its vast and unique costume archive.

A new Costume Gallery opened this month as a permanent exhibition in a huge modern building in northern Saint Petersburg that houses the Hermitage's conservation and restoration centre.

A long gallery with panoramic glass cases features 130 mannequins wearing clothes dating from the 18th century, most of which belonged to the Romanov dynasty that ruled until the Bolshevik revolution of 1917.

"The costume department takes up 600 square metres (6,460 square feet). Behind the mannequins that are on show there are cupboards and dressers where we keep our collection of 24,000 pieces," said Nina Tarasova, the display's curator.

"What's on show is just three percent of our collection," she added.

"For example, we have 280 personal items that belonged to Peter the Great -- this is the most important collection of 18th-century men's clothing in the world."

Ruling in the 17th and 18th centuries, the tsar who founded Saint Petersburg was extremely tall for his day at around two metres (6.5 feet) and was known for his simple tastes.

From peasants to aristocrats
The exhibition's focus is on the Romanovs, from Peter the Great to the last tsar Nicholas II and his family, who were killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918 after his abdication.

But it also gives a broader picture of society, from the traditional clothes worn by peasants in various regions of Russia to the ball gowns donned by aristocrats in Saint Petersburg.

"Thanks to these items, we can learn not only about the fashions of the time but also about what size the Romanov family members were and even what they were like as people," said Tarasova.

A ceremonial robe worn by tsar Alexander I (who ruled from 1777 to 1825), shows that he was tall and slender, while the plump Alexander III, who ruled from 1845 to 1894 and was reputed to be indifferent to fashion, is represented by a plaid suit.

A simple green wool doublet, a kind of padded fitted jacket, worn by Peter the Great, rubs shoulders with a magnificent blue dress with silver brocade that Catherine the Great, who ruled between 1729 and 1792, used to wear to review the troops.

"It took many months to create some of these dresses," said Tarasova.

This was particularly true of a white lace dress decorated with fine embroidery, created for the wedding of tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna in 1894, shortly after he took the throne.

Dressmakers and lacemakers spent more than six months creating the dress.

'They look new, trendy'
"This is very impressive. Most of all because all these dresses and items come from the 18th and 19th centuries, yet they look new and are even sometimes very trendy," said one visitor, Anna Gryaznova, who was photographing Louis Vuitton suitcases from 1902.

To keep the very fragile clothing in perfect condition, there is a strict temperature regime of precisely 21 degrees Celsius (around 70 degrees Fahrenheit) with humidity of 46 percent, and there are no windows to prevent sun damage.

Also at the Staraya restoration centre, visitors can view items of furniture and even carriages.

Visitors need to sign up in advance for a guided tour of the restoration centre, with details on the Hermitage's website.

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

December 20, 2017

Russia's Hermitage Museum puts rare collection of tsars' clothes on show

The Musée d'Art Moderne de La Ville de Paris announces a new presentation of the permanent collection

Jackson Pollock's abstract expressionist painting Number 1, 1949 to undergo thorough conservation

Queen Elizabeth I letters donation announced by British Library

Chemould Prescott Road opens exhibition of L N Tallur’s work

Tate Modern opens immersive installations by Emeka Ogboh and Amar Kanwar in the Tanks

Exhibition at Vito Schnabel Gallery brings together the work of Dan Flavin and ceramicists Lucie Rie and Hans Coper

70 artists to present work at seven venues across Sydney over three months for the Biennale of Sydney

The British Museum announces 10-year partnership renewal with Mitsubishi Corporation

Rainmaker: Powerful prices for prints at Bonhams

MOCA GA opens exhibition of new works by Working Artist Project Fellow Craig Drennen

Solo exhibition by the Conceptual artist William Anastasi on view at Ghebaly Gallery

Carnegie Museum of Art announces recent acquisitions

Exhibition at EFA Project Space functions as a site for reconciliations and communication

Winnipeg Art Gallery's Inuit Art Centre receives $10 million from Province of Manitoba

Highest-grossing sale for illustration art at Swann Galleries

Milwaukee Art Museum campus extended

Sage Paris presents works by Claus Goedicke

Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019 curators announced

MILL6 Foundation launches Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile

Philip Glass protegee finds music's emotion in technology

18th century archeological discoveries on exhibit at New York Ceramics & Glass Fair

Indian art market back in the black

Fashion mourns as cult Paris store Colette closes

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Rare 1943 Lincoln Cent sells for $204,000 at Heritage Auctions

2.- Exhibition is the first to shed light on the phenomenon of the princely painter

3.- Nathaniel Silver named new Curator of the Collection at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

4.- Rijksmuseum van Oudheden explores the mystical world of the ancient Egyptian gods

5.- Media error draws misleading reports on sale of 1943 Bronze Lincoln Cent

6.- Four men deny giant gold coin heist from Berlin's Bode Museum

7.- Tanya Bonakdar Gallery presents an immersive installation by Charles Long

8.- Egypt says stolen pharaonic tablet repatriated from United Kingdom

9.- Israeli museum under fire over 'McJesus' exhibit

10.- Claremont Rug Company founder Jan David Winitz reveals major shifts in high-end antique Oriental rug market

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful