The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Announces "The Tsars and the East: Gifts from and Iran in The Moscow Kremlin"

WASHINGTON, DC.- His Excellency Dmitry A. Medvedev, president of the Russian Federation, has granted his patronage to the upcoming exhibition, “The Tsars and the East: Gifts from Turkey and Iran in The Moscow Kremlin,” at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution May 9 through Sept. 13. “The Tsars and the East” displays 65 sumptuous diplomatic gifts given to the Russian tsars by Turkish and Iranian diplomats in the 16th and 17th centuries. An unprecedented partnership between the Freer and Sackler Galleries and the Moscow Kremlin Museums has allowed these objects, rarely seen outside Russia, to be viewed for the first time in the United States. The Sackler Gallery will be the only venue for this exhibition.

“Expect to be dazzled,” said Massumeh Farhad, chief curator and curator of Islamic art at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. “These are rare, one-of-a-kind objects, which have been carefully preserved in the Kremlin treasury. Most have not been seen outside Russia until now.”

The exhibition includes jewel-encrusted arms and armor, equestrian trappings and luxurious carpets and textiles. Some of the objects were given by Ottoman sultans and the shahs of Iran, and others were offered by wealthy merchants to the Russian tsars and patriarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church. All were bestowed by neighboring powers hoping to advance their economic and political agendas.

Unlike the purely ceremonial gifts typically exchanged by heads of state today, the Ottoman sultans and the Safavid shahs presented gifts that were luxury commodities—items that held both ceremonial and economic value. Gifts were regularly exchanged between sovereigns but were also offered by diplomats, merchant traders and others in search of royal favors. “Merchants played an important role in the diplomatic embassies of the period, much like today’s ambassadors,” Farhad said. “They understood that a gift to the tsar was intended not only to impress and flatter, but to aid in negotiating a good deal between trading partners.”

Some of the earliest gifts on view are extraordinarily fine arms and armor from Iran, including an early 16th-century shield inlaid with gold. The shield was acquired by Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich in 1622 upon the death of Prince Fedor Ivanovich Mistislavsky, who served as a commander for Ivan the Terrible. Exquisitely decorated with intricate figural designs, the shield is the only extant example of its kind.

During the 1620s and 1640s, close relations between Russia and the Ottoman Empire (which spanned three continents at the time) resulted in numerous diplomatic Ottoman missions to Moscow. The exhibition features unique and lavish Ottoman gifts presented to the Russian court: a large jasper bowl encrusted with gems and a bejeweled rock crystal tankard presented to Tsar Fyodorovich in 1632 were admired at court and used for royal receptions in the 17th century. In exchange, Russia typically offered sought-after raw materials, including rare ermine and sable furs.

Iranian and Turkish ceremonial arms and armor were part of the “Grand Attire,” a designation given to the most valued treasures of the tsar. Objects were often assessed and ranked by value. One superbly crafted Turkish steel helmet in the exhibition was so highly esteemed by the court that it was ranked second in value in the vast Kremlin inventory.

The Russian church received splendid silks and velvets, which were often fashioned into elaborate ecclesiastic garments. One magnificent example on display is a sakkos (ceremonial robe) of Turkish satin woven with gold thread, which was acquired by the Russian ambassador to Turkey in the early 17th century. Eventually, the garment was embellished by a Russian craftsman, who embroidered a decorative yoke in the Ottoman style.

By the 17th century, many Russian craftsmen had begun to assimilate Ottoman designs into their work, combining eastern designs with traditional Russian motifs on imported Iranian and Turkish fabrics. Over time, this artistic and cultural blending contributed to a new Russian aesthetic and ceremonial etiquette that defined the imperial style of the 17th-century Russian court prior to the reign of Peter the Great. The exhibition concludes with exquisitely rendered garments and other objects that illustrate an emerging imperial Russian identity.

Today's News

April 2, 2009

Schaulager in Basel Assembles 200 Paintings and Sculptures for this Year's Exhibition

New Museum to Present Life & Achievement of Walt Disney Opening Fall 2009

Scheffer's Painting of Christ the Comforter Discovered in a Church in Rural Minnesota

International Design Museum in Munich Opens Democratic Design: IKEA

Sotheby's will Stage its Scottish Pictures Auction in London for the First Time

Moscow Museum of Modern Art Opens Christian Dior: 60 Years of Photography

Revised Plans for New Tate Modern Building Receive Planning Permission

Imagine: The Peace Ballad of John & Yoko Exclusively at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Art 40 Basel Announces Art Premiere: 19 Gallery-curated Projects

Bilbao Fine Arts Museum Shows Virgin with the Child as Part of the Guest Work Programme

Edinburgh Art Festival Receives Money to Establish a Commissioning Fund

Your Pal, Cliff: Selections from the H. C. Westermann Study Collection

High Museum Extends Hours and Special Offers for the First Emperor in April

Walker Art Center Announces Exhibition that Examines the Magic and Mysteries of Conceptual Art

Cheekwood Announces Special Lecture with Artist William Christenberry

Artist and Writer Harland Miller to Present a Collection of Paintings and Montages at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Zoe Leonard: Photographs Opens at Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich

Art Fair ROMA: The Road to Contemporary Art Opens Today

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Announces "The Tsars and the East: Gifts from and Iran in The Moscow Kremlin"

Christie's Prints and Multiples Sale in April Features a Strong Selection of Modern Art

Masterpieces of African and Oceanic Art from Barbier-Mueller Museum on View This Summer at Metropolitan Museum

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- John Surtees' one-owner 1957 BMW 507 to be offered for the first time at Bonhams Festival of Speed sale

2.- Antiques looted in Libya by IS sold in Spain, two experts arrested

3.- The world's oldest bridge to be preserved by the British Museum's Iraq Scheme

4.- Exquisite jewels dazzle in historic Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia

5.- Now showing in US cinemas: "Hitler VS Picasso and The Others" directed by Claudio Poli

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art returns stolen idols to Nepal

7.- Glasgow starts a year of celebration as Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition opens

8.- Very rare Qing Dynasty bowl sells for $30.4 million

9.- Gardner Museum publishes "Stolen" book about 13 works in 1990 theft

10.- Royal Ontario Museum announces appointment of Curator, Islamic Art & Culture

Related Stories

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration

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