In association with Greece’s 2016 cultural exchange with Russia, significant works from St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum are on display at the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens for the first time, until late February 2017.
In an exhibition titled ‘The State Hermitage Museum: Gateway to History’, visitors can expect to see priceless works of art from El Greco, Caravaggio and other greats as well as personal objects from the Tsar’s collection from the 1700’s that were once owned by the Romanov’s.
Divided across two exhibition areas, the collections tell the story of the Hermitage and the classical Scythians, a nomadic group that stretched from China to the Balkans, and their relationship with the Greeks.
The exhibition which the Byzantine and Christian Museum designed, is centred on selected archaeological artefacts, works of art and paintings that come from the Hermitage’s main collections and introduces visitors to the way European art and culture influenced the Russian court from the late 17th to the early 20th century.
Exhibition highlights from the Hermitage Collection
European artists from the 16th to the 20th century
The Apostles Peter and Paul by the Cretan painter Domenikos Theotokopulos (aka El Greco). One of El Greco’s early Spanish period works.
Bacchus attributed to someone from the ‘Circle of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’ circa 1610. Caravaggio’s works significantly influenced Italian and European art after his death in the early 17th century.
Portrait of Lady Jane Goodwin by Anthony Van Dyck circa 1639. The Flemish artist was appointed painter to the court of King Charles I and captured the British aristocracy of the time.
Objects from the Romanov Dynasty
Tsar Peter the Great (1672-1725) is credited with having the sophisticated aesthetic eye to collect what would become the European masterpieces of art. However it was Empress Catherine II the Great (1729-1796) who enriched the Romanov collections to turn them into what would become the most significant museum collection in the world.
A hand fan made of ivory, lace and satin with its original wooden box, which was presented to Tsarina Maria Feodorovna on her enthronement in 1883.
A Chalice made for the Church of the Resurrection of Christ at the Kremlin in Moscow in 1677 under the order of Tsar Feodor III. The Chalice is striking in its construction of gold, silver, gemstones, enamel and glass steel.
Over 80 rare works and pieces from the Hermitage Collection are on display now at the Byzantine Museum.
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