Display of Items from the Staraya Derevnya
Restoration and Preservation Centre
On 5 December 2007, there was a presentation of items held in open storage from the Department of Russian Culture, the Department of Western European Art and also the Oriental Department at the Staraya Derevnya Restoration and Preservation Centre.
The Department of Russian Culture. In 2007, 530 Russian icons dating from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century have been transfered to the Restoration and Preservation Centre. A large proportion of the icons belong to the 19th century. More than 200 icons have been placed in open storage in 23 specially equipped and illuminated glass display cases. The most interesting icons with depictions of Jesus Christ and works from the end of the 18th century serfs of the Sheremetev family for the Sheremetev Palace, and also the works of icon painters from the workshops of Chirikov and Dikarev, fall within the collection of more than 200 icons ordered for the Marble Palace by its owners. In five glass display cases the Blessed Virgin is shown in different iconographic styles: the Kazan, Smolensk, Our Lady of Joy for All Who Sorrow and others. Icons depicting various saints have an important place, where they are displayed alongside the monasteries which they founded.
The icons which are not displayed in open storage are held in a specially equipped warehouse. Among them is the famous Resurrection of Christ, the work of the first Japanese icon-painter Rin Yamashita, who studied icon-painting at the Novodevichy Convent of the Holy Resurrection. The icon was given to the heir of the Russian throne, Great Prince Nicholas Alexandrovich in 1891 during his trip to Japan.
The exponents have been specially equipped with lighting, and include a series of frescoes from the Church on the Channel (Smolensk, beginning of the 13th century) and Chapel of the Nativity of Christ (Pskov, end of the 14th century). The frescoes from the Church on the Channel are largely ornamental and of two types: an imitation of the decorative finish displayed in Byzantine churches and imitation of the wall facades, plated with marble. The frescoes from the Chapel of the Nativity of Christ is a series of narrative compositions featuring single figures on themes taken from the Old and New Testaments.
Connected with the appearance of new equipment and lighting, there was also a repeat exposition of Russian artistic and decorative furniture dating to the end of the 17th century to the start of the 20th century.
Department of Western European Art. In open storage various examples of Western European sculpture is on display: copies of ancient works executed in the 18th century, sculptures from the Renaissance and contemporary plastic. Many of the works are signed by the sculptors. The exponents are displayed according to school and chronological order.
The wealth of items on display - made from marble, bronze, wood, terracotta, majolica, gypsum - gives the viewer the ability to study the techniques and technology used for sculpture as a form of figurative art.
In 2007 special shelves were added to the open storage for wood sculptures. The first sculptures to be displayed were German, Italian, and French sculptures from the 13th-20th century. Separate works of art have been displayed in the area on podiums. For example, Four Lions - who held the flagpoles for the work of Italian masters of the 14th century.
Oriental Department. Tents were the traditional summer quarters for inhabitants in Central Asia, prosperous people living in the cities would pitch tents in the courtyards of their residences. A special lighting solution was devised so that fragments of one of these tents for welcoming guests could be displayed. The tent was given to Alexander III in January 1893 by Emir of Bukhara Abdulakhad-khan during his visit to St. Petersburg. One sixteenth of the tent is on display, which 'in full size' takes up more than one hundred square metres. Made in the court workshops of Bukhara, it is richly adorned not only on the inside, but from the outside is sewn with gold thread, full of embroidery and also with multicoloured silk and velvet.