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Russian art and jewellery exhibition starts today at Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Info.Gov.HK, 06.02.2013

06.02.2013

The "Fabergé: Legacy of Imperial Russia" exhibition, the largest display of Russian artefacts in Hong Kong, opened to the public today (February 6) at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. The exhibition will run until April 29, offering visitors an opportunity to appreciate the fine Russian craftsmanship demonstrated by more than 200 pieces of jewellery and adornments once belonging to the Russian imperial family. Most famous of the treasures on display are the celebrated Fabergé Easter eggs created for the Russian court.

The exhibits, on loan from the Moscow Kremlin Museums and the Fersman Mineralogical Museum of Russia, were created between the late 19th century and the early 20th century. The leading master goldsmith and jeweller of the era was Peter Carl Fabergé (1846–1920), who used superb craftsmanship to create ornate jewellery of great artistic value. Fabergé was appointed as the imperial supplier to the Russian court and received many commissions from abroad. Of the numerous items that the House of Fabergé created for the Russian court, its Imperial Easter eggs were the most famous.

The exhibition was officially opened today by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing; Consul-General of the Russian Federation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China, Mr Vladimir Kalinin; Deputy Director for Exhibitions and International Exchange of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, Mrs Zelfira Tregulova; Deputy Director for Promotion of Educational Programmes of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, Mrs Olga Dmitrieva; Director of the Fersman Mineralogical Museum, Mr Victor Garanin; Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung; and the Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Ms Belinda Wong.

Mr Tsang said at the opening ceremony that the exhibition was the largest in Hong Kong showing rare and exceptional Russian artworks, and provided a rare opportunity for local people to appreciate four Fabergé Easter eggs at the same exhibition. "The exhibits on display also include some 200 works of art created by Fabergé. These valuable artefacts showcase the artistic and cultural achievements of Russia from the late 19th century to the early 20th century," said Mr Tsang.

He said the Government of the HKSAR signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Cooperation with Russia in 2011, which provided a solid basis for the two cities to foster closer cultural ties in tandem with growing business, financial, and tourism links. Mr Tsang added that this exhibition also marks the beginning of large scale cultural collaboration between Russia and Hong Kong and he looked forward to future exchanges.

The exhibition is divided into three sections featuring the artistic achievements of the Russian jewellery industry. The first section, "History of Fabergé", introduces Fabergé and his "jewellery empire", displaying some of his typically ornate artworks and a number of his gemstone collections.

The second section, "A Glimpse of Imperial Russia", introduces the close relationship between Fabergé and the royal families of the last two tsars of the Romanov dynasty. Highlights of this section are the four Fabergé Easter eggs. They represent not only the height of Russian jewellery craftsmanship, but also reflect some important moments in Russia's history. The Trans-Siberian Train Easter Egg, for instance, was made in 1900 to commemorate the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the longest railway in the world. The unfinished Constellation Tsarevich Easter Egg was made to commemorate Tsarevich Alexei, or the crown prince, the family's main hope for the continuation of the dynasty. However, the outbreak of the Russian Revolution soon marked the end of the Romanov royal family. Along with these celebrated art pieces are other artworks that used to belong to the last two Romanov tsars and their family members, together with artworks commissioned by the Russian imperial court as official gifts.

The third section, "Representation of Beauty", focuses on ecclesiastical objects and treasures of the people including silverware, jewellery and adornments. Using exceptional craftsmanship the Russian artisans used a wide array of techniques to create beautiful and ingenious works of art.

To enhance visitors' understanding of Fabergé's work as well as Russian art and culture of the period, a video depicting the art of Carl Fabergé as well as the rise and fall of the House of Fabergé will be featured in the gallery. In addition, a series of workshops, lectures and docent tours will be organised during the exhibition period.

 

http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201302/06/P201302050540.htm



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