The Great Gatchina Palace is a palace in Gatchina, Leningrad Oblast, Russia. It was built from 1766 to 1781 by Antonio Rinaldi for Count Grigori Grigoryevich Orlov, a favourite of Catherine the Great, in Gatchina, a suburb of the royal capital Saint Petersburg; the Gatchina Palace combines classical architecture and themes of a medieval castle with ornate interiors typical of Russian classicism, located on a hill in central Gatchina next to Lake Serebryany. The Gatchina Palace became one of the favourite residences of the Russian Imperial Family, during the 19th century was an important site of Russian politics. Since the February Revolution in 1917 it has been a museum and public park, received UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1990. In 1765, Catherine the Great, the Empress of the Russian Empire, purchased from Prince Boris Kurakin the Gatchina Manor, a small manor 40 kilometers south of the royal capital of Saint Petersburg. Catherine presented the manor to Count Grigory Grigoryevich Orlov, who had organized the assassination of Tsar Peter III three years earlier, resulting in her becoming empress.
Orlov was a favorite of Catherine's, Gatchina Manor was gifted to him as gratitude for his role in the coup d'etat. On 30 May 1766, construction of a new palace in the Classical architecture style began on a hill next to Lake Serebryany on the grounds of Gatchina Manor. Catherine and Orlov commissioned the new palace to be designed by Antonio Rinaldi, an architect from Italy, popular in Russia at the time. Rinaldi's design contained Russian architectural features combined with those of a medieval castle and an English hunting castle; the palace was to be lined with special stone mined in villages near to Gatchina, including parik limestone mined in Paritsy for the main exterior of the buildings, pudost stone from Pudost for the vestibule and the parapet above the cornice. Gatchina Palace became the first palace to be located in Saint Petersburg's suburbs, as large estates were built within a short distance of the city center. Construction was slow, with the main structure only being completed by the end of 1768 and work on the exterior decoration not being completed until 1772, with the interior delayed further into the late 1770s.
The Great Gatchina Palace was completed in 1781 15 years after construction began, Orlov died only two years in 1783. Following Orlov's death, Catherine took such a great liking to Gatchina Palace and its accompanying park that she bought it from his heirs, she presented it to her son, Grand Duke Pavel Petrovich, despite building him a home, Pavlovsk Palace, in Saint Petersburg. During the years before coming to the throne, Paul his limited remaining budget on investing in building the town of Gatchina around his new palace, used his experience from his travels around Europe to make it an exemplary palace and town. In the 1790s Paul expanded and rebuilt much of the palace, commissioning Vincenzo Brenna and Andrei Zakharov with the renovations; the interiors were redone in the Neoclassical style, numerous additions were added to the park such as bridges and pavilions, naming areas of the park "The Isle of Love", "The Private garden", "The Holland garden" and "The Labyrinth". In 1796, after the death of his mother, Paul became Tsar Paul I of Russia, granted Gatchina the status of Imperial City, a designation for the official residences of the Russian monarchs.
After the death of Paul in 1801, Gatchina Palace came into the ownership of his wife Maria Feodorovna, who in 1809 requested the architect Andrei Nikiforovich Voronikhin make small alterations in the palace to adapt it "in case of winter stay". In 1835, a signal optical telegraph was installed on one of the towers. In the 1840s, Gatchina Palace was now in the ownership of Tsar Nicholas I, who initiated major reconstruction works of the palace of its grounds. Roman Ivanovich Kuzmin, the chief architect of the Ministry of the Imperial Court, led the project centred on the palace's main square, torn up, raised in height, had basement levels added underneath, decoration remodelled; the adjoining buildings were raised in height by one storey, because the main building no longer dominated the palace Kuzmin had its towers raised an extra storey. A new canopy was added to the balcony overlooking the parade grounds, intended to be made from marble but was made from cast iron instead. Dilapidated bastions and retaining walls around the palace were rebuilt.
On 1 August 1850, a monument to Tsar Paul I was erected at the parade grounds. Another was built at the Priory Palace, miniature palace on the shore of the Black Lake constructed for the Russian Grand Priory of the Order of St John by a decree of Paul I dated 23 August 1799. In 1854, a railroad connecting Gatchina and Saint Petersburg was opened, the territory of Gatchina was expanded with several villages in the vicinity being incorporated into the city; the following year Gatchina Palace came under the ownership of Tsar Alexander II, who used it as his second residence. Alexander built a hunting village and other additions for his imperial hunting crew, turned the area south of Gatchina into a retreat where he and his guests could enjoy the unspoiled wilderness of northwestern Russia. Alexander II made updates and renovations in the main Gatchina Palace until his assassination in Saint Petersburg in 1881. Gatchina Palace was passed to his shaken son, the new Tsar Alexander III, advised that he and his family would be safer at the palace as opposed to at the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, became known as "The Citadel of Aut
Count Grigory Grigoryevich Orlov was the favorite of Empress Catherine the Great of Russia who fathered her son. He led the coup which overthrew Catherine's husband Peter III of Russia, installed Catherine as empress. For some years, he was co-ruler with her, but his repeated infidelities and the enmity of Catherine's other advisers led to his fall from power, he was the son of governor of Great Novgorod. He was educated in the corps of cadets at Saint Petersburg, began his military career in the Seven Years' War, was wounded at Zorndorf. While serving in the capital as an artillery officer, he caught the fancy of the Grand Duchess Catherine Alekseyevna, was the leader of the conspiracy which resulted in the dethronement and death of her husband, Emperor Peter III. After the event, Empress Catherine raised him to the rank of count and made him adjutant-general, director-general of engineers, general-in-chief, they had two illegitimate children and Aleksey, who were born in 1761 and 1762, respectively.
The son was named after the village of Bobriki. Orlov's influence became paramount after the discovery of the Khitrovo plot to murder the whole Orlov family. At one time, the Empress thought of marrying her favorite, but the plan was frustrated by her influential advisor Nikita Panin. Orlov was no statesman, but he had a quick wit, a accurate appreciation of current events, was a useful and sympathetic counselor during the earlier portion of Catherine's reign, he entered with enthusiasm, both from patriotic and from economical motives, into the question of the improvement of the condition of the serfs and their partial emancipation. As the president of the Free Economic Society, he was their most prominent advocate in the great commission of 1767, though he aimed at pleasing the empress, who affected great liberality in her earlier years, he was one of the earliest propagandists of the Slavophile idea of the emancipation of the Christians from Ottoman rule. In 1771, he was sent as first Russian plenipotentiary to the peace congress of Focşani, but he failed in his mission, owing to the obstinacy of the Ottomans, to his own outrageous insolence.
Meanwhile, Orlov's enemies, led by Panin, were attempting to break up the relationship between Orlov and Catherine. They informed the empress. A handsome young officer, Alexander Vasilchikov, was installed as her new lover. To rekindle Catherine's affection, Grigory presented to her one of the greater diamonds of the world, known since as the Orlov Diamond. By the time he returned - without permission - to his Marble Palace at Saint Petersburg, Orlov found himself superseded in the empress's favor by the younger Grigory Potemkin; when Potemkin, in 1774, superseded Vasilchikov as the queen's lover, Orlov became of no account at court and went abroad for some years. He returned to Russia a few months prior to his death, which took place at Moscow in 1783. In 1777, at the age of 43, he married his 18-year-old relative, Catherine Zinovyeva, variously described by sources as either a niece or a cousin, but left no children by that marriage. Catherine died of tuberculosis at the age of 23, in Lausanne.
Her tomb, from which her body was removed in 1910, still remains in cathedrale Notre-Dame in Lausanne. For some time before his death, he suffered from a serious mental illness a form of dementia, which progressed towards complete mental collapse. After his death, Catherine wrote, "Although I have long been prepared for this sad event, it has shaken me to the depths of my being. People may console me, I may repeat to myself all those things which it is customary to say on such occasions--my only answer is strangled tears. I suffer intolerably."
Cherub with Chariot (Fabergé egg)
The Cherub with Chariot egg or Angel with Egg in Chariot is a Tsar Imperial Fabergé egg, one of a series of fifty-two jeweled eggs made under the supervision of Peter Carl Fabergé for the Russian Imperial family. It was crafted and delivered in 1888 to the Tsar of Russia, Alexander III; this is one of the lost Imperial eggs, so few details are known about it. The exact design of the Cherub with Chariot Egg is unsure. A single photograph of the egg exists, though it is hidden by another egg and can only be seen in a blurry reflection. There is a brief description from the imperial records in the Russian State Historical Archives in Moscow which describes the gift as "Angel pulling chariot with egg - 1500 roubles, angel with a clock in a gold egg 600 roubles." According to Marina Lopato in Fabergé: Imperial Jeweller this description means the clock is inside the gold egg, in the chariot being pulled by the angel. Fabergé's invoice carries a similar description, itemizing a cherub pulling a chariot with an egg and a cherub with clock in a gold egg.
These two descriptions are backed up by the 1917 inventory of seized imperial treasure which reads "gold egg, decorated with brilliants, a sapphire. The surprise would have been the clock being inside the egg on the chariot, though the exact design is not known; the egg would have been presented to Maria Feodorovna on April 24, 1888 by Alexander III. The egg was kept in the Gatchina Palace in 1891, was one of 40 or so eggs sent to the Armory Palace of the Kremlin in 1917 after the Revolution by the Provisional Government. In 1922 it was transferred to the Sovnarkom, after which the exact whereabouts of the egg are unknown. In the 1930s Victor and Armand Hammer may have purchased the egg. A sales catalog for Armand Hammer's 1934 exhibition at Lord and Taylor in New York City describes a "miniature silver armour holding wheelbarrow with Easter Egg, made by Fabergé, court jeweler" which seems to describe the Cherub with Chariot Egg. Armand Hammer may have been unaware of the significance of this item if it was in fact the 1888 Imperial egg, since he had a habit of promoting imperial items yet did not make an effort to promote this egg.
Whether this was the 1888 egg, where it is today is unknown. Egg decorating List of missing treasure
Rose Trellis (Fabergé egg)
The Rose Trellis Fabergé egg is a jewelled enameled imperial Easter egg made in Saint Petersburg, Russia under the supervision of the jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé in 1907, for Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. It was presented by Tsar Nicholas II to his wife, the Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, on Easter 1907, it is now in the Walters Art Museum in Maryland. The egg was created by Faberge's workmaster, Henrik Wigström and is crafted of gold and pink enamel in various shades, portrait diamonds, rose-cut diamonds and satin lining; this egg is enamelled in translucent pale green and latticed with rose-cut diamonds and decorated with opaque light and dark pink enamel roses and emerald green leaves. A portrait diamond is set at either end of this egg, the one at the base covering the date "1907"; the monogram has now disappeared. The egg contained as a surprise a diamond necklace and an ivory miniature portrait of the tsarevich framed in diamonds, now lost. Only an impression on the satin lining now remains.
The egg is 7.7 cm in height. Tsar Nicholas II purchased the egg as a gift to Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna; the April 21, 1907 invoice indicated. In 1920, the egg was in the possession of Alexandre Polovtsov, a former employee at Gatchina Palace and started an antique shop in Paris, it is not known. In 1930, the egg was sold along with the 1901 Gatchina Palace Egg to Henry Walters and became a part of the Walters Art Museum Collection in 1931. In 1936, the egg was exhibited along with the Gatchina Palace egg at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore and has been on permanent exhibition since 1952. Fabergé egg Gatchina Palace A detailed article on the Rose Trellis Egg from wintraecken.nl
Walters Art Museum
The Walters Art Museum, located in Mount Vernon-Belvedere, Maryland, United States, is a public art museum founded and opened in 1934. It holds collections established during the mid-19th century; the Museum's collection was amassed by major American art and sculpture collectors, a father and son: William Thompson Walters, who began serious collecting when he moved to Paris as a nominal Southern/Confederate sympathizer at the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861. After allowing the Baltimore public to view his father's and his growing added collections at his West Mount Vernon Place townhouse/mansion during the late 1800s, he arranged for an elaborate stone palazzo-styled structure built for that purpose in 1905–1909. Located across the back alley, a block south of the Walters mansion on West Monument Street/Mount Vernon Place, on the northwest corner of North Charles Street at West Centre Street; the mansion and gallery were just south and west of the landmark Washington Monument in the Mount Vernon-Belvedere neighborhood, just north of the downtown business district and northeast of Cathedral Hill.
Upon his 1931 death, Henry Walters bequeathed the entire collection of more than 22,000 works, the original Charles Street Gallery building, his adjacent townhouse/mansion just across the alley to the north on West Mount Vernon Place to the City of Baltimore, "for the benefit of the public." The collection includes masterworks of ancient Egypt, Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi, medieval ivories, illuminated manuscripts, Renaissance bronzes, Old Master European and 19th-century paintings, Chinese ceramics and bronzes, Art Deco jewelry, ancient Near East, Mesopotamian, or ancient Middle East items. In 2000, "The Walters Art Gallery" changed its long-time name to "The Walters Art Museum" to reflect its image as a large public institution and eliminate confusion among some of the increasing out-of-state visitors; the following year, "The Walters" reopened its original main building after a dramatic three-year physical renovation and replacement of internal utilities and infrastructure. The Archimedes Palimpsest was on loan to the Walters Art Museum from a private collector for conservation and spectral imaging studies.
Starting on October 1, 2006, the museum began having free admission year-round as a result of substantial grants given by Baltimore City and the surrounding suburban Baltimore County arts agencies and authorities. In 2012, "The Walters" released nearly 20,000 of its own images of its collections on a Creative Commons license, collaborated in their upload to the world-wide web and the internet on Wikimedia Commons; this was one of the most comprehensive such releases made by any museum. The Walters' collection of ancient art includes examples from Egypt, Greece, Rome and the Near East. Highlights include two monumental 3,000-pound statues of the Egyptian lion-headed fire goddess Sekhmet. In 1911, Henry Walters purchased 100 gold artifacts from the Chiriqui region of western Panama in Central America, creating a core collection of ancient American native art. Through subsequent gifts of art and loans, the museum has added works in pottery and stone, from Mexico, Central America and South America, including pieces from the Mesoamerican Olmec and Maya cultures, as well as the Moche and Inca peoples of South America.
Highlights of the Asian art collection assembled earlier by Baltimorean father and son collectors William T. and Henry Walters include Japanese arms and armor, Chinese and Japanese porcelains and metalwork. Among the museum's outstanding works of Asian art is a late-12th- or early-13th-century Cambodian bronze of the eight-armed Avalokiteshvara, a T'ang Dynasty earthenware camel, an intricately painted Ming Dynasty wine jar; the museum owns the oldest surviving Chinese wood-and-lacquer image of the Buddha. It is exhibited in a gallery dedicated to this work; the museum holds one of the largest and finest collections of Thai bronze and banner paintings in the world. Islamic art in all media is represented at the Walters. Among the highlights are a 7th-century carved and hammered silver bowl from Iran,; the Walters Museum owns an array of Islamic manuscripts. These include a 15th-century Koran from northern India, executed at the height of the Timurid Empire. Walters Art Museum, MS W.613 contains five Mughal miniatures from an important "Khamsa of Nizami" made for the Emperor Akbar.
Henry Walters assembled a collection of art produced
Rock Crystal (Fabergé egg)
The Rock Crystal Egg or Revolving Miniatures Egg is an Imperial Fabergé egg, one in a series of fifty-two jeweled eggs made under the supervision of Peter Carl Fabergé for the Russian Imperial family. It was created in 1896 for Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna; the egg resides in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The egg was created by Faberge's workmaster, Mikhail Evlampievich Perkhin with miniatures by Johannes Zehngraf It stands about 248 mm tall on its stand, with a diameter of 98 mm The outer shell is rock crystal banded with emerald-green enameled gold studded with diamonds. On the apex of the egg is a 27-carat Siberian emerald supported by an emerald-green enameled gold mount; this cabochon-style emerald is one of the largest gemstones Fabergé used in any of the Imperial eggs. The egg's base sits on a plinth of rock crystal; the base consists of a colorfully enameled gold double spheroid, circled twice with rose-cut diamonds. It has the monograms of the Tsarina, as the Princess Alix of Hesse-Darmstadt before her marriage, as Alexandra Fedorovna, Empress of Russia.
Each monogram is surmounted with a diamond crown of the respective royal house. These monograms form a continuous pattern around the base of the egg. Inside the rock crystal egg is a gold support holding twelve miniature paintings; the paintings are of the various residences that were significant to the Empress. Each location holds a special memory for Nicholas and Alexandra in the early days of their courtship, as they had just been married two years prior, in 1894; when the large cabochon emerald on the apex is depressed it engages a mechanism that rotates the miniatures inside the egg. A hook moves down and folds the framed pictures back, like the pages of a book, so two paintings can be seen at one time; each miniature is framed in gold with an emerald on the apex. The frames are attached to a central fluted gold shaft; the locations include: New Palace Darmstadt: The palace. Kranichstein, hunting château Kranichstein: A favorite summer residence of the Empress' youth. Balmoral Castle, Scotland: Childhood holiday destination of Alexandra's grandmother, Queen Victoria.
Veste Coburg, Coburg: The palace where Nicholas and Alexandra were engaged to be married, during the wedding of Alexandra's brother Ernie, Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse to Victoria Melita, Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1894. Wolfsgarten, Hesse: Hunting lodge Alexandra's family visited as a child. Windsor Castle, near London, England: A residence of Queen Victoria where Alexandra visited as a child. Cathcart House, Harrogate, UK: Boarding House where Alexandra stayed while taking the baths in Harrogate and where she became godmother to the just born Allen twins. Schloss Rosenau, Coburg: A site Nicholas and Alexandra visited the day after their engagement. Osborne House, Isle of Wight: Site of Nicholas' visit to see Alexandra while they were engaged; the Winter Palace, St. Petersburg: The site of Nicholas and Alexandra's wedding. Anichkov Palace, St. Petersburg: Residence of Maria Feodorovna, where Alexandra spent her first year in Russia; the Alexander Palace, Tsarskoe Selo, near St. Petersburg: the Imperial family's favorite winter residence.
The egg was presented by Nicholas II to Alexandra Fedorovna on March 24, 1896. She received it at Eastertide in the same year that the young couple had ascended the throne. In 1909 the egg was housed in the Empress' study in the Winter Palace; the egg was seized by the Kerensky Provisional Government and moved to the Armory Palace of the Kremlin in Moscow along with 40 other eggs. In 1930, the Rock Crystal Egg was one of the ten Eggs sold by the Antikvariat to the Hammer Galleries in New York City for 8000 rubles, or $4000 U. S. In 1945 the egg became the last of five Imperial Easter Eggs bought by Lillian Thomas Pratt, the wife of a General Motors executive John Lee Pratt. Upon Lillian Thomas Pratt's death in 1947, the egg was willed to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia, it remains on view as part of the Virginia Museum of Fine Art's European Decorative Art collection. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: Fabergé Mieks Fabergé Eggs
Imperial Coronation (Fabergé egg)
The Imperial Coronation egg is a jewelled Fabergé egg made under the supervision of the Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé in 1897 by Fabergé ateliers, Mikhail Perkhin and Henrik Wigstrom. The egg was made to commemorate Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, it was on exhibition at The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and materialized in various museums worldwide, placed in temporary exhibits there, it is owned by one of the Russian oligarchs, Viktor Vekselberg. The egg is made from gold with translucent lime yellow enamel on a guilloché field of starbursts and is in reference to the cloth-of-gold robe worn by the Tsarina at her Coronation, it is trellised with bands of greenish gold laurel leaves mounted at each intersection by a gold Imperial double-headed eagle enamelled opaque black, set with a rose diamond on its chest. This pattern was drawn from the Coronation robe worn by the Empress. A large portrait diamond is set in the top of the egg within a cluster of ten brilliant diamonds. At the other, more narrow end, a smaller portrait diamond is set within a cluster of rose diamonds surrounded by a flower motif made of 20 narrow gold petals.
At this end of the egg the portrait diamond covers the date 1897 inscribed on a plaque similar to that of the monogram. The egg was presented together with a glass-enclosed jadeite stand for the display of the carriage at a cost of 5650 rubles. Fitted inside a velvet-lined compartment is a precise replica, less than four inches long, of the 18th-century Imperial coach that carried the Tsarina Alexandra to her coronation at Moscow's Uspensky Cathedral; the red colour of the original coach was recreated using strawberry coloured translucent enamel and the blue upholstery of the interior was reproduced in enamels. The coach is surmounted by the Imperial Crown in rose diamonds and six double-headed eagles on the roof; the miniature is complete with moving wheels, opening doors, actual C-spring shock absorbers and a tiny folding step-stair. Missing surprises include an emerald or diamond pendant that hung inside the replica coach, a glass-enclosed jadeite stand for the display of the carriage as well as a stand made of silver-gilt wire.
The coronation of Tsar Nicholas II and his spouse, Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna was the catalyst for the Imperial Coronation Egg's creation, to celebrate the historical event. The coronation on May 14, 1896, was a day of jubilance and pride in the Romanovs, celebrated by throngs of spectators; the Russian nobility and guests gathered on the Eastern Orthodox day of Dormition, the death of Mary, inside Uspensky Cathedral for the actual coronation. The throne of the Czar, the former throne of Michael I of Russia was inset with 870 diamonds and pearls; the throne of the Tsarina, the famous ivory throne of Ivan the Great was inset with a vast collection of jewels and rare gemstones. The gold miniature coach, removable from the interior of the Coronation Egg, is a replica of Catherine the Great's Gold Coach of 1793 used to transport the last Romanov rulers from ceremony to ceremony on the coronation week. Another artifact used in the coronation from the reign of Catherine was the Imperial Crown of Russia diamond crown made by Jérémie Pauzié in 1762.
- Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse, Brother of Empress Alexandra, Grandson of Queen Victoria The Egg was first given to Tsarina Alexandra of Imperial Russia on Easter of 1897. The egg was displayed in the Empress' apartment at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, resting in a jewelled carriage. Upon the fall of the Romanov Dynasty, the egg was confiscated by the Provisional Government in 1917 and was listed among the treasures removed from the Anichkov Palace, it was dispatched to the Kremlin and transferred to the Sovnarkom in 1922 for sale. The egg was purchased in 1927 by Emanuel Snowman for Wartski a family-owned firm of art and antique dealers in London; the egg was sold to the collector Charles Parsons in 1934, but reacquired by Wartski in 1945 and remained with the company until early 1979. In March 1979, the egg was sold to Malcolm Forbes for $2.16 Million USD along with the Lilies of the Valley Fabergé Egg. In 2004, nine Fabergé eggs, including the Imperial Coronation Egg, were to be sold by Sotheby's Auction House, however on February 4, 2004, Sotheby's announced that more than 180 Fabergé art pieces, including the 9 rare Fabergé eggs, had been withdrawn from auction and sold to Viktor Vekselberg.
The official selling price of the Coronation Egg to Vekselberg was never publicly disclosed by Sotheby's, fueling much speculation. However, CNN reported the day after the sale that "...it was a serious offer that the Forbes family accepted." In a 2013 BBC Four documentary, Vekselberg revealed he had spent just over $100 Million purchasing the 9 Fabergé eggs. - Victor Vekselberg, Chairman of Renova Group The James Bond film, encompasses the mysterious appearance of a fabricated Coronation Egg at a party in the British Embassy of West Berlin. The plot for the film is adapted from Ian Fleming's 1963 short story "The Property of a Lady". An accurate model of the Imperial Coronation Egg was depicted in the 2004 crime film Ocean's Twelve; the replica was produced by design studio Vivian Alexander, popular for recreating famous items of jewelry for public and private purposes. The replica is worth USD4,000. In the film, the egg was stolen in a grand heist from a museum in Rome by the notorious Ocean's Twelve.
A replica of the Imperial Coronation Egg, along with the surp