Turquerie in Tsaritsyno: Flame and Bliss of the East
The exhibition titled 'Flame and Bliss of the East' opened in the Tsaritsyno Museum and Heritage Site, dedicated to one of the main movements in orientalism -Turkish style (turquerie) - in the Russian art. Its basic appearances are related to the time of reign of Catherine II and the epoch when Russian romanticism flourished in the first half of the 19th century.
Unlike the purely decorative and entertaining European art, Russian Orientalism in its Turkish form took on symbolic significance with the Russo-Turkish wars and the plans of Catherine II to complete the liberation of Constantinople from the Ottoman Empire. Russia was getting to know the new culture and art not only in the course of military campaigns, but also thanks to artists who were part of diplomatic missions.
"Specially for the exhibition, we prepared a large educational program, whcih includes master classes, lectures and curatorial excursions. You will see a take on the turquerie style in all its creative diversity. Today in Tsaritsyno there are many guests, as always. And this is the best proof for us of both dense relations between our cultural institutions, and the relevance and importance of the theme of the exhibition chosen for us," the director of the Tsaritsyno Museum Elizaveta Fokina said.
The sections 'The Russian Corps on the Bosphorus' and "Battles give a certain thrill" display rare examples of various weapons and works of art in the battle genre, reflecting the events of the Russo-Turkish wars of the late 18th century - the first quarter of the 19th century.
"Our relations were not limited to military actions. Our interaction was much deeper. The intermixing was adapted sometimes, perhaps not always understood, but oriental motifs in art and interest in the East had a huge impact on Russian culture and art. We know things that are common in everyday life, for example, the Oblomov dressing gown. But after all, the dressing gown did not appear here accidentally as well. Turkish coffee is also on the agenda of our lives. We do not even think about the fact that once it was a rather big discovery for Russian officers," the head of the Department of Culture of Moscow, Alexander Kibovsky, said.
The display has paintings, graphics, decorative art, architectural projects, scenery of theater plays, playing cards. Each of the sections has its own theme. The 'Picturesque Constantinople' hall for the first time brings together the works of Russian artists inspired by travels to the capital of the Ottoman Porte and eastern rarities brought to Russia from Turkey, from the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, a precious panagia, the diamond watch, and the Turkish sword from the collection of the Armory Chamber.
Director of the Moscow Kremlin Museums Elena Gagarina recalls: "Turkey, it is not just a war, it's not just a constant confrontation, but it's magic spices, it's fabulous fabrics, amazing precious stones, which were loved and appreciated here. Turkey is the closest, most familiar and most beloved East for us. "
The Turkish theme is also directly related to the Tsaritsyno Reserve. The history of the construction of the palace and park ensemble was linked to the Moscow festivities held in the summer of 1775 on the occasion of the conclusion of the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca with Turkey. Architect Bazhenov, who made the design for this grand holiday on the Khodynka field, the following year received a commission from Catherine II to build a residence in Tsaritsyno, her new ownership. Some Bazhenov buildings in Tsaritsyno resemble the Turkish decorative pavilions of Khodynka - they can be seen in the section 'The History Theater. The reign of Catherine II' in the drawings of Matvei Kazakov, Bazhenov's apprentice.
The exhibition in Tsaritsyno is open until January 14.