Anonymous Heroes of Moscow’s Photographic Chronicles
All epochs are subsequently described by historians, and photography remains one of the best ways to record everyday life. On the one hand, the quality of photographs with so many digital photographers around nowadays has deteriorated, but on the other, the sheer number of pictures has made photography more democratic, thus at least preventing it being used as propaganda. The Moscow House of Photography, supported by the Moscow government, began a competition seven years ago to create a
photographic chronicle of the city. Both professionals and amateurs were invited to submit their work in different categories, from architecture, street scenes to the human face. They took about a month to select about two hundred works for display from thousands provided by applicants. For a month the selected photos will be displayed in the Manezh and judged by a professional jury; and the opinion of visitors will also be taken into consideration. The names of the winners will be announced in January.
Open daily except Monday
From December 19
One Thousand Years of Orthodox Pilgrimages
Pilgrimages to holy places are a special cultural and historical feature of the Russian Orthodox Church. The concept of the current exhibition at the State Historical Museum is based on the religious and spiritual, historical and cultural aspects of pilgrimages. The history of the Russian Pilgrimage to the Holy Land reflects the Russian Orthodox Church’s thousand-year history. Historically, the route through Constantinople to the Holy Land has always reminded Russians of the Byzantine Empire and the principal centre of Orthodox Christianity. Princess Olga of Kiev was the first ruler of the Rus to convert to Christianity and make the pilgrimage to Constantinople. Years later her grandson Prince Vladimir converted the Rus to Christianity.
Individual pilgrimages were made from the 11th to the 17th centuries when in honour of the Resurrection Cathedral in Jerusalem, a similar
cathedral near Moscow was constructed. A site in Istra was chosen for its resemblance to the Holy Land with the river Istra representing the River Jordan. This cathedral became one of the citadels of Orthodox Christianity, along with the Kievian Pechersk Lavra, the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius in Sergiyev Posad, the Solovetsky Monastery and the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery in Vologda Oblast, to mention only a few of the most important places. About six hundred exhibits from the Tretyakov Gallery archives, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, and the State Historical Museum are on display.
State Historical Museum
Red Square (North Side)
Open daily except Mondays
The tercentenary of the BBattle of Poltava is commemorated in the Assumption Belfry and One-Pillar Chamber of the Patriarch’s Palace this month. The Poltava battle resulted in a decisive victory for Peter the Great over the Swedish Empire of Charles XII. The exhibition is divided into two sections: the first is dedicated to the outbreak of the war, beginning with the battle itself; the second is dedicated to a display of victory exhibits that the Russian army used to proclaim its triumph.
The exhibition has been prepared by experts from the Kremlin museums, from the Hermitage, from archives in Dresden and museums in Vienna and Copenhagen. On display are portraits, military decorations, gold commemorative medals, arms, trophies, banners, personal belongings of the commanders, a camisole of Peter I worn by him during the battle, with other unique items given by Peter the Great to his ally Augustus the Strong, such as an unusually large sapphire, which has been kept since 1698 in the Royal treasure chamber in Dresden.
Open daily except Thursday
Faces of History
Over one hundred portraits from the collections of a variety museums from London to Nizhny Novgorod are on show at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. They trace the evolution of artistic vision against the background of the serious political and social changes of the 19th century, when painters began to insist on their own vision and leave accepted rules of depicting historical subjects behind. To describe the 19th century we have to take into consideration a faster rhythm of life with the invention of steam engines, the chaos of revolutions, the establishment of colonialism, and new geographic discoveries. Every-day life became less stable, and the future less predictable. The past became known as a ‘golden era’ because it was relatively stable. Compared to their predecessors, painters of the 19th century visibly enlarged the encyclopaedia of historical personalities displayed on
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
12/2 Prechistenka Ulitsa
Open daily except Mondays
Not only characters from the Bible or ancient myths, but also modern-day biologists, travellers and painters appear in the portraits. Medieval Queen Fredegunda, King Rudolf of Habsburg and Emperor Maximilian are examples. On display are masterpieces by Jacques-Louis David, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Eugène Delacroix, Adolph Menzel and others.
Waltz of the Flowers by Olympic Champions
Whereas the tunes of the Russian composer Tchaikovsky’s ‘Nutcracker’ are symbolic of Christmas in the West, in Russia you can see the ballet performed even in summer to the great surprise of foreigners. Ballet and figure skating, two passions of Russians, are combined in one show: ‘Nutcracker on Ice.’ The 170th anniversary of Pyotr
Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s birth is celebrated next year. ‘Nutcracker on Ice’ is the first Russian largescale performance produced by Tatyana Anatolievna Tarasova, the famous Olympic figure-skating trainer. Nina Chusova is the stage director. Since her first productions, such as the hilarious ‘Twelfth Night’ staged at the LimeLight Theatre, where the musical part consisted of Beatles’ songs, Nina Chusova has dreamt of staging another musical. As we know and want to believe, our dreams come true at Christmas.
Maestro Spivakov Invites
On the threshold of the New Year, Maestro Spivakov will perform both as a soloist on the 25th of December in a musical programme ‘Bach’s hour’ and as conductor and leader of the National Philharmonic Orchestra on the 31st of December. On Christmas Day, to commemorate the great maestro Sviatoslav Richter and his love for Johann Sebastian Bach, Vladimir Spivakov will perform Bach’s Sonata for violin and harpsichord and also arias from cantatas together with Anastasia Beloukova (soprano), Yeremey Zukerman (second violin), and Zoya Abolits (harpsichord). The second concert is a unique combination of Charlie Chaplin’s ‘City Lights’ and its ‘soundtrack’, as it would be called nowadays, performed live by the Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Spivakov. The score was recreated by Timothy Brock in 2004. Happy New Year to the International House of Music!
December 25, 31
International House of Music