The Souvenir program of the performances in the Imperial Bolshoi Theatre on the occasion of the Holy Coronation, 1896:
Dimensions: 42 x 32 cm.
New leather binding.
Quantity of pages: 10, plus 1 attachment
Quantity of illustrations: 15
These chromolithographs were published specially for the festivities during the coronation of His Imperial Majesty the Sovereign Emperor Nicholas II and Her Imperial Majesty the Sovereign Empress Aleksandra Fyodorovna in Moscow in 1896. The immense national holiday lasted for two weeks and its program included banquets, balls, concerts, and receptions. Representatives of monarchs, top officials, dignitaries, foreign ambassadors and heralds from all over the world were present at the coronation. Even the famous Lumière brothers were invited to make the first Russian film. All metropolitan and country magazines announced the upcoming event to the people of the Russian Empire.
It was the most magnificent event of the century. Witnesses of the solemn activities in the streets saw decorative pavilions, triumphal gates, grand corteges, flags, crowds of people dressed in their finest clothes. The most prominent artists and decorators were engaged in embellishing the buildings and streets of Moscow. The Big Kremlin Palace was adorned with festive decorations and illuminated by thousands of lights. All the towers and churches, the contours of the buildings were lit up as if on fire. Special coins and medals were stamped to commemorate the Sacred Coronation.
The Sacred Coronation took place in the Uspensky Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. The holy ceremony was led by Palladius (born Pavel Raev), the presiding member of The Most Holy Governing Synod, the Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and the Bishop of the Orthodox Russian Church.
The festive meals were held at the Petrovsky and the Big Kremlin Palaces; the gala concert at the Bolshoi Theatre, the magnificent ball in the Aleksandr Hall in the Kremlin Palace. Besides this, were fireworks, street performances, attractions and gifts for those who came to watch the ascension of a new Tsar to the throne.
Such eminent painters as Andrei Ryabushkin, Elena Samokish-Sudkovskaya, Ivan Petrov-Ropet, Aleksandr Von Gogen and Konstantin Pervukhin designed the programs of the solemn events.
Andrei Ryabushkin (1861 - 1904) - a Russian painter, illustrator, and teacher. Master of colorful genre and historical paintings, he represented mainly Moscow everyday life of the 17th century, especially life of peasants. His main idea was to create a series of historical portraits of different society levels. Ryabushkin’s innovative works showed courage by portraying the true reality of peasant life at that time. He also enjoyed illustrating popular magazines and traditional heroic Russian poems, designing book covers and vignettes. Ryabushkin tutored at the School of Drawing of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, was a member of the Society of Artists of History Painting, the World of Art and the Union of Russian Artists.
Elena Samokish-Sudkovskaya, born Benard (1863 - 1924) – a Russian oil painter, graphic artist, and illustrator. She studied under the tutorage of the prominent painter Vasily Vereshchagin who liked to use Russian themes in his artwork. Samokish-Sudkovskaya was given the highest award and received a medal for her drawings in the Coronation Program. She also worked for different magazines and the Community of St. Eugenia. The artist is famous for genre and portrait painting, the most significant of which were the portraits of the last Romanov family. However, the real passion of Samokish-Sudkovskaya was book illustration. She admired Art Nouveau style always using various ornamental vignettes and quaint decorations in her work.
Ivan Petrov-Ropet (1845 - 1908) – a Russian architect and member of the Imperial Academy of Arts, Saint Petersburg. He was a founder of the Russian revival architectural style (renewed interest in the national architecture, interpretation, and stylization of the Russian heritage). In his works, Petrov-Ropet used decorative motifs of the Russian villages of the 17th century (i.e. ornate wooden huts). His ornamental and eclectic ideas (sketches of the interior decoration and crafts items) were widely popularized in the Modern style. Ivan Petrov-Ropet was in charge of the design and decoration of the authentic Russian pavilions for the international exhibitions in Paris, Chicago, and Copenhagen.
Aleksandr Von Gogen (1856 - 1914) – a prominent architect of the Russian Empire, craftsman and outstanding representative of the Modern style in the architecture of the 1900’s. He was a member of the Academy of Arts, in 1904 Von Gogen initiated the Society of Artists and Architects. In his architectural activity, Aleksandr Von Gogen was keen on the Old-Russian architectural style which was mostly represented in Russian church architecture.
Konstantin Pervukhin (1853 - 1915) – an Impressionist landscape painter and teacher, writer and photographer. Pervukhin studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts as well as studied privately with Ilya Repin. He was a member of the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions and a founding member of the Union of Russian Artists. Konstantin Pervukhin also painted Impressionist landscapes of the Crimea and Venice. He contributed to the exhibitions of the Imperial Society of Russian Watercolor Painters, the Union of Russian Artists, L’Exposition Universelle in Paris (1900), and the international exhibitions in Munich (1909) and Venice (1914). Pervukhin served as a teacher at the Stroganov Moscow State University of Arts and Industry until 1912. He also worked as an illustrator for periodical magazines such as the Annual book of the Imperial Theaters, the Pictorial View of the World and The Worldwide Illustration.
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