Why is the modern world still talking about the Russian Royals, the Romanovs?


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Last week, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, spent a morning at the Victoria and Albert Museum visiting “Faberge in London: Romance to Revolution,” a new exhibition dedicated to the craftsman who made eggs adorned with jewelry and flowers. ‘other objects for the Russian royal family at the end of the 19th century. A few weeks before that, viewers around the world watched the second season of Great, the Hulu series about the Russian Empress Catherine the Great, who reigned from 1762 to 1796. In September, a Polish dive team launched a much-publicized (but ultimately unsuccessful) expedition to the bottom of the Baltic Sea to search for the remains of the Amber Room, a royal chamber acquired by Russian Emperor Peter the Great in 1716. And in August, the curators of Tsarskoye Selo, a royal complex outside of St. Petersburg, opened the Alexander Palace , the beautifully restored / recreated residence of Tsar Nicholas II, The Last Royal of Russia.

It would be tempting to say that the Romanovs have a time, but the Imperial Line that ruled Russia for 700 years has come under almost constant scrutiny since the country’s revolution in 1917. Historians have studied its downfall, biographers the individual achievements, academics the art and literature they commissioned. Even the Soviets had a Romanov thing: six decades after they murdered Tsar Nicholas II and his family in a basement, they invested millions of rubles to build a replica of his dynasty’s beloved amber chamber. .

But as contemporary cultural observers analyze the accuracy of TV miniseries, and treasure hunters fantasize about missing Amber Room panels and lost Faberge eggs, a new generation has started combing through with a fine tooth comb. thousands of other relics of Imperial Russia, many of which have long been overlooked. It is to these objects – and to the people who owned them – that the Instagram account St. Petersburg1913 is dedicated. On it, a steady stream of old photos of the Romanovs appear, interspersed with interior shots of royal residences and before-and-after (the revolution) images of palace exteriors.

The narrative is the work of Antonio Pérez Caballero, a Spain-based design scholar and avowed obsessive Romanov who has spent his life amassing rare books and catalogs. His articles are both lessons in the history of aesthetics (he found the makers of wallpapers used in the Winter Palace) and tales of the daily life of various princes and princesses.

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Once recent Publish discusses the provenance of the objects in a playroom (“The production of Russian dolls has only just begun.”) Another one opposes those who have criticized the way the Empress decorated the Alexander Palace (“I wonder how they write with such freedom about something they don’t know.”)

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“I don’t have a lot of followers,” says Caballero. (Maybe not, but they include plenty of interior experts.) When asked why people are obsessed with the Amber Room (who CGV featured in a recent issue), he admits to being mystified. “There are more interesting things,” he said, quoting Empress Alexandra’s Lilac bedroom.

What about the world’s fascination with the Russian royal family? “We aspire to create beacons to symbolize more important causes. “

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