National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus

The “Ancientness and newness. Russian Jewelry of the 18th century” exhibition

  • 07.09.2019

The “Ancientness and newness. Russian Jewelry of the 18th century” exhibition (relics from the Special Treasury of the State Historical Museum in Moscow) is open in the National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus from September 7.

The exhibition is dedicated to a vivid plot from the history of the gold and silver business of the era, which drastically changed the direction of Russian art, including it in the all–European process of artistic development. Creating a new type and appearance of objects made of precious metals associated with a change of living and a change in lifestyle in Russia, jewelry art solved the problems of representativeness of the art form. Its renewal, set by the traditional course of life at the end of the 17th century and framed by the Petrine transformations of the first quarter of the 18th century, continued under the prevailing stylistic fashion of the second half of the 18th century. Orientation in the norms of everyday life and fashion has become relevant for advanced, first of all, metropolitan masters of the 18th century, who had access to European models from the palace assortment, familiar with popular book illustrations, who gained experience working with Western artists.

Precious metal products with exquisitely fashionable decoration ornaments met the tastes of the main consumer from the court environment, were widely used in the noble environment, personifying the irreversibility of the transition from medieval church to a new secular culture.

The exhibition presents products of famous representatives of jewelry centers: Moscow, Veliky Ustyug, Tobolsk, Kaluga. There are silver utensils, jewelry, travel and interior items, table decorations and personal items. After the discovery of its natural deposits in the Urals, Siberia, and Altai, the time for its bright development begins for Russian jewelry art. The exhibition shows the whole range of fashionable themes and style compositions in product decors that determined the luxurious life of the Russian aristocracy: from ornate, magnificent forms of floral Baroque ornament, emblematic images of Rococo and mythological plots of classicism to images of a memorial character in the form of imperial portraits, monograms, emblems.

The “Ancientness and newness. Russian Jewelry of the 18th century” exhibition is intended to show the search for expressive form in the works of Russian jewelers of the New Age, which opened up with new themes and images thanks to the innovative trends of European art.

The project was implemented with the support of the general partner of the National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus – JTI. Gennady Brusnikov, Deputy General Manager of JTI in Belarus, said: “This large–scale international exhibition project provides a unique opportunity to get acquainted with beautiful examples of Russian jewelry art. One of the goals of the JTI programs in the socio–cultural sphere is to expand the access of the general public to the objects of historical and cultural heritage, and the “Ancientness and newness. Russian Jewelry of the 18th century" exhibition is another step that the National Historical Museum has been implementing in that direction over the nearly ten–year history of our partnership".

The exhibition will be open until November 3, 2019.