Thursday, 7 March 2013

Treasures of the Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts and the Russian Tsars * V&A Museum London * Until 14 July 2013 * Special Easter Egg Presents

Marking the 400 anniversary of the Romanov dynasty this spectacular exhibition opens at the V&A, London today. The exhibition highlights the cultural diplomacy and trade between Britain and Russia from its origins in 1555 when the Muscovy Company was founded throught the reigns of Henry VIII to Charles II and Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible) to the early Romanovs as they sought to strengthen their power against a backdrop of religious and social upheaval.

Comprising more than 150 objects, the exhibition chronicles the ritual and chivalry of the royal courts with heraldry, processional armour and sumptuous textiles including furnishings and fine clothing. The leading figures of the time including monarchs, diplomats, wealthy merchants and courtiers are introduced through portraiture, including paintings and miniatures by court artists. Magnificent examples of jewellery and luxury goods illustrate the valuable gifts presented by ambassadors. Other highlights will include a rarely shown portrait of Elizabeth I; the celebrated Barbor jewel, a pendant of enamelled gold set with an onyx cameo of Elizabeth I; a hand-coloured map of Muscovy from 1570; and contemporary literature including Shakespeare’s First Folio.

The works will be drawn from the V&A’s collections, with important loans from Russia, including the Kremlin Armouries Museum and the State Historical Museum in Moscow, alongside objects from British collections including the National Portrait Gallery, National Maritime Museum, the Royal Collection and Royal Armouries. To read more about the exhibition, click here.

And there are some very splendid gifts to be found in the V&A shop like these decorative Russian Easter Eggs ready for filling with something special for the day. And you don't need a treasury to buy them. They cost just £3.50 each. For more gift ideas, click here.

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