3 March 2017 – 4 June 2017

Exhibition hall of the Patriarch's Palace

Organised by:

The Moscow Kremlin Museums

10# Double engagement. Stained-glass window from Sainte-ChapelleThe Moscow Kremlin Museums present an exhibition introducing the greatest achievements of medieval culture of France to the Russian audience. This joint international project of the Moscow Kremlin Museums and the Centre des monuments nationaux of France supported by the French Embassy will become the main event of the Russia-France Year of Cultural Tourism. 

The exhibition in the Moscow Kremlin Museums will show true masterpieces of French Gothic art related to the epoch of one of the most famous French kings – Saint Louis IX (1214 - 1270). Most of them will be presented in Russia for the first time, including items from the largest collections of France - Louvre Museum, Museum of the Middle Ages (Cluny), a number of provincial French museums, as well as manuscripts and documents from the National Library and the National Archives of France. The State Hermitage participates in the exhibition, giving on loan magnificent Limoges enamels and ivory pieces dating back to 13th — early 14th century.

Saint Louis is known as the perfect European sovereign, personifying the medieval idea of a fair Christian king – pious sovereign and Christian knight, defender of the Holy Land (Louis took the lead in two of the Crusades), merciful to the poor, founder of temples and monasteries, patron of arts and sciences. His reign was the heyday of Gothic art in France.

One of the biggest deeds of Saint Louis was the acquisition in 1239 of the relics of the Passion of Christ, the most important of which was the Crown of Thorns of the Savior, now kept in the Notre-Dame Cathedral. The Crown was purchased by Saint Louis from the Emperor of the Latin Empire Baldwin II for a huge sum. The relic was solemnly moved from Constantinople to Paris, giving the city a new heart as it was the most sacred relic of the Christian world. It turned French king of the Capetians dynasty into the most Christian ruler of all kings. The reliquary made for the Crown of Thorns in 1806 will be among the core exhibits. In the following years Louis collected more than twenty relics of the Passion – particles of the Holy Cross, the stone of the Holy Sepulchre, the centurion Longinus Spear and others. To store the greatest relics of the Christian world the Holy Chapel (Sainte-Chapelle) was built as a part of the royal palace in Paris. Its structure reminds a precious reliquary made of stone and stained glass - a masterpiece of Gothic art, and by far the most complete ensemble of stained-glass windows of the 13th century.

One of the key points of the exhibition is stained glass from the Sainte-Chapelle, partially dismantled in the 19th century and stored at the Center for National Monuments. It will be for the first time that such a big quantity of them will be shown outside France. Bright and saturated colors of stained-glass windows which were formerly illuminating the Royal Chapel will be now shining under the ancient arches of the Patriarch’s Palace. Its deeply exalted painting that tells the biblical story of mankind from the Creation to the Resurrection of Christ will enable the viewer to discover the world of a medieval man, his ideas of beauty, holiness and nature of power.

Times of Saint Louis are marked by the blossom of Gothic art of sculpture. Exhibits of sublime plastic will be represented by sculptural portraits of the king from the collection of the Cluny Museum, as well as his daughter Isabella's sculptural portrait from the collegiate church in Poissy, where Saint Louis was baptized, and sculptural image of the Virgin and Child from the Louvre.

On display will be magnificent jewelry samples of high Gothic golden age – exquisite works of Paris craftsmen and famous Limoges enamels, quatrefoil reliquary with the image of Saint Francis of Assisi, crown reliquary which Saint Louis presented to the Monastery of the Dominicans in Liège, according to the legend, and the Gospels in a precious cover for celebrating liturgies in the Holy Chapel.

A rare opportunity to explore an exquisite art of medieval book illumination will certainly attract interest of the audience. There will be a chance to admire colourful miniatures and ornaments in manuscripts, authors of which seemed to have found inspiration in a vivid adornment of the Sainte-Chapelle.

The Moscow Kremlin Museums have launched a theme-based satellite site about the exhibition `Saint Louis and Relics of the Sainte-Chapelle` saintlouis.kreml.ru/en-US

Exhibition hall

Выставочный зал в Одностолпной палате Патриаршего дворца Московского Кремля

Одностолпная палата Патриаршего дворца

Opening hours: from 1000 to 1700 daily, except Thursday.

Admission by ticket to the architectural ensemble of the Cathedral Square.
Admission fee – 500 RUB. Tickets for visitors under 16 are free of charge. 

Tickets are available
- online
 (only full price tickets);
- at the ticket office at the Aleksandrovsky Sad (Alexander Garden) from 930 to 1630 on the day of the visit;
- via touch-sensitive terminals in the ticket office at the Aleksandrovsky Sad on the day of the visit (only full price tickets).

You could get the catalogue here:
- exhibition hall of the Assumption Belfry; 
- museum shop at the Aleksandrovsky Sad.
  Price: 2000 rub.


General partners

Gazprom      Engie

Gazprom Export

With the participation of:

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Event is organized within the framework of
Russia-France Year of cultural tourism

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Media partners

Россия 24

Сhokolate radio


Specialized media partner

The Art Newspaper