September, 15 - November, 12, 2004

The Assumption Belfry of the Moscow Kremlin

Organized by:
The Ministry of Culture and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation, The Federal State Institution “The State Historical and Cultural Museum-Preserve “The Moscow Kremlin” and The Louvre Museum, with the support of the Embassy of the French Republic in the Russian Federation

JugThe exhibition  “Treasures of the French Сrown” opens the long-term program “Royal treasuries in the Kremlin”, dated to the 200-anniversary of creation of Moscow Kremlin Museums.

The new Kremlin display for the first time presents in Moscow twenty three masterpieces from the well-known collection of carved vessels of Louis XIV. Among them are monuments of stone-cutting skill of the epoch of antiquity and the Middle Ages, Byzantium of the X-XIth centuries and the Moslem Orient of the XIIIth century, as well as artworks by makers of the XVth-XVIIth centuries of famous Paris, Venice, Milan and Florence ateliers.

The unique items seldom leaving France have been displayed for the Russian public due to the joint initiative of the Louvre Museum and Moscow Kremlin Museums.

One of the most outstanding monarchs of France - King Louis XIV (1643-1715) - was a patron of art and a passionate collector. All kinds of art were blossoming in his reign. The passion to collect magnificent artworks of stone-cutting art was inherent to Louis XIV during the whole period of his reign, and he admired showing the collection to his guests.

Many French monarchs before Louis XIV were interested in stone carved vessels and tried to collect them. However the “Sun King” inherited little from his predecessors. He started collecting, wishing to imitate governors of the Renaissance. By that time, there had been such collections in Vienna, Munich and Florence by that time.

However, thanks to a lucky coincidence the collection of Louis XIV became a representative one of stone vessels - from antiquity till the epoch of his reign. Louis XIV loved these multi-colour and gorgeous items. He preserved the items in the very look he purchased them and rarely changed the setting.