The splendour of the Russian Czar’s court
This sensational exhibition compared and contrasted the imperial jewellers of the Russian court. It encompassed the period between 1900 and 1917, when Fabergé’s art had reached its climax and the fame of the House of Cartier was rapidly spreading. The splendour of the Russian Czar’s court, reflected in the 800 or so exhibits, provided the basis for artistic rivalry in which the protagonists were spurred on to ever more superlative achievements.
Fortunately for us, Dr Geza von Habsburg, a leading specialist in Russian art and jewellery, had agreed to take over the curatorship. Seventeen years ago he and Dr Johann Georg Prinz von Hohenzollern jointly organized the first Fabergé presentation at the Kunsthalle. Unlike that legendary show, which concentrated on one artist alone, this exhibition is based on a completely new concept. It examines the art of adversaries of equal status, including well-known Paris jewellers such as Boucheron, Fouquet, Lalique, Vever and Chaumet, besides Fabergé and Cartier. The exhibition not only shows the magnificence of their works, but also presents the individuals whose favour they were courting, namely Czar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their family. The exhibition is being organized in collaboration with the Fondation Cartier in Geneva, and will be on show in Munich from 28th November 2003 to 12th April 2004. It will be accompanied by a catalogue published by the Hirmer Verlag, Munich.