On This Day: the Russian Museum of His Imperial Majesty Alexander III Opens in St. Petersburg

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Artist: Karl Osipovich Broz

On This Day: 19th [O.S. 7th] March 1898, the Russian Museum of His Imperial Majesty Alexander III officially opened in St. Petersburg.

The museum was established in the Mikhailovsky Palace, a splendid Neoclassical residence of Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich (1798-1849).

The museum was established on 13th April 1895, upon enthronement of Nicholas II to commemorate his father, Alexander III. Its original collection was composed of artworks taken from the Hermitage Museum, Alexander Palace, and the Imperial Academy of Arts.

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the museum and its collection were nationalized and renamed the State Russian Museum. Today, the museum is the world’s largest depository of Russian art with more than 400,000 items.

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Bust of Alexander III on the main staircase of the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

The portrait (above) depicts Emperor Nicholas II and his mother the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, standing before the bust of Alexander III, located on the main staircase of the museum. Several years ago, the bust was returned to its original place on the staircase of the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.

© Paul Gilbert. 18 March 2019