Author Topic: 1917. Romanovs & Revolution Exhibition Hermitage Amsterdam  (Read 6230 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Guest
1917. Romanovs & Revolution Exhibition Hermitage Amsterdam
« on: February 19, 2017, 04:32:03 PM »
Dear Forum members,

My apologies if this topic has been picked up elsewhere already; if so, I couldn't find it.
I wanted to share with you my experience of visiting the new exhibition at the Hermitage Amsterdam called 1917 - Romanovs & Revolution. It takes you to Imperial Russia and follows Nicholas' reign until his abdication and murder, with over 250 objects. For me, it was more like a time travel experience and something I could only hope for, living in the Netherlands. Truly spectacular and very moving.

Being intrigued by the fate of Alexei in particular, I found the objects which once belonged to him the most impressive. There are several clothes he wore, including a military uniform and cap, which were very special to behold up close. Also the toys and drawings of Alexei and the duchesses were a very moving sight. I felt that through these objects I could get in touch with the tsarevich and his family members.

The last room was very hard to be in as it was all about the murder. In the middle, in a glass case, is displayed one of the actual bayonets used in the murder. Entering that room, which was also very dark (not much light), literally gave me the chills. On one of the walls was a picture of the room in Ekaterinenburg and on this picture was projected a family portrait of the Romanovs, but hazy, ghost-like. A haunting and yet fitting use of imagery.

In fact, throughout the entire exhibition there was an impressive use of photos - many of the walls were completely covered in black and white photos of the Romanovs, St. Petersburg, WWI and the revolution. Sound and light effects were also used, but with (some) moderation.
There were many visitors so at some points it was quite crowded in some of the more narrow rooms or paths, but when you can take the time it is worth it to wait so you can see and read everything with care. For instance, telegrams between Nicholas and Wilhelm regarding the outbreak of WWI and several letters.
It was truly a thing to behold, these items from the lives of the Romanovs themselves, from highly important documents to glimpses into their family life, like a large picnic basket.

I feel that my description is a bit clumsy and doesn't do the exhibition justice; that's because the emotional impression it made is so hard to put into words.

The exhibition runs until September 17 and is highly recommended. The Hermitage website is here:
« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 04:34:10 PM by sunbeam »

Offline Sanochka

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
Re: 1917. Romanovs & Revolution Exhibition Hermitage Amsterdam
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2017, 08:38:03 PM »
Your description isn't at all clumsy, Sunbeam.  On the contrary, you describe the exhibition and the feelings it evoked so well that I can imagine myself there.  You are very lucky to have seen it.


  • Guest
Re: 1917. Romanovs & Revolution Exhibition Hermitage Amsterdam
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2017, 02:42:14 PM »
Some photos I took of the exhibition:

Here you see how they used different media and images to create the overall picture: a lifesize photo of the Winter Palace covering the wall, combined with a large painted portrait of Nicholas II and moving images of the family (here you see the children dancing on the Standart) - there was also music and lights; when the music became very dramatic they showed footage of WWI.

This was the first time I saw something which once belonged to the tsarevich; an unforgettable moment! It is a military jacket (sorry, details missing at the moment).

Tsarina Alexandra's study, decorated with icons and other items as well as a portrait of Alexandra and Alexi covering the wall. I thought this was very well done.

Probably the highlight for me. Dresses, clothes and toys of the grand duchesses and Alexei. The quote on the wall is: When I am dead, it will not hurt any more, will it, Mama? A quote of Alexei after his terrible accident in Poland. It was such a moving part of the entire exhibition and thrilling to see so many items from their childhood and family life.

The hardest part of the exhibition was this room dedicated to their tragic end. A ghostlike image of the family portrait was projected on a photo of the room of the execution. Incredibly sensitive and moving.

Offline edubs31

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1014
    • View Profile
Re: 1917. Romanovs & Revolution Exhibition Hermitage Amsterdam
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2017, 07:21:19 PM »
Looks pretty amazing and thanks so much for your detailed posts Sunbeam!

Only two weeks away from the hundredth anniversary of the Revolution.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...


  • Guest
Re: 1917. Romanovs & Revolution Exhibition Hermitage Amsterdam
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2017, 02:43:33 PM »
Hi Sanochka and edubs31,

Thanks for the kind words :) I am glad to be able to share my experience. I do indeed feel lucky and am thinking of visiting the exhibition again before it closes.


  • Guest
Re: 1917. Romanovs & Revolution Exhibition Hermitage Amsterdam
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2017, 07:18:35 PM »
Thank you for the pictures. Very haunting indeed.

I have to wait another month before I can visit, since I am rather busy. Can't wait!