A Review of Napoleonic Exhibitions
in Moscow in Recent Years

by Elena Khonineva, FINS

 

The image of Napoleon always reigned over minds and hearts of Russian intellectuals and creative circles. But during the Soviet period it was impossible to present a great exhibition devoted to Napoleon in the state museum. The role of the person was considered of lesser importance during that period.

After Reorganization (Perestroyka), the situation has changed. For the past 20 years the State Historical Museum has conducted more than twenty exhibitions Russia and abroad. All subjects have been connected with the epoch of the Napoleonic period, Napoleon Bonaparte, Michael Illarionovich Kutuzov, and the War of 1812. These exhibitions have been visited by hundreds of thousand people. The State Historical Museum has noted 225 years from the date of Napoleon's birth in a showroom of Tushino as the museum was under repairs. Now it has been permitted a showroom in a suburb of Moscow. Newspapers wrote: «The organization of a similar exposition for Russia is the phenomenon unusual. In our country in days of the Soviet Union under the slogan "Art should belong to the people!" the role of ingenious persons in creation and the statement of a new material and aesthetic image of an epoch have been forgotten during almost 70 years».

The extensive historical and art material has changed the view of an unsophisticated public about Napoleon and about his activity as the politician.

 

 

Elena Khonineva, FINS, is an engineer from Moscow. She is a Fellow of the International Napoleonic Society since 2009 and the Adviser to the East Committee of Bonapartists. She has had a great interest in studying of the epoch of Napoleon for 25 years. She is the founder of club of travel on Napoleonic sights, called "Napoleon's Roads." Together, participants of the club have travelled all over Europe in search of the places connected with Napoleon. They also took part in a conference: "The Peace of Tilsit’s - a Prototype of the European Union".