Culture & Arts

Now Open and Must-See Free Expo on the Rock: “Iconic” and Unique Bejewelled Embroidery of Byzantine Origin

A unique Expo on the Rock for lovers of historic treasures of embroidery inter-laced with precious stones is delighting visitors to Notre-Dame-Immaculate Cathedral.

The history of the embroidery of orthodox icons set with precious stones and made with gold thread, goes back many centuries: from the time of the reign of the last Russian Byzantine princess Sophie, wife of Tsar Ivan III of Russia.

“Iconic” and Unique Bejewelled Embroidery of Byzantine Origin

The tradition was abandoned during the 1917 revolution but fortunately has been revived over the last 15 years by artist Natalia Gorkovenko in her studio in Moscow – the “Prikosnovénié” workshop. Here the ancient traditions of embroidery and icon decoration have been perpetuated and developed with the use of pearls, precious stones, glass beads, gold and mother-of-pearl threads.

The exhibition presents 24 unique pieces that the Countess Natalia Valevskaya Savoretti started collecting, who had lent her treasures to the Principality to show them in the peristyle of the cathedral. including representations of “Saint Nicolas”, “Archangel Michael”, “Saint Virgin of Kazan”, “The Holy Royal Martyrs”, “Saint Virgin of Vladimir” , “Blessed Matrona of Moscow” and many others.

All the works are executed in the technique of ornamental needle painting and hand embroidery. All the icons are set with precious and semi-precious stones, including: emeralds, rubies, sapphires, amethysts, tourmalines, citrines, pomegranates, crystal, pearls, glass grains as well as gold and mother-of-pearl threads.

In the coves and chapels of the Cathedral, you will discover the exhibition: the embroidered icons, but also some masterpieces of painted orthodox wooden icons from the 18th century loaned by the Russian Orthodox parish of the Royal Holy Martyrs in Monaco.

“Iconic” and Unique Bejewelled Embroidery of Byzantine Origin

From the Atelier Prikosnovenie in Moscow to the Cathedral of Monaco.

Open now until April 3: Exhibition produced by the Culture Service of the Diocese of Monaco in collaboration with the Honorary Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Monaco.

Exhibition curator: Countess Natalia Valevskaya Savoretti

General sponsor of the project: Association “Paroisse des Saints Martyrs Royaux à Monaco”

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