Dining with the Tsars

Delicate beauty from the Hermitage

6 September 2014 – 1 March 2015

The exhibition Dining with the Tsars. Delicate beauty from the Hermitage opens on 6 September 2014 in the Hermitage Amsterdam’s fifth year on the Amstel River. The magnificent porcelain tableware from the collection of the Hermitage St Petersburg will be displayed in a setting that conveys what the dinners and banquets of the Tsars’ court were like. Visitors will imagine they are guests in possession of a coveted imperial invitation, climbing the steps of the Winter Palace, reviewing the rules of etiquette and preparing for a festive occasion. And finally they enter the main hall for the banquet…

The majestic porcelain services, exhibited on tables with decorative centrepieces, reveal the enchanting grandeur of the Tsars’ banquets. The most ornate services are those of Catherine the Great, and include pieces from the Green Frog Service (Wedgwood) and the Cameo Service (Sèvres, Paris). The services of later Tsars were equally impressive, and have extra cachet because they are inextricably linked to European history.

Plate from the Cameo Service, Paris, France, Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, 1778–79. Soft-paste porcelain with overglaze and gilding © State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

Napoleon and Alexander

Friend and Foe

28 March – 18 October 2015

It is October 1812. Napoleon and his troops are leaving Moscow. The French armies’ long advance has been checked: Tsar Alexander I has refused to surrender to Napoleon. The inhabitants of Moscow have fled and set the city alight. The army can go no further without supplies. The retreat is disastrous. Napoleon loses half a million men to freezing temperatures and combat. This is a turning point in history, the prelude to Napoleon’s ultimate defeat at Waterloo.

This exhibition brings to life the battle waged by two emperors on the turbulent European stage. From their initial friendship, their meeting on the raft at Tilsit and a fragile peace to the great battles and the fire of Moscow. One woman plays a pivotal role in both their lives: Joséphine de Beauharnais. Her collection from Château de Malmaison eventually ended up in the Winter Palace in St Petersburg.

Anonymous, France (?), after Gioacchino Serangeli, Napoleon and Alexander I Bid Farewell after the Peace of Tilsit, Oil on canvas © State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

Spanish Art

Winter 2015/16 – Summer 2016

This exhibition tells the story of the rise and evolution of Spain from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, with the Spanish royal house in the lead role. The Hermitage in St Petersburg was the first museum outside Spain to open a gallery devoted solely to Spanish art. The diverse collection includes superior works of applied art, such as majolica, tapestries and arms, as well as paintings of the highest quality, including masterpieces like The Apostles Peter and Paul (1587–92) by El Greco, The Lunch (c. 1617) by Diego Velázquez and Portrait of the Actress Antonia Zárate (1810–11) by Francisco Goya.

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, Portrait of the Actress Antonia Zárate, 1810–11. Oil on canvas © State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

Greek and Scythian Gold

Summer 2016 – Winter 2016/17

This exhibition explores the peaceful interaction of two ancient cultures, the nomadic Scythians and the Greek colonists, and how it yielded artistic masterpieces. The Scythians and Greeks encountered each other on the northern coast of the Black Sea, where the Greeks began settling in the seventh century BCE. The two peoples established a mutually beneficial relationship from the start, trading grain for gold. Rich Scythians took their Greek works of art to their graves. An exhibition of stunning golden treasures, jewellery and paintings. And the dramatic tale of the discovery of the Scythian tombs and their spectacular contents by Hermitage-led expeditions.

Shield emblem, Scythian, c. 600 BCE. Gold, cast, embossed. Found in Kostromskaya burial mound no. 1, Trans-Kuban Region, Russia © State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

1917: From Romanov to Revolution

Winter 2016/17 – Autumn 2017

The year 1917 was a turning point in Russian history. Film footage, photographs, paintings and applied art sketch the life of the last Tsar and Tsaritsa Nicholas II and Alexandra, and political and social life during and after their reign. The exhibition explores what happened to the art collections of the Tsars after the Winter Palace was captured and how artists responded to the political upheavals of 1917 and beyond.

Ilya Yefimovich Repin, Portrait of Nicholas II, 1895. Oil on canvas © State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

Dutch Masters

Autumn 2017 – Spring 2018

Dutch Masters on the Amstel is the fulfilment of a long-standing wish of the Hermitage Amsterdam. The Hermitage’s collection of paintings, prints and drawings by Dutch Masters is one of the world’s largest. Many Russian collectors were passionate about Dutch painting and their collections span several centuries. Peter the Great was fond of seascapes, Catherine the Great purchased large works like Haman Recognizes His Fate (c. 1665) by Rembrandt. The tsars were not the only collectors. In the nineteenth century, Count Pyotr Petrovich Semenov-Tyan-Shansky was an avid collector of works by artists like Honthorst, Ruysdael, Post and Lastman, and his collection was an important addition to the Hermitage’s.
Russia’s love affair with the great Dutch painters will be on exhibit in 2017–18.

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Haman Recognizes his Fate, c. 1665. Oil on canvas © State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

European Neoclassicism

Spring 2018 – Winter 2018/19

An impression of St Petersburg’s famous gallery of marble statues in the Hermitage Amsterdam. The Neoclassical movement in Europe was a revival of the art of classical antiquity represented by renowned artists like Canova, Thorvaldsen, Anton Raphael Mengs and Jacques-Louis David. Works of applied art like the Krater vase of Orsk jasper and classicist furniture complete the picture. Where possible, sources of inspiration from antiquity will be incorporated into the exhibition.

Neoclassical sculpture gallery in the Hermitage in St Petersburg © State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

Catherine the Great

Winter 2018/19 – Summer 2019

On the occasion of the Hermitage Amsterdam’s tenth anniversary and more than twenty years after the De Nieuwe Kerk’s exhibition devoted to Catherine the Great, the Hermitage Amsterdam presents a comprehensive and compelling exhibition on her life and art collections.

Fyodor Rokotov after Alexander Roslin, Portrait of Catherine the Great, 1780–90 (original 1777–78). Oil on canvas © State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

Jewels from the Hermitage Treasure Gallery

Summer 2019 – Winter 2019/20

A festive jewellery exhibition to mark the tenth anniversary of the Hermitage Amsterdam featuring pieces from the Treasure Gallery of the Hermitage in St Petersburg and gems of European applied art: vases, tableware, table decorations, snuffboxes, mirrors, furniture. Each item is a masterpiece in its own right. The objects in the exhibition date from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.

Signet ring with monogram of Alexander I, Russia (?), early 19th century. Gold, silver, diamonds, enamel, chased and polished © State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

For more information:

Hermitage Amsterdam

Press Office
Martijn van Schieveen en Kim van Niftrik

T:+31 (0)20 - 530 87 55
F:+31 (0)20 - 530 87 50

Opening hours

Daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Closed on 25 December 2014 and 27 April 2015
Open on 1 January 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.

© State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

The Hermitage Amsterdam is located on Amstel 51, Amsterdam

Photo Janiek Dam

More information:
+31 (0)20 530 74 88

More information online ticketing:
+31 (0)20 530 87 55