Three hundred jewels from the Romanov dynasty are exhibited at the Hermitage Amsterdam. Read this information to know more about it.
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Culture

The jewels of the Russian tsars come to Amsterdam’s Hermitage

By Imane Rachidi / Amsterdam /- Three hundred jewels from the Romanov dynasty (1613-1917), among them a double-sided mirror that belonged to Empress Catherine the Great and Empress Maria Fyodoronva’s diadem, will be glistening at the Hermitage Amsterdam from Saturday as part of an exhibit celebrating the space’s 10th anniversary.

The items represent four centuries of fashion – Baroque, Rococo, Classicism, Empire style and Art Nouveau – and they are the hallmark of their wearers’ identity.

The pieces showcase different tastes, origins and riches, and hold stories and secrets of forbidden loves and passions of controversial Russian aristocrats.

Jewel historian Marijn Akkerman, who knows all about the tsars and is fascinated by their wealth and obsession for precious stones, told Efe that collecting pieces was for them a symbol of wealth in the same way people collect artwork by famous painters.

Each one of the pieces, which comprise thousands of precious stones, have a unique story behind them.

The tsars would spend months in Paris or London, commissioning pieces from Fabergé’s Russian artisans as well as European jewelers like Boucheron, Cartier, Lalique and Claude Ballin.

A three-kilogram piece that belonged to Catherine the Great (1729-1796) that was made by a goldsmith in Augsburg and is decorated with 400 diamonds, rubies, emeralds, garnets, almandines and amethysts is one of the star items.

Catherine wore it when she lived in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, whose wineries and courtyards were home to around 80 cats deployed by her mother-in-law, Elizabeth of Russia, to chase away the rats and mice and thus protect the valuables.

Catherine was a German princess who grew up in Russia and was known for her love of art and jewelry.

She successfully fought the Ottoman Empire as well as pushed to reduce illiteracy and venereal diseases in Russia.

The exhibit includes one of her wedding gifts, a double-sided mirror with a golden frame and silver flowers whose petals and leaves are decorated with frogs, snails, caterpillars and butterflies, a style that was very much characteristic of the period.

A jewelry box houses a brooch of almost 1,000 diamonds that belonged to Elizabeth of Russia, which has the greatest amount of precious stones concentrated in one piece, from blue and yellow sapphires, rubies, topazes and emeralds.

The tiaras are another special part of the show, according to Akkerman, whose favorite is the collection that belonged to Maria Fjodorovna, the wife of Tsar Alexander III, who in 1885 commissioned Michail Perchin to make a headband of silver with a golden back decorated with diamonds and a garland of pampilles.

Other highlights are a bouquet of flowers made of precious stones (1740-50), jewels with agate and zirconium, as well as costumes and tobacco boxes that belonged to noble families.

There are also portraits, dresses and imperial and majestic outfits all with personal stories behind them, giving a fascinating insight into more than two centuries of fashion.

Some of the pieces belong to the collection of the Dutch Hermitage but most came from St. Petersburg to be exhibited for the first time in a museum in Western Europe.

The show runs until 15 March 2020. (September 14, 2019, EFE/Practica Español)

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Comprehension

Lee la noticia y responde a las preguntas (Read the news and answer the questions)

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Question 1
Principalmente, en el texto se habla de... (Mainly in the text, it's talked about...)
A
quiénes eran los Romanov y cuándo comenzó su dinastía.
B
la exhibición temporal en el Hermitage de Ámsterdam de unas joyas que pertenecieron los Romanov.
C
una exhibición sobre la figura del último zar de Rusia.
Question 2
En el texto se dice que... (It's said in the text that...)
A
es bastante inusual hallar objetos de este tipo que pertenecieran a los Romanov.
B
Akkerman desmiente que los zares acumulasen este tipo de piezas como símbolo de riqueza.
C
esas piezas fueron realizadas con metales y piedras preciosas.
Question 3
Según el texto... (According to the text...)
A
todas las piezas que son exhibidas pertenecen al Hermitage de Ámsterdam.
B
las zarinas no solo encargaban esas piezas a los artesanos rusos sino también a otras joyerías europeas.
C
no hay ningún tipo de simbología en las piezas exhibidas.
Question 4
Sobre Catalina la Grande se dice que... (About Catherine the Great, it's said that...)
A
tuvo un joyero el cual tenía miles de diamantes.
B
su ciudad natal era San Petersburgo.
C
luchó para que se redujera el número de personas iletradas en Rusia.
Question 5
En el vídeo se dice que... (It's said in the video that...)
A
no hay ninguna tiara que esté adornada con diamantes.
B
el joyero de Catalina la Grande se realizó a finales del siglo XVIII.
C
el joyero de Catalina la Grande tiene unos 400 diamantes.
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There are 5 questions to complete.

Vocabulary

Congratulations - you have completed . You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
La 'zarina' es... (The 'zarina' is...)  
A
la hermana del zar.
B
la tía del zar.
C
la esposa del zar.
Question 2
'Orfebre' es... ('Orfebre' is...)  
A
es el artesano que realiza obras de arte hechas de madera.
B
es el artesano que labra metales preciosos para hacer objetos artísticos.
C
es el artesano que realiza obras de arte hechas solo de minerales.
Question 3
Algo 'peculiar' es... (Something 'peculiar' is...)  
A
ordinario.
B
singular.
C
común.
Question 4
Cuando se dice que 'tampoco se queda corto' se está diciendo que... (When we say 'tampoco se queda corto', we are saying that...)  
A
tampoco se queda atrás.
B
eso no tiene nada que ver.
C
tampoco se ha hecho de forma correcta.
Question 5
Una 'tiara' se pone... (A 'tiara' is put on...)  
A
en la cabeza.
B
en los pies.
C
en los hombros.
Question 6
Los 'entresijos' hacen referencia a... (The 'entresijos' refer to...)  
A
a todo aquello que es bien sabido por todos.
B
a todo aquello que está oculto o escondido.
C
a todas las joyas que pertenecen a una persona.
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There are 6 questions to complete.

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