THE ASHES AND THE PHOENIX: 1896-2013 with Eugene Barilo Von Reisberg

Tuesday 21 May 2013, 10:15 AM – 11:45 AM

It is difficult to imagine a greater contrast than that between the glitter and gold that accompanied the 1913 Tercentenary Celebrations of the Romanov Dynasty during the reign of Nicholas II, and the dismal abyss into which the family were plunged following the Russian Revolution of 1917.

This lecture examines the prescient disquiet and palatial intrigues among the matriarchs of the Imperial family; the patriotism and selfless assistance of the Romanov women in medical and charitable causes during the First World War; assassinations, imprisonments, and, at times, near-miraculous escapes from the Revolutionary Russia; and their gradual adaptation to the lives of penniless exiles abroad. This lecture concludes with the uneasy reconciliation between the surviving members of the Romanov dynasty, headed by the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, with the post-Communist Russia at the dawn of the 21st century.

EUGENE BARILO VON REISBERG is a Melbourne-based arts writer, curator, and blogger. His research on Franz Xaver Winterhalter, a 19th century elite portrait specialist, is widely recognised, and he has contributed numerous articles and presented lectures on the artist in Australia and internationally. He is currently pursuing a doctoral thesis on the artist at The University of Melbourne.

Vladimir Makovsky (1846-1920), Portrait of Maria Feodorovna, Empress of Russia (1847-1928) (detail), 1912, The Russian Museum, St Petersburg

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