Embroidered Map of Russian Empire

Embroidered map of the Russian Empire, created by pupils of the Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine in 1872 (image can be enlarged)

Embroidered map of Russian Empire, created by pupils of the Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine in 1872 (image can be enlarged)

December 23, 2014 the Moscow Kremlin Museum presents “Map of Russia. Milestones in the history” devoted to the phenomenon of Russia as the largest state, holding this status since the end of the XVII century. The centerpiece of the exhibition, is a unique piece – embroidered map of Russian Empire, created by pupils of the Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine in 1872 and presented to the Emperor Alexander II. The Map was exhibited in Russia only once. It’s no secret that important geopolitical events, and especially the expansion of the boundaries, were immediately reflected in art. The exhibition runs from 23 December 2014 to 15 March 2015 daily except Thursday.

Embroidered Map of Russian Empire

Cross-Stitched map accurately conveys the geography of the second half of the XIX century (detail)

Embroidered Map of Russian Empire

Cross-Stitched map accurately conveys the geography of the second half of the XIX century

Embroidered map of the Russian Empire. Pupils of the Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine gave this masterpiece as a gift to the Emperor Alexander II in 1872.

Embroidered Map of Russian Empire

Cross-Stitched map accurately conveys the geography of the second half of the XIX century

This huge “contour” map rhymes on display not only with samples of embroideries of the monastery of the XVI century, but, perhaps, with the easter egg of Carl Faberge, which Nicholas II ordered in 1900 as a present to his spouse.

Embroidered Map of Russian Empire

Embroidered map of the Russian Empire, created by pupils of the Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine in 1872

The territory of Russia, which under Alexander II joined many lands in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Far East, has reached its maximum value at 23.7 million km2 by 1867. Embroidered map miraculously combines monumentality and solemn grandeur of the image of the Russian Empire and quivering, pathetic man-made impeccable technique of young skilled craftswomen.

Embroidered Map of Russian Empire

Embroidered map of the Russian Empire, created by pupils of the Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine in 1872

Embroidered Map of Russian Empire

Embroidered map of the Russian Empire, created by pupils of the Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine in 1872

Embroidered Map of Russian Empire

Map of Russia, embroidered by pupils of the Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine, in 1872, was presented as a gift to Emperor Alexander II

Embroidered by pupils of Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine

Embroidered by pupils of Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine

Embroidered map of Russian Empire of 1872

Embroidered map of Russian Empire of 1872

Creating such patriotic map by noble maidens of the Institute demonstrated the skills in needlework, and at the same time education level: the canvas looks like a normal contour map, only large and embroidered with colored thread. The girl’s gift to the emperor showed progress not only in crafts, but also in learning history, geography.

Empress Maria Feodorovna

Empress Maria Feodorovna

Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine was founded in 1802 on the initiative of Empress Maria Feodorovna, mother of then ruled Emperor Alexander I, since 1796 chief over the Society for Education of Noble Maidens. The training program included: Russian literature, God’s Law, French and German languages, arithmetic, geography, history, natural history, physics, Arts – music, drawing, crafts. Serious attention was paid to the independent creativity of students. Mode of the day was strict and full-day. Schoolgirls got up at 6 am and intermittently engaged till 8 pm.

Empress Maria Feodorovna

Empress Maria Feodorovna

According to the original charter, the Catherine College admitted girls from poor noble families, but already in 1804 was created a Philistine department for girls of lower classes. Institute course was divided into two classes, the younger and older; Each student had to stay for three years; classes had three branches: 1st, 2nd and 3rd – in older, 4th, 5th and 6th – younger.

Moscow Catherine Institute for Noble Maidens. Church

Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine. Church

Philistine department existed until 1842, when it became an independent Philistine school, based on which, in turn, opened in 1891, Alexander Women’s Institute.

Moscow Catherine Institute for Noble Maidens, pupils skating

Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine, pupils skating

Both Moscow Women’s Institutes, Catherine and Alexander, by 1917 belonged to the Department of Institutions of Empress Maria. March 4, 1917 the Department was abolished and its institutions have been subordinated to the Ministry of National Education. The Office of the department was renamed – the Office of the Mariinsky charitable and educational institutions. May 12, 1917 the Office was included into the Ministry of public charity. December 12, 1917 all the institutions of the former Office of Orphanages Management were abolished, and February 23, 1918 transferred to the People’s Commissariat of Education (after the 1917 October revolution in Russia).

Moscow Catherine Institute for Noble Maidens pupils in the exercises classroom. Photo by Roman Smirnov

Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine, pupils in the exercises classroom. Photo by Roman Smirnov

E. Ovcharenko

E. Ovcharenko. Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine

M. Volkova

M. Volkova. Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine

Olga G. Averkieva, graduate of 1896

Olga G. Averkieva, graduate of 1896. Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine

P. Pavlova

P. Pavlova. Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine

Embroidered Map of Russian Empire

Map of Russia, embroidered by pupils of the Moscow Institute for Noble Maidens of Order of Saint Catherine, in 1872, was presented as a gift to Emperor Alexander II

Sources: forum.vgd.ru, rg.ru