The museum had a special agenda this year when Russia marked the 200th anniversary of its victory over Napoleon. Hermitage is closely related to the historical events due to its location on Palace Square and in front of the Winter Palace as well as its architecture and interiors. The museum even has The 1812 War Gallery commemorating the heroes of the 1812-14 campaign.
The Hermitage Deputy Director Georgy Vilinbakhov told the VoR about new exhibitions.
"The exhibition marks the signing of the 1812 Manifest by Emperor Alexander I which put an end to the War. The major exhibition features items from our collection, the two smaller ones have 1812 decorations and tin soldiers on display."
Toy soldiers are arranged depicting two scenes: Napoleon’s cavalry attacking the Russian infantry and Russian troops chasing the retreating French. Some of the Russian toy soldiers were ordered by Emperor Nicholas I from the famous Nuremberg workshop of Ernst Heinrichsen back in 1855.
The 6-8 cm tall figures were to represent all regiments of the Imperial Russian Guard. The figure-maker had 100 molds while Russia’s General Staff sent him the colorful drawings of various uniforms.
Mr. Vilinbakhov says he has several toy soldiers himself though he’s not a collector. His father made them when Georgy was a boy and this passion remained ever since.
The exhibition targets mainly children. Mikhail Piotrovsky, the Hermitage Director said he’s been waiting for such an exhibition since childhood.