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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Tsars and Knights: The Romanovs’ Love Affair with the Middle Ages

Hermitage / Amsterdam / Art

An immersive exhibition at the Hermitage Amsterdam brings the Dark Ages to light. Culled from two extensive collections of medieval art—one belonging to Alexander Basilevsky, a prolific Russian hobbyist who sold every piece to Tsar Alexander III in 1884, the other the arsenal of Nicholas I (the “chivalrous tsar”)—the objects on view, over 250, recall epic battles and court romances. The exhibition features a hall of knights’ armor that includes a suit worn by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and a German tournament suit gifted to Tsar Nicholas by his wife. There’s even a staged joust. Other highlights include a copy of Roman de la Rose, the erotic 13th-century illuminated manuscript that was a Dark Ages best-seller, and the painting The Adoration of the Magi, by the Flemish master Hugo van der Goes. —J.D.

Hermitage Amstel 51, 1018 EJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
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