Quelle Imperial

Surely I have professed my strange love of all things Russian here before. It’s one of my oldest obsessions, sparked by reading the Robert K. Massie book The Romanovs: The Final Chapter when I was about 15 or so. The story of the fall of the tsar and the terrible end of his beautiful family broke my heart as well as captured it. I hoarded books about anything Russian or Romanov, devoured accounts of possible escapes and royal impostors, collected matryoshka dolls, flirted with the idea of studying Russian (I chickened out and went with another language I love, French, bien sur!~)

Whenever I come across another fellow lover of all-things-Russian I get the lovely feeling that I’ve found another kindred spirit, because its always nice to be able to freely geek-out over an obscure obsession. I found out a while back that a friend of mine I used to work withalso has a soft spot for all things Romanov. He sent me an image of an old illustrated card of Nicholas and Alexandra full bedecked in imperial finery and it was decided that I’d paint my own rendition of the scene for him. It’s not every day that you meet someone who thinks admires a tsarist beard as much as I do, so I happily obliged! (Seriously, didn’t Nicholas and his almost identical cousin King George V of Great Britain have the most fantastical of beards?)
But I digress….
The painting above is what I came up with. I made it gritty and crackly, as if it had been long lost in some elaborately painted trunk, wrapped in ermine and hidden with secret jewels. Wouldn’t that be intriguing? And to further feed my love of Russian royals, I picked up Massie’s latest “Catherine the Great” at the library, having heard great things about it. So far, it is a fascinating read, and I’m all for girl power. I love a good royal biography, although it always makes me shake my head in disbelief about how badly royals parents and raised children. More often than not, they were treated coldly and raised by staff that were ill equipped, self serving, or brutal. And then they wondered why the kids turned out to be total train wrecks and out of touch with their people. So of course, they then were handed an entire kingdom to run. They needed a royal Dr. Phil desperately, too bad no one ever thought “hey, lets not raise these kids to be total spoiled jerks.” Not sure why. 😉 Although so far, Catherine seems to be bright and pliable and tenacious. Her mousy little husband, however, does not. Good thing I have a whole weekend ahead of me to find out what happens!
And one last thing— thanks so much for your warm comments about the foundling pup. In case you didn’t see my update to yesterday’s post, her owners did end up calling yesterday afternoon and claiming her. It was bittersweet, but I have hopes that she’ll be loved and cared for even more since she was nearly lost. And since she just lives down the street, perhaps we’ll meet again!
Hope you have a great weekend! I hope I get a little creating in now that spring break has started! And Happy St. Patrick’s Day as well!~!
~H

12 thoughts on “Quelle Imperial

  1. I have a friend who is obsessed with all things Russian as well, and he's introduced me to quite a bit of the culture and language, which is pretty interesting. I also have a Russian pen pal who used to send me cool little gifts and greeting cards. I can understand why it appeals to certain people so much. Love the painting!

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  2. Oh my goodness, this is awesome! I love Russian history as well. I think it was sparked by discovering an old fiction series — The Russians, by Michael Phillips and Judith Pella, and an old miniseries, Nicholas & Alexandra.

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  3. Oh, I love it…very regal. I scrolled down to read about the lost pup, so cute. We rescued a pup last year whose owners were going to take to the shelter until we stepped in. She's the first dog I've ever had and I never thought I could love a dog so much. Lucky pup to have landed on your doorstep. :)Happy Weekend! Jenny

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  4. Pam- Russia does indeed have such a rich and interesting culture and language. I also love their appreciation for the arts, so many talented artists come out of there, and their icons are amazing.

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  5. Ruth- Im glad to hear we're even MORE kindred spirits! Did you ever see the \”Zoya\” tv movie in the 90s with Melissa Gilbert. I liked that one too although it was a bit ludicrous 🙂

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  6. I do love this new painting! My fascination with Russia are the peasants who did things like pysanky eggs and wore scarves in bright colors. More along the folk art history and folklore. Stories like Babuska at Christmas and Renchecka at Easter have always caught my interest.

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  7. In the early nineties, we drove to Dallas to see a traveling exhibit with a lot of Catherine the Great's stuff. It was pretty fantastic–especially her golden coach. I'll have to check out the biography you're reading.P.S. I'm certain your friend will love the Nicholas and Alexandra painting!

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