Exhibition of Embroidered Icons

For several weeks, Monaco cathedral will be hosting an exhibition of embroidered Russian icons, along with other contemporary or antique icons. From Saturday February 15 to Friday April 3, 2020, Cathédrale de Monaco

The exhibition will feature 24 unique pieces created at the Prikosnovenie workshop. As the organizers say, "the history of the art of embroidery of Orthodox icons made with gold thread and set with precious stones dates back centuries, to the reign of the last Byzantine princess in Russia. Russian embroidery, which featured representatives of the families of the Stars and grand Princes, was world renowned". However, the tradition was abandoned following the 1917 revolution, before being revived by the artist Natalia Gorkovenko and her workshop in Moscow. For over 15 years, the Prikosnovenie workshop has been developing these ancient traditions of embroidering and decorating icons. All the pieces are hand-made using the ornamental needle painting technique. The icons are set with precious and semi-precious stones such as rubies, sapphires, amethysts, tourmaline, citrines, and garnets, while cystal, pearls, gold thread and mother-of-pearl are also used.


In the chapels of the cathedral's peristyle, visitors can explore the exhibition of embroidered icons, along with masterpieces of the art of Orthodox icon painting. These include contemporary pieces such as "La Sainte Dévote" and "Les Saints martyrs royaux", and a depiction of the family of the last Tsar, Nicolas II, in addition to older icons. The curator of this exhibition is Countess Natalia Valevskaya Savoretti, and the general sponsor is the association "Paroisse des Saints Martyrs Royaux à  Monaco".