Sovereign Military Hospitaller
Order of St John of Jerusalem of
Rhodes and of Malta


“Russian icon: prayer and mercy”, an exhibition dedicated to 25 years of diplomatic relations between Russia and the Order of Malta inaugurated in Rome


“Russian icon: prayer and and mercy” exhibition opened on 10th October in the Museo di Roma, Palazzo Braschi. Running until 3rd December, 36 icons from the 17th-18th centuries will be showcased to highlight two essential elements in the spiritual life of both the Catholic and Orthodox churches: precisely prayer and mercy.

Mounted to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of official relations between the Russian Federation and the Sovereign Order of Malta, the exhibition is also particularly significant this year, since the 320th anniversary is being celebrated of the official launch of relations between the Russian Empire – led by Peter the Great – and the Order at the time when it ruled the island of Malta.

The exhibition was inaugurated in the presence of the Lieutenant of the Grand Master Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, members of the Sovereign Council and some 300 people including envoys of the Catholic and Orthodox churches, diplomats, representatives of Italian institutions, civil and cultural authorities.
The excellence of the Russian craftsmen, capable of constantly renewing the spiritual message while maintaining the figurative tradition, is proved by the artworks exhibited. Some icons come from famous studios and workshops, while others have arrived from Russian regions in which local schools and styles of iconography developed.

The project, sponsored by the Embassy of the Russian Federation to the Holy See and to the Sovereign Order of Malta and by the Grand Magistry of the Sovereign Order of Malta, was promoted by the Sovrintendenza ai Beni Culturali of the city of Rome. The cooperation of two important museums in Moscow, the Andrey Rublev Central Museum of Ancient Russian Art and Culture and the Private Museum of the Russian Icon founded by Mikhail Abramov, was fundamental.

As the Lieutenant of the Grand Master Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto wrote in the introduction to the exhibition catalogue “I am confident that the splendour of these works will promote a greater and better knowledge of the Russian spiritual and artistic heritage and reinforce dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox religions”.

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