Ministry of Cultural Affairs of Russian Federation State Museum and Exhibition Center ROSIZO State Tretyakov Gallery State Russian Museum
Born in the spirit. Baptism of Russia and the triumph of Christian faith
Under the Virgin Mother’s Protection
Patrons and instructors. Veneration of saints in Russia and Russian saints.
Light in the wilderness. Monasteries in Russia
The Earthly Kingdom and the Heavenly Kingdom
Holy objects in everyday life
Heaven on Earth. Inside a Russian Orthodox Church
The Earthly Kingdom and the Heavenly Kingdom

…and God glorified the first Orthodox emperor Constantine and showed him a sign from above, the True Cross, the overcoming and conquest of enemies, and thus it was: he took up the scepter, the invincible weapon — the Orthodox faith in Christ — and conquered all enemies, and vanquished beneath his feet all foes, and ordained the Orthodox Christian faith of Apostolic tradition, and drove out heretics against Orthodoxy like wolves, and was called equal to the apostles. And now, in these last years, as in the first, God has blessed … the right-believing and Christ-loving prince Ivan Vasilievich, sovere - ign and autocrat of all Russia, the new emperor Constantine of the new Constantinople, Moscow, and all the Russian land and many other lands, for the Lord has said: Those who glorify Me I shall glorify — and his name and glory are exalted throughout the universe, and the Lord God shall give him a scepter, the invincible weapon against all foes, and he has vanquished the infidels under his feet, and the Lord God shall deliver all foes unto him, and he has confirmed the Orthodox faith in the Lord Christ and he has driven out heretics against Orthodoxy like wolves.

Metropolitan Zosimas,
Note on the Paschalia to the Year Eight Thousand

The strong union of Orthodox Christian faith with the power of the princes, grand dukes and later with the ruling tsars, inherited from Byzantium, inevitably gave a special sacred meaning to any authority acquired from God and determined the exceptional role of Christian sovereigns in worldly matters. These concepts become particularly important in Russia beginning in the second half of the 15th century with the fall of Constantinople, on the one hand, and the rise and growing influence of the Moscow State, on the other.

The important theme of the relations between the Church and the Russian State from the early period to the time of Alexei Mikhailovich and Peter the Great is reflected in this section of the exhibition in various documents, manuscripts, icons, works of applied art and liturgical plate. Among the latter stand out the precious royal donations to different churches and monasteries.