Woven tapestry ‘The cat, the herring, and more tall tales from the Neva’ (170x750cm) produced at the TextielMuseum/TextielLab by Dutch designer Koen Taselaar.

Photo: Tommy de Lange

Tapestry by the TextielMuseum and Koen Taselaar celebrates cultural relations between the Netherlands and Russia

Colourful and humorous, the woven tapestry tells the story of Tsar Peter the Great and celebrates more than three centuries of Russian-Dutch cultural ties.
9 December 2020

The last exhibit received by the State Hermitage museum in Saint Petersburg is a woven tapestry designed by Dutch artist Koen Taselaar. The almost eight-metre-long tapestry has found its place on one of the walls of the Carriage Barn of the Restoration and Storage Center of the State Hermitage museum. The tapestry was produced by the TextielLab of the TextielMuseum in October 2020 and handed over to the Restoration and Storage Center later in November 2020, crossing closed borders and facing many challenges due to the COVID pandemic.

Incredible plots of the tapestry – such as the Russian emperors Peter the Great, Catherine II, Nicholas II, the cats of the Hermitage, the Neva and the New Holland island, the Kunstkamera museum, mice, fish, birds – and the whole magical and recognizable world of history of the bilateral relations between the Netherlands and Russia have now become part of the State Hermitage Museum. The project that lasted for more than 1,5 years initiated by the Hermitage XXI Century Foundation, Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Saint Petersburg and TextielMuseum/TextielLab is created as an unusual gift and basis for a learning process for the youth to the State Hermitage on the threshold of the 350th anniversary of Peter the Great.

‘The cat, the herring, and more tall tales from the Neva’

The woven tapestry was presented on 4 December at the State Hermitage Museum, watch it here (07:28-46:35).

Check out the complete overview of Dutch cultural activities in Russia in our database. If you are a cultural professional who wants to cooperate with Russia, feel free to contact our Russia advisor Lenka Boswijk.