Cover image for The Russian Museum : a centennial celebration of a national treasure
The Russian Museum : a centennial celebration of a national treasure
Gosudarstvennyĭ russkiĭ muzeĭ (Saint Petersburg, Russia)
Publication Information:
St. Petersburg : Palace Editions ; New York : Distributed by H.N. Abrams, 1998.
Physical Description:
263 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 34 cm


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6981 .G67 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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The Russian Museum in St Petersburg was founded by Czar Nicholas II in 1898, and now houses more than 400,000 works. This volume celebrates its centenary with a survey of the great sweep of Russian art from the late-Middle Ages to the present, spanning the superb icons of the 12th century and the provocative work of the 20th-century avant-garde.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

The descent of the Iron Curtain and the subsequent chill on relaxed cultural relations with Russia has left us without a clear view of the entire spectrum of Russian art through history. Although the Hermitage and the Tretyakov Gallery are familiar to some, the huge Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, with its 40,000 works of art, is terra incognita. Housed in a palace complex in the heart of the classical Russian capital, the Russian Museum is the official face of Russian art, from the Christianization of Russia in 989 to the present. Meant as an overview of these unfamiliar works, the book presents a splendid collection of early icons and a smattering of 18th- and 19th-century portraits and academic paintings, and almost half the book is devoted to a spirited selection of paintings from the revolutionary first three decades of this century. We are almost spared official Soviet art, but equally slighted is the present-day ferment of post-breakup painting and sculpture. All 295 plates are in color, and the majority are well printed at high resolution. Recommended for both public and academic libraries.‘David McClelland, Philadelphia, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Though overshadowed by the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Russian Museum, founded in 1898, is the largest repository of Russian art, with more than 400,000 works filling three palaces, most notably Carlo Rossi's Mikhailovsky Palace (1819-23). This survey is richly illustrated with first-rate color plates of works of art, mainly painting, but also with sculpture and applied and decorative arts; it is naturally selective but covers a wide range from early icons to Kandinsky and Chagall. Each of the six chronological sections has a lucid introduction by the Director or Deputy Director, all preceded by an excellent introductory history of the museum. The first section on icons and early applied arts is one of the richest, with works by Dionisus and Andrei Rublev, and is followed by material on the 18th century (no 17th century). The early 19th century, rich in portraits by Brullov, and the later 19th century, stressing Repin and Levitan, the leading masters of the time, are followed by two sections on the turn of the century and the 20th-century overlap; this part will be greatly interesting to most readers as it includes modern works by Natalia Goncharova, Kandinsky, Tatlin, Malevich, and Chagall as well as, inevitably, works of Soviet social realism. Excellent plates of the museum rooms. A beautifully illustrated survey. General readers; upper-division undergraduate and graduate students. T. J. McCormick; emeritus, Wheaton College (MA)