Cover image for Valentin Serov : portraits of Russia's silver age
Valentin Serov : portraits of Russia's silver age
Valkenier, Elizabeth Kridl.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Evanston, Ill. : Northwestern University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xvi, 277 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 23 cm.
1. Child of the intelligentsia -- 2. The Mamontov circle -- 3. Diaghilev and the miriskusniki -- 4. Merchants and entrepreneurs -- 5. Imperial portraits -- 6. Women's portraits -- 7. Serov and modernism.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND1329.S47 V35 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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At the age of 23, in 1888, Valentin Serov burst onto the Moscow art scene with his portrait, Girl with Peaches. Painted in the Impressionist manner, this debut work heralded the change from 19th-century realism to 20th-century modernism in Russia. He quickly became the pre-eminent portraitist of Russia's Silver Age.

Author Notes

Elizabeth Kridl Valkenier is Resident Scholar at Columbia University's Harriman Institute. Her other works include Ilya Repin and the World of Russian Art and Russian Realist Art.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This book has been needed for a long time. Serov (1865-1911) is a key figure in efflorescence of Russian culture, but Soviet scholarship could give him his due--in part because he painted portraits of the rich and powerful of his time. Then, too, Western critics have been so mesmerized by the achievements of the avant-garde that they have paid little attention to him. Now Valkenier (Columbia Univ.) provides this fine book that shows Serov's complex relationship within the rapid social, economic, and cultural dynamics of his time. These relationships began with his parents, who were both composers, and continued with Ilya Repin, a major painter who became both a mentor and a surrogate father to the prodigiously gifted boy. Valkenier ably and thoughtfully describes the artists and patrons that affected Serov's career as no one has done before in any language. She has a wonderful gift for synthesis--a much-needed feature of post-Soviet writing on Russian culture. Highly recommended for all levels of readers. J. M. Curtis emeritus, University of Missouri--Columbia

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Chapter 1 Child of the Intelligentsiap. 3
Chapter 2 The Mamontov Circle: Alternative Traditionsp. 30
Chapter 3 Diaghilev and the Miriskusnikip. 61
Chapter 4 Merchants and Entrepreneurs: The New Wealthp. 91
Chapter 5 Imperial Portraits: A Changing View of Autocracyp. 121
Chapter 6 Women's Portraits: Sexuality and Intelligentsia Valuesp. 147
Chapter 7 Serov and Modernismp. 180
Chronologyp. 213
Notesp. 221
Works Citedp. 245
Indexp. 255