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Imperial St.Petersburg from Peter the Great to Catherine II

written by D V Lioubin, Brigitte de Montclos

Skira | ISBN 9788876240164

Hardback – 320 pages

$72.00

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The myths and legends of Saint Petersburg come to life in this spectacular book that recounts the story of the city's first century of existence, from Peter I's decision to build a port on the inhospitable shores of the Neva in 1703 to the death of Catherine II in 1796. The book features 160 items and works of artreligious art, paintings, tapestries, porcelain, furniture, ceremonial regalia, jewellery and costumes, tableware, as well as sculpture, sketches, plans and models of the city, and more from the prestigious collections in the Hermitage Museum and the Saint Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts. A fascinating panorama unfolds, retracing the imperial splendor of the city. Having founded a town that was to be just a port, Peter the Great transformed it into his capital, regulating its construction and planning, choosing his architects from abroad. Plans, models, sketches, drawings, engravings and paintings tell the story of this masterly creation as well as of his sientific interests. Catherine II , woman of the Enlightenment, came to the throne in 1762. Paintings, engravings and watercolors in luminescent shades illustrate the final transformations of Saint Petersburg during her reign. The splendor of Saint Petersburg is evoked through a gallery of portraits of the most eminent figures who surrounded Catherine II. The exhibition re-creates her private world, what she called her "hermitage," in the Winter Palace, where she liked to receive her friends and admirers of her collections informally. Catherine II had a taste for the frivolous and spectacular but above all a taste for beauty, and her art collection reveals her to have been a highly enlightened connoisseur.

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