Library Journal - Library JournalTwo titles from an extensive series on paintings by European and Russian masters in Russian collections, these volumes display strengths and weaknesses. On the plus side, they make available scholarly and visual information on some great paintings previously documented only scantily or poorly reproduced. Both titles overview the artist's entire spectrum of activity but focus appropriately on the works in Russia. (The Poussin volume states that it deals with all his works in Russia; the Rubens volume's extent is unclear.) On the negative side, the translated texts, both written by Russian museum curators, are plodding, with little spark and very heavily laden with both facts and generalitiesan accomplishment. Summary biographical essays are ill matched to the provenance-oriented catalog entries on each piece. And the plates, which include many details, are rather uniformly oleaginous and occasionally less than sharp. The volumes on major artists in this publisher's series can be recommended for specialist collections because of their factual content on works seldom seen; the titles on Russian artists will have less competition from other publications and may be of broader interest.Jack Perry Brown, Art Inst. of Chicago Lib.
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