The Empress and the Architect: British Architecture and Gardens at the Court of Catherine the Great

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New Haven 1996 Hardcover New in New dust jacket 0300065647. 4to 11"-13" tall; vii, 273 pages; A new, unread hardbound copy in the dustjacket. Dust jacket has an ever so tiny ... tear. Additional postage charge will be requested for overseas mailing. Read more Show Less

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In August 1779, Charles Cameron, a Scottish architect based in London, set sail for St. Petersburg. He had been summoned by Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, to create a magnificent architectural setting for the splendours and extravagances of her court - most especially the two luxurious palace ensembles outside St. Petersburg at Tsarskoye Selo and Pavlovsk. His reputation prior to his arrival in Russia was based almost entirely on his authorship of a book on the baths of ancient Rome - he had built nothing as yet - but while serving as Architect to Her Imperial Majesty, Cameron was responsible for some of the most dazzling and original architectural creations of the eighteenth century. This book tells a fascinating story of enterprise, initiative, amazing patronage and very remarkable architectural achievements on a large scale, all of which took place within a unique historical and cultural context. Dimitri Shvidkovsky weaves together the intriguing, and still not completely documented biography of an enigmatic architect - possibly a Jacobite rebel and exile - and the life of the great Russian ruler, Catherine II. This is set against the backdrop of the rapidly developing influence of British culture on Russian society. Architects, park designers and gardeners from England and Scotland were to be found in every part of Russia by the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century, helping to establish a particular form of design whose cultural impact was made all the more dramatic by its adoption and development by native Russian architects and designers. This book, ravishingly illustrated with views of the palaces and gardens of imperial Russia - many now destroyed - places Russian architecture and garden design of the neo-classical period within its European context for the first time, and explores the hitherto neglected connections between British and Russian architecture of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It of
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Shvidkovsky (history, Moscow Inst. of Architecture) tells a fascinating story of the fate of Scottish architect Charles Cameron, who never built a building until being summoned by Catherine the Great. Cameron rose up to play a central role in the restructuring of Russia (1760-1811, with repercussions into 1830) and to become the only man in Russia to have a building bear his name. Cameron's clear, bold presentation of Classicism was not rigid but infused with a concern for emotional appeal, providing a filter for the Russian spirit. Two of his most famous works are analyzed in depth here, with subsequent chapters devoted to Russian neo-Gothic style and the later architectural/ garden design developments of fellow Scots Adam Menlaws and William Hastie. British influence on Russian architecture is delineated nicely throughout the text. Recommended for most history of architecture collections.Nadine Dalton Speidel, Cuyahoga Cty. P.L., Parma, Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300065640
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 282
  • Product dimensions: 10.04 (w) x 11.53 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Charles Cameron 11
2 The Artistic Worlds of Tsarskoye Selo 41
3 Pavlovsk 117
4 Orientalism in Russian Neo-Classical Architecture 167
5 Russian Neo-Gothic in the Age of Classicism 185
6 Adam Menelaws and William Hastie 225
Abbreviations 252
Notes 253
Bibliography 262
Index 268
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