Treasures of Catherine the Great

Overview

Catherine the Great, famed 18th-century Empress of Russia, was not only one of history's most remarkable women, but also a voracious and astute collector. Her fabulous private horde of jewels, miniatures, clocks, porcelain, arms and armor, coins and medals, paintings, and other precious objects

is owned by the Hermitage Museum, which is housed in the former Winter Palace of the tsars in St. Petersburg. These are treasures fit for an empress; no...

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2001 Hardcover NEW * GIFT QUALITY. In Stock.

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Overview

Catherine the Great, famed 18th-century Empress of Russia, was not only one of history's most remarkable women, but also a voracious and astute collector. Her fabulous private horde of jewels, miniatures, clocks, porcelain, arms and armor, coins and medals, paintings, and other precious objects

is owned by the Hermitage Museum, which is housed in the former Winter Palace of the tsars in St. Petersburg. These are treasures fit for an empress; no one can even attempt to acquire their equal today.

This rich volume—published to coincide with the opening of the Hermitage Rooms at Somerset House, London, the museum's first permanent exhibition space outside Russia—presents the finest and most precious pieces from Catherine's collection in glorious full color. Among the rare objects included here, many of which have never before been reproduced, are a miniature of her lover Grigori Orlov painted on ivory; figures from a porcelain service given to Catherine by Frederick the Great of Prussia; Catherine's wig, made entirely of silver thread; filigree gold hairpins sent to her by the emperor of China; and much, much more. Expert texts set the works in context.

Author Biography: Mikhail B. Piotrovski is director of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Geraldine Norman is director of the Hermitage Rooms at Somerset House and author of several books on art. A well-known art journalist, she has worked as a correspondent for The Times and the Independent in London, where she lives.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This delightful and elegant catalog commemorates the inaugural exhibition of the Hermitage Rooms at Somerset House in London. The first exhibition focuses on the collection of one of the world's greatest patrons of the arts, Catherine the Great. The treasures are arranged by gallery and include brief descriptions and the provenance of each item on display. Short essays precede each of the sections and highlight Catherine's life, the objets de vertu at the Imperial Court, her love of cameos, antiquities, arts and crafts, and china and chinoiserie. Beautifully illustrated objects ranging from portraits and miniatures to sculpture, furniture, weapons, and porcelain dazzle and intrigue the viewer. Also included is a listing of the buildings of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, a time line of Catherine's life, and a list of the Romanov dynasty. Essential for any collection focusing on Russian culture and history, as well as other art collections in general. Stephen Allan Patrick, East Tennessee State Univ. Libs., Johnson City Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810967328
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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