The Hermitage: The Biography of a Great Museum

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9780712665919: The Hermitage: The Biography of a Great Museum
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The Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg began as a showcase for the art treasures of the Tsars and reflects their legendary extravagance. It was nationalized by the Bolsheviks in 1917, and confiscated collections arrived after the Revolution. This is a biography of the Hermitage.

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Born from the desire of Peter the Great to be seen as rich and powerful, St Petersburg's Hermitage Museum was always an instrument of state policy as well as a centre of scholarship and the home of great paintings. Geraldine Norman's account is intriguing on the scandalous lives of Russia's baroque Tsars and how Catherine the Great was as brilliant as a collector of fine art and ancient treasures as she was ruthless in foreign and domestic policy. The dour absolutist Tsars of the 19th century inherited the museum as a chore; Lenin and Stalin saw it as a source of prestige and occasionally as a treasury to be sold off when times were hard. Norman is passionately bitter in her account of how scholars who backed the wrong theory were liable to end up purged; Stalin's mild interest and changing views on Caucasian linguistics and class struggle in lost Scythian civilisations, were things over which people got shot. She is inspirational on the siege of Leningrad and hopeful about the survival of a tradition of learning in new St. Petersburg. This is a book about far more than a collection of paintings; it records the lives and deaths of those dedicated to them.--Roz Kaveney

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780880641906: The Hermitage: The Biography of a Great Museum

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ISBN 10:  0880641908 ISBN 13:  9780880641906
Publisher: Fromm Intl, 1998
Hardcover

9780224043120: The Hermitage: The Biography of a Great Museum

Jonath..., 1997
Hardcover

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