Visualizing Russia

Fedor Solntsev and Crafting a National Past


The Romantic search for a national past was a European preoccupation in the first half of the nineteenth century. In Russia, this process led to the formation of the Russian style that has to today so captivated the world's imagination. While the manifestations of this style are easily recognizable in gleaming gilt, vibrant colors, onion domes, peasant costume, and tsarist regalia, hardly anyone has realized the pioneering and defining role that Fedor Solntsev (1801-1892) played in the development of a Russian national aesthetic. This book rescues Solntsev from obscurity and celebrates his major contributions to the arts, archaeology, architecture, ethnography, icon painting, restoration work, and Russian nationalist ideology as well as place his work in a general European context.

Contributors include: Marc Raeff, Wendy Salmond, Richard Wortman, Anne Odom, Irina Bogatskaia, Marina Evtushenko, Olenka Pevny, Irina Reyfman, Nathaniel Knight, Lauren M. O'Connell, and J. Robert Wright.

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EUR €148.00USD $182.00

Biographical Note

Cynthia Hyla Whittaker, Ph.D (1971), Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, is Professor History at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and chair of the department at Baruch. She has published widely on Russian history and culture of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Table of contents

List Of Illustrations
Romanov Rulers Of Russia: A Chart

Preface The Need to Craft a National Past
Marc Raeff
Introduction Fedor Solntsev and Crafting the Image of a Russian National Past: The Context
Wendy Salmond and Cynthia Hyla Whittaker
Chapter One Solntsev, Olenin, and the Development of a Russian National Aesthetic
Richard Wortman
Chapter Two A Revolution in Russian Design: Solntsev and the Decorative Arts
Anne Odom
Chapter Three Solntsev’s Role in Preserving the Treasures of the Moscow Kremlin
Irina Bogatskaia
Chapter Four Solntsev and the Reform of Icon Painting
Marina Evtushenko
Chapter Five In Solntsev’s Footsteps: Adrian Prakhov and the Representation of Kievan Rus’
Olenka Pevny
Chapter Six The Material World of Kievan Rus’ in the Historical Novels of the Nicholaevan Era
Irina Reyfman



All those interested in Russian history and culture, especially students and specialists in art, architecture, the decorative and visual arts, and the interconnections of nationalism and the arts.

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