The Summer Palaces of the Romanovs: Treasures from Tsarskoye Selo

Edited by Emmanuel Ducamp, photos by Marc Walter. Thames and Hudson, $100 in a flat box (360p) ISBN 978-0-500-51647-8
Russia's massive Tsarskoye Selo—a summer residence for Russian czars that was a gift from Peter the Great to his wife, Catherine—gets the royal treatment in this voluminous study. Readers will certainly appreciate Russian historian Ducamp's meticulous efforts, as well as essays from experts on the stonework, furnishings, textiles, and the like, but it's Walter's rich photographs that will hold the greatest and most lasting appeal for fans of Russian art and architecture. Closeups of sleeping marble cherubs, stucco details, and highly intricate parquet floors, not to mention the countless portraits of the site's magnificent Neoclassical interiors, combine with majestic shots of the Greek columns lining the Cameron Gallery, and snow-covered pavilions, to give the reader a true sense of place. Each of the book's images is accompanied by a detailed description of the intended use of the room, materials used, or its impact on its surroundings, giving context to the often overwhelming details. Painstakingly organized, this is a fitting tribute to one of the world's true architectural wonders. 336 illus., 298 in color. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/05/2012
Release date: 11/01/2012
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