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Valentin Serov: Portraits of Russia's Silver Age
by Elizabeth Valkenier
Northwestern University Press, 2001
eISBN: 978-0-8101-2149-2 | Paper: 978-0-8101-1826-3
Library of Congress Classification ND1329.S47V35 2001
Dewey Decimal Classification 759.7

Valentin Serov (1865-1911) burst onto the art scene at the age of twenty-two with his portrait Girl with Peaces. In a short time he became the preeminent portraitist of Russia's Silver Age.

Elizabeth Kridl Valkenier weds art criticism to social history in her study of Serov. She casts the artist's work against the Gilden Age of turn-of-the-century Russia, an era when money and consumption abounded and revolutionary change was taking place at all levels of society. Painting prominent people of the day in business, government, the nobility, and the arts, Serov created a gallery of Russia's important figures--figures seen with a sharp eye and painted with subtle irony.

"An elegant monument to one of Russia's most vibrant painters and a model of intellectual inquiry into the cultural effervescence that so characterized the twilight of Imperial Russia." --John E. Bowlt, University of Southern California

"Serov emerges both as a subtle and versatile artist and a perceptive observer of Russian upper-class life and attitudes." --Richard Wortman, Columbia University

"This shrewd and witty book will tell art historians as much about Russian history and society as it will tell historians and sociologists about Russian art." --Richard Taruskin, author of Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions "Valkenier ably and thoughtfully describes the artists and patrons that affected Serov's career as no one has done before in any language. She has a wonderful gift for synthesis." --Choice "Serov is rightly viewed as a figure of immense cultural importance, an assessment which this book will do much to initiate amongst the uninformed, or consolidate amongst Serov's many admirers." --Russian Review

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