Hidden Treasures Revealed: Impressionist Masterpieces and Other Important French Paintings Preserved by the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg by Albert Kostenevich lands on the shelves of my shop, where it will be found in my Art section.
St. Petersburg: Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation; State Hermitage Museum in association with Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1995, Hardback in dust wrapper.
Contains: Colour plates; Black & white plates;
From the cover: This extraordinary volume presents in colour seventy-four important Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings by Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, van Gogh, Cezanne, Degas, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, and many others taken to Russia from Germany after the end of World War II and stored since then at the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. Only two of the works, almost all of which had previously been part of several private German collections, have been reproduced in colour before.
The paintings in this book were long thought to have been destroyed in the war. Only now has it been revealed that they spent the last half century hidden in the storerooms of the Hermitage, their existence a carefully guarded state secret. The special exhibition which this book accompanies, held in the spring of 1995 in St. Petersburg, marks the first public showing of any of the paintings in all of that time. The way they came to light is part of the story of the great changes that have swept Russia since the end of the Communist era.
Among the most famous works included here is Degass Place de la Concorde, also known as Viscount Lepic and His Daughters. Reproduced too are a pair of remarkable full-length portraits commissioned from Renoir by Georges Charpentier, the Parisian publisher, and Madame Charpentier, whose salon was a meeting place for the artistic elite of the city. There are in addition numerous works by Cezanne, including a view of Mont Sainte-Victoire, an important painting of bathers, and the self-portrait that Cezanne made as a reply to Renoirs portrait of him. Other outstanding paintings include several by van Gogh, among them his remarkable White House at Night, painted six weeks before his death and depicting the kind of nocturnal sky seen in his well-known Starry Night. The volume also encompasses paintings from earlier in the nineteenth century a still life by Delacroix, a work by Daumier from his Laundress series, two landscapes by Corot, and a Reclining Woman by Courbet that is closely related to his famous Woman with a Parrot. From the twentieth century, there is a landscape by Derain along with figure paintings by Picasso, Rouault, and Matisse.
The director of the State Hermitage Museum, Mikhail Piotrovsky, contributes a foreword to this volume, and each of the seventy-four rediscovered works has been provided with a commentary by curator Albert Kostenevich. Each work is shown in a superb colourplate, many of which are accompanied by full-page colour details. Some one hundred fifty comparative works and documentary photographs, reproduced in black-and-white, amplify the discussion, and provenance, bibliographies, and exhibition lists are provided for the paintings.
Hidden Treasures Revealed is the only book in which these long-lost paintings can be seen. It is an essential volume for scholars and curators and for all lovers of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art.
Introduction by: Dr. Yevgeny Sidorov
Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Leans slightly otherwise a very well presented copy.
Black boards with Gilt & Blind-stamped titling to the Spine & Upper Board. 292 pages. 11¼” x 9½”.