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ROMANOV, Grand Duke Mikhailovich (editor).

Russkie portrety XVIII i XIX stoletii. Portraits Russes des XVIII et XIX Siècles.

Russian Portraits of the 18th and 19th centuries.

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St Petersburg, Ekspeditsiya zagotovleniya gos. bumag [State Press], 1905

A superb copy of this great typographic and historical enterprise, gathering biographies and portraits of more than 1000 important figures from Russian history during a rich and eventful period from Catherine the Great (1762) to Alexander I (1825).

Serge Diaghilev curated the monumental exhibition at the Tauride Palace in 1905 that brought together portraits from noble estates and private collections from across the Empire. With the assistance of Bakst, Benois, Lanceray and Dobuzhinsky it was celebrated as the greatest cultural feat the nation had ever seen, as well as Diaghilev's finest achievement in his homeland.

In the preface, the Grand Duke states that he intended to create a permanent record of these works should anything happen to the physical paintings. It is unlikely he realised just how prophetic these words were. During the Civil War many of the canvases in Russian Portraits were lost or damaged and the present work has therefore

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First edition, one of only 600 copies; 6 volumes bound in 11 parts, folio; 1087 plates, 250 of which are full-page heliogravures and 837 are smaller collotypes, each portrait is accompanied by text in French and Russian, each leaf is stamped 'les portraits russes', with the errarta and addenda slips and tables, incredibly fresh internally; contemporary half maroon morocco over marbled boards, with the original wrappers bound in, slight discolouration to bottom of the spine of one volume, otherwise in excellent condition.


Stock ID:102516

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