ABOUT THIS BOOK
The Petrine Revolution in Russian Imagery is the second volume of James Cracraft's comprehensive study of the cultural revolution engineered in Russia by Peter the Great. Throughout the study, Cracraft explores how medieval Muscovey became modern Russia, and situates the Petrine revolution in Russian visual and verbal culture in its wider political, economic, and social setting.
In this second volume of the series, Cracraft considers the impact of Peter's intensive program of Europeanization on the visual arts, and shows how modern forms of imagery came into being in Russia along with allied techniques of image-making.
Drawing on a wealth of primary sources as well as numerous secondary works in Russian and other languages, Cracraft discusses the advent in Russia of painting in the Renaissance tradition, bronze and stone sculpture, and the modern graphic arts. He also discusses the decline of manuscript illumination, the rise of modern coinage, the production of new-style flags and altar cloths, and the arrival in Russia of the new cartography and the new heraldry. Cracraft draws special attention to the early history of the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts, and to the impact of Peter's program on popular imagery and on the cult art of the Russian Orthodox Church. He argues in sum that the imagery of the Russian Empire can tell us as much or more about its dominant ethos and ideology as can the written texts normally studied by historians.
Like its predecessor, The Petrine Revolution in Russian Architecture, this second volume presents a highly original argument supported by numerous illustrations, many of them not previously published. It will appeal to art historians as well as to those more generally interested in European or modern history.