Soon after her arrival in Russia in 1744 the future Catherine the Great lamented the pitiful scarcity of furniture in the Imperial palaces. Within less than a hundred years those palaces, and the grandiose apartments which sprang up alongside them in the burst of building activity that gripped Russia at the end of the eighteenth century, were filled with magnificent furniture, as befitted their sumptuous decor. Russia had enjoyed a cultural renaissance, in which the skills of decorative artists were nurtured as never before, and out of this ferment emerged an autonomous Russian style, distinguished by its exhilerating freedom of expression and ornamentation, its exceptional diversity of forms and materials, and the dazzling virtuosity of its craftsmanship. This remarkable period and the flamboyant style it engendered have only recently excited interest in the West; literature on this subject is not only scarce, but also largely written in Russian. Russian Furniture - the culmination of many years' research in the Soviet Union and the West - is therefore valuable as a comprehensive study in English of the development and evolution of Russian furnture styles during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Antoine Chenviere examines the period chronologically and highlights particulat artists such as David Roentgen, Heinrich Gambs and Andrei Voronikin.Über den Autor:
Antoine Cheneviere was born in Switzerland and later studied at the school of Beaux-Arts in Geneva. He furthered his studies in Milan and Paris and developed a passion for Russian furniture. In 1976 he opened his first gallery in Geneva and then in London in 1985. As a specialist dealer, Antoine Cheneviere realised the lack of information on this subject and decided to write a book which is the only complete study on Russian furniture. He has become an international authority on Russian furniture and his advice is sought by collectors and museums.
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