A History of Russian Architecture

William Craft Brumfield, Author
William Craft Brumfield, Author Cambridge University Press $140 (656p) ISBN 978-0-521-40333-7
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 05/01/1993
Paperback - 744 pages - 978-0-295-98393-6
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Sweeping from masonry churches of Kievan Rus to the prefabricated, industrialized buildings of the post-Stalinist era, this detailed, magnificently illustrated history firmly places Russian architecture in a cultural context. Brumfield, a professor of Slavic languages at Tulane University, traces an ``architecture of national survival'' from late medieval votive churches, which reflected a succession of czars' suspicion of Western culture, through Peter the Great's pragmatic adaptation of northern baroque, to 1930s totalitarian pseudoclassicism. He examines Russia's creative assimilation of foreign influences into distinctive forms, whether in neoclassical palaces, festive polychrome churches with gilded onion domes, log houses, the eclectic ``style moderne'' of Moscow's Hotel Metropole or the international modernism of 1920s constructivists. This welcome survey is an expanded revision of Gold in Azure: One Thousand Years of Russian Architecture , published by Godine in 1983. (July)
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