Photographs by a Russian Writer: An Undiscovered Portrait of Pre-Revolutionary Russia

Leonid Andreyev, Author Thames & Hudson $35 (144p) ISBN 978-0-500-54143-2
In 1978 Davies, a University of Leeds England lecturer in Russian studies, happened on these 80 color and 30 black-and-white photographs taken by Russian writer Andreyev between 1910 and 1914. Mostly portraits of family and friends, the pictures suggest the halcyon comforts of life at Andreyev's dacha on the Gulf of Finland, where he played with his son, went boating on Distant One , his yacht, entertained and wrote late into the night. More than a few are self-por traits of a somewhat self-conscious hero deep in thought. A man of many hobbies, the writer remarked, ``If I were Tsar, I'd make everyone take up photography''; Andreyev's ``lack of moderation was his chief characteristic . . . he was drawn to everything colossal,'' attested a friend. Readers will be charmed by his love of a fledgling art and his ``soft and impressionable'' soul, which responded with affection to the beauties of landscape and the pleasures of home and travel (``We went out of town to the Via Appia today, but the wind was so strong and there was so much dust from the cars that Anichka sneezed all her innards out.'') (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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