cover image Kremlin & Its Treasures

Kremlin & Its Treasures

Rizzoli, Rodimzeva, Irina Aleksandrovna Rodimtseva. Rizzoli International Publications, $85 (356pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-0856-4

The Kremlin houses the largest Soviet museum as well as the seat of government, and with glasnost comes this singular volume produced by the U.S.S.R. that reveals a panoply of artistic masterpieces from a period spanning 15 centuries. Superior color photographs capture icons and frescoes, gold and silver smithery, armor and weapons, carriages, crowns, coronation robes and thrones, and church vestments. Featured as well are the architectural splendors of the Kremlin complex itself, which has undergone many renovations throughout its history, with fortress-castle towers, drawbridges, bulbous gilt domes and the exquisite interiors of the former cathedrals and palaces. The volume pictures Lenin's office and private apartment and extols the ""Kremlin period'' of his life (1918-22), which ``is characterized by the extremely important decisions he had to make as well as by the hard work he did.'' Downplayed is the post-Revolution seizure of privately owned artwork as public property. Rodimzeva is director of the Soviet department of museums, Rachmanov a Tass photojournalist and Raimann a German art restorer. (January 4)