This beautifully illustrated book, the first full survey in English of Makovskyís career, positions his work at the crossroads between late Imperial St. Petersburg, Belle-Epoque Paris, and America during the Gilded Age. Three great canvases celebrating Russiaís traditional wedding customs unify this survey: A Boyar Wedding Feast (1883), which launched Makovsky on a long career as a celebrity painter of historical genre scenes, Choosing the Bride (1887), and The Russian Brideís Attire (1889). All are explored through outstanding photography, including close-up details, published here for the first time.
Four fascinating essays trace the career path of this Russian artist eager for international fame. Wendy Salmond begins by establishing the Russian milieu. Russell E. Martin highlights the historical sources, artifacts and costumes on which Makovsky relied for his scenes of seventeenth-century private life. Wilfried Zeisler reveals the artistís little-known Paris period, exploring also his Orientalist paintings inspired by the Middle East and North Africa. Wendy Salmond investigates the American audienceís enthusiastic reception of Makovskyís paintings. That Makovskyís canvases acquired real celebrity status among a broad American public invites intriguing questions about the nature of the international art world and the place there of Russian artists in the late nineteenth century. A valuable bibliography brings together resources on the artist.