Catherine the Great’s reign marked a watershed in Russian history, with vast territorial expansion, town planning, and construction across the empire, and civic, educational, and social reform. Determined to position herself as a paragon of the Enlightenment, the empress acquired celebrated artworks and collections for her Hermitage, while the quest to promote professional artists led her to champion Russia’s young Academy of Arts. This book reveals the remarkable role that women artists played in Catherine’s pursuit of these ambitions, and the way in which their commissions from a glittering array of Russian patrons extended artistic practice and enriched cultural life.
About the Author
Rosalind P. Blakesley, a prize-winning author and academic, is Professor of Russian and European Art at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge. She has curated exhibitions including Russia and the Arts (National Portrait Gallery, London, 2016), and authored books including The Russian Canvas: Painting in Imperial Russia, 1757-1881 (Yale University Press, 2016) and The Arts and Crafts Movement (Phaidon Press, 2006).