Moscow and St. Petersburg 1900-1920

Art, Life and Culture of the Russian Silver Age
By John E. Bowlt

At the turn of the 20th century, against the backdrop of the pomp and circumstance of the Imperial court and the rumblings of social unrest, Moscow and St Petersburg experienced a sudden, brilliant flowering of the visual, literary and performing arts. Known in Russia as the Silver Age, this cultural renaissance is captured in all of its dazzling originality in this sumptuously illustrated volume.

This gorgeous book chronicles the extraordinary cultural achievements of the period, with many of the dancers, composers and artists associated with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes represented in its pages. Bowlt puts the astonishing creativity of the Ballets Russes within its proper social and artistic context here – its Russian context, rather than the context of the arts in Western Europe. The book also charts the birth of Russia’s Modernist avant-garde and its adherents, giving attention to both world-renowned artists and those whose names may be unfamiliar.

Boasting some 650 illustrations, this book is a breath-taking visual history of the Silver Age, excellent for dipping into again and again. With a clear, authoritative text, helpful glossary and extensive bibliography, Moscow & St Petersburg 1900-1920 will appeal to the specialist and to anyone captivated by Russian history and culture. What an eye-opening gift for a pre-professional ballet student!

The Vendome Press, 2008. Hardback, 395 pages.