OUT OF PRINT In the early nineteenth century Paris was an irresistible attraction for thousands of British tourists, among whom were many painters. There was an unprecedented interest in views of the city, and artists responded to this excitement with an extraordinary range of works, from simple pencil views to the most elaborate watercolours. It is this remarkable contribution of the British to the iconography of Paris, and the fact that it was in the early nineteenth century that the French capital became the major destination for mass middle-class tourism that it has remained ever since, that justifies the title of this publication – The Discovery of Paris. More
Late & Post Modern
Russia: A World Apart
Cloth, 275 x 275 mm, 144 pages, 80 illus.
ISBN: 978 0 957379 50 3
Simon Marsden and Duncan McLaren
Russia: A World Apart is a haunting evocation of the ruined country estates of the Russian aristocracy of the 18th and 19th centuries. Revolution, civil war, invasion, anarchy and casual indifference have conspired against many of the grand buildings of Russia’s rich and complex past. The architectural riches of Moscow and St Petersburg still exist for everyone to see, but when the photographer Simon Marsden and author Duncan McLaren entered the Russian countryside, away from the obvious tourist trails, they encountered a very different world.
McLaren relates how “The further from Moscow and St Petersburg, the more desolate and derelict the landscape became. Endless pot-holed roads pass through one dead or dying village after another whose vandalized churches are now the refuge of owls and pigeons. This is the plight of modern-day Russia where the countryside is dying and its population declining while the big cities are thriving. Hidden away within all this desolation and chaos, many devastated country estates can be found. The statuary and formal gardens gone forever, replaced by an overgrown wilderness where stray dogs forage amongst the crumbling outhouses, garbage and rotting tyres.”
This book, the result of four trips undertaken by Marsden and McLaren, illustrates a diverse mix of pre-revolutionary buildings and memorials, manor houses, palaces, churches, statuary and tombs, interspersed with more recent monuments from Soviet times. Each picture tells its own tale. In the newly found freedom and optimism of the post-communist era, some of these estates are being restored by individuals and organisations whose immense dedication to rescuing their past is nothing short of inspiring. Others will simply crumble to dust in the face of indifference from the majority of the population making Russia: A World Apart a beautiful and melancholy testament to the glories and grandeur of the past few centuries.
Sir Simon Marsden (1948–2012) is one of the most collected photographers in the world. He is best known for his evocative, atmospheric black-and-white images of haunted houses, ruins and churchyards. Examples of his work are held by the Arts Council, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Saatchi Collection, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, and the J Paul Getty Museum in Malibu. Duncan McLaren, former director of Sotheby’s Europe, is a highly regarded art dealer and advisor. This the third of their publications, following the highly successful In Ruins: The Once Great Houses of Ireland (English, French and German edn, 1980, 1981, 1997. Out of print) and Beyond the Wall: The Lost World of East Germany (English and German edn, 1999. Limited hardback now £160).
This book is first published to accompany the major exhibition at Compton Verney, ‘The Artist’s Studio’, staged at this great Adam-designed country house in Warwickshire. This rarely studied subject is covered in expert essays based upon new research from the late sixteenth century to the present day, focusing upon artists from Rembrandt and Courbet, via Rossetti and Cézanne to Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon. More