- The first ever account of women artists under Europe’s most resolute empress, Catherine the Great.
- Revelatory discussion of the Russian patrons and connections of celebrated as well as overlooked artists, illuminating what it meant to be a woman painter or sculptor not only in 18th-century Russia, but in Europe as a whole.
Catherine the Great’s audacious power grab in 1762 marked a watershed in imperial Russian history. During a momentous 34-year reign, her rapacious vision and intellectual curiosity led to vast territorial expansion, cultural advancement, and civic, educational and social reform. In this pioneering book, Rosalind Blakesley reveals the remarkable role women artists played in her pursuit of these ambitions. With challenging commissions for an elite cast of Russian patrons, their work underscores the extent to which cultural enrichment co-existed with the empress’s imperial designs.
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