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Treasures from the Kremlin

Sizov, E. S., and colleagues of the State Museums of the Moscow Kremlin
223 pages
220 illustrations
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The Kremlin in Moscow is one of the world's greatest repositories of Russian art. Gold and silver objects of astounding beauty, arms and armor, icons, ceremonial equestrian trappings, textiles, and incomparable Russian needlework are preserved in the seven museums and churches that comprise the State Museums of the Moscow Kremlin. Magnificent objects from these, including masterworks of Western European art from the Kremlin collections, are pictured in Treasures from the Kremlin. More than two hundred illustrations, half of them reproduced in full color, reveal objects of extraordinary artistic excellence and historical significance ranging from the twelfth to the twentieth century.

Treasures from the Kremlin grew out of the great exhibition of Russian art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Six curators of the Kremlin museums offer engrossing and authoritative essays about their individual subjects.

Starting with such fabled medieval works as the twelfth-century silver-gilt chalice of Yurii Dolgorukii, founder of Moscow, and the icon The Savior of the Fiery Eye, we move on to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. During this period Moscow became the political, religious, and artistic center of Russia, and the decorative arts reached the height of their splendor. Within the walls of the Kremlin, the churches and palaces blazed with an incredible profusion of artworks. From the Armory, which was the private treasury of the czars, came masterworks of the goldsmith's and the armorer's art. The damascened helmet of Ivan the Terrible's son and the coat of mail worn by Boris Godunov are illustrated in this volume.

Here too are enameled saddles; silver bridle chains, flagons, and platters; exquisite gold liturgical vessels and pearl-embroidered hangings from the Kremlin's churches. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are also generously represented. A brilliant closing note comes from the atelier of the peerless Carl Faberge—an early twentieth-century representation of the Kremlin itself, executed in gold and jewels. A selected bibliography and an index of Russian names further enhance the scope of Treasures from the Kremlin.

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Gosudarstvennye muzei Moskovskogo Kremli︠a︡, E. S. Sizov, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), and Galeries nationales du Grand Palais (France), eds. 1979. Treasures from the Kremlin. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art : distributed by H. N. Abrams.