The first full survey of Konstantin Makovsky’s (1839-1915) career in English, this beautifully illustrated new volume positions his work at the crossroads between late Imperial St. Petersburg, Belle-Époque Paris and Gilded Age America. Three great canvases celebrating Russia’s traditional aristocratic wedding customs unify this survey: A Boyar Wedding Feast (1883), Choosing the Bride (1887), and The Russian Bride’s Attire (1889). All are explored through outstanding photography, including close-up details.
Makovsky’s early career blossomed in late 19th-century St. Petersburg, where he became painter to the Tsar’s court. His popularity soon spread far beyond Russia. He lived and worked in Paris and then America, where he and his paintings acquired celebrity status.
Four essays trace the career of this Russian artist eager for international fame. Wendy Salmond begins by establishing the Russian milieu. Russell E. Martin highlights the historical sources, artefacts and costumes which Makovsky used to create his scenes of 17th-century life. Wilfried Zeisler reveals the artist’s little-known Paris period, and also explores his paintings inspired by visits to the Middle East and North Africa. Finally Wendy Salmond investigates the America’s enthusiastic reception of Makovsky’s paintings.
Wendy Salmond is professor of art and art history, Chapman University, Orange, CA
Wilfried Zeisler is the chief curator at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, Washington, DC.
Russell E. Martin is professor of history, Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA