This is the first book to show the development of Russian architecture over the past thousand years as a part of the history of Western architecture. Dmitry Shvidkovsky, Russia's leading architectural historian, departs from the accepted notion that Russian architecture developed independently of outside cultural influences and demonstrates that, on the contrary, the influence of the West extends back to the tenth century and continues into the present. He offers compelling assessments of all the main masterpieces of Russian architecture and frames a radically new architectural history for Russia.
The book systematically analyses Russian buildings in relation to developments in European art, pointing out where familiar European features are expressed in Russian projects. Special attention is directed toward decorations based on Byzantine models; the heritage of Italian master builders and carvers; the impact of architects and others sent by Elizabeth I; the formation of the Russian Imperial Baroque; the Enlightenment in Russian art; and nineteenth- and twentieth-century European influences. With over three hundred specially commissioned photographs of sites throughout Russia and western Europe, this magnificent book is both beautiful and ground-breaking.