Russian Art Week

Having the largest Russian rare books department in the West means that we tend to live every week in a perpetual celebration of Russian art and culture. But Russian Art Week 2016 is here, and as such we are particularly excited to take part in the seven-day vodovorot of exhibitions, auctions and festivities.  For the occasion we have prepared a plethora of great events, among them the release of a brand new online Russian catalogue, an exclusively Russian display in our Mayfair shop and, in our gallery, an exciting new exhibition by Moscow-based Kazakh artist Amanita.

Recent acquisitions: Russian books and Rossica XVIII – XX centuries

For this new catalogue we have gathered our finest recent acquisitions of Russian books and Rossica. Composed chronologically, the list includes some exceptionally rare literary and historic works, travel accounts and illustrated editions.

Bruce's Calendar, 1910.

Bruce’s Calendar, 1910.

Among them you will find an early edition of the famous Bruce’s calendar, “Книга, именуемая Брюсовской календарь”, a book rarely found complete. It was compiled by a Russian statesman of Scottish descent, Count Jacob Bruce, during the reign of Peter the Great. Besides astronomic information it included an astrological forecast for more than a hundred years, which stirred up strong public interest and prompted numerous imitations and re-editions.

Also presented in our catalogue is an extremely rare Russian translation of the History of the Old and New Testament, a famous interpretation of the Bible written originally by de Royaumont in French. This item is particularly sought after due to its rarity (it is even absent from the Russian State Library) and its beautifully engraved illustrations, of which there are over one hundred. Our example is of Imperial provenance coming from the library of Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich of Russia (1831 – 1891), a son of Tsar Nicholas I and Alexandra Feodorovna.

Another unusual acquisition is a complete set of The Russian Economic Review, an émigré periodical published in Prague during 1925-28, and revealing the economic reality behind the well-polished propagated data of the early Soviet Union and the New Economic Policy [НЭП].

Click here to discover the complete list of items.

A Russian display

A tour of our ground floor shop this week will equally thrill both fans of Cyrillic and military dress alike, for our finest Russian items have been displayed for Russian Art Week.  These items are available to be viewed on request all year round; it is a simple misfortune that their permanent lodging on the second floor offers them only occasional visits to the front of house.
Among our staff favourites are the manuscript notes of Catherine the Great, handwritten during her 1784 project on linguistics, and an early original drawing by Alexander Orlowski, an artist revered by Alexander Pushkin.

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Handwriting of Catherine the Great, from the Comparative Dictionary of All the Languages and Dialects, 1784.

Convoy of Cossacks, Alexander Orlowski, 1799.

Convoy of Cossacks, Alexander Orlowski, 1799.

Amanita at Shapero Modern

Detail from 'Untitled', Commoonism Series, 2016. (Pencil, India ink on paper.)

Detail from ‘Untitled’, Commoonism Series, 2016. (Pencil, India ink on paper.)

We are delighted to present Encyclopaedia, a new show by Moscow-based artist Amanita from June 3rd to June 16th in our modern gallery. Composed of twenty pen-and-ink drawings, the collection is formed of five series: ComMOONism, Revolution, Eastern Calendar, Oil and Barrels. Not only captivating in their acute detail, Amanita’s works also gracefully navigate the murky waters of politics while conveying a wry humour rarely achieved in contemporary art.

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Detail from ‘Untitled’, Commoonism Series, 2016. (Pencil, India ink on paper.)

Says curator Sasha Markvo: ‘Amanita is an artist of exceptional gifts and imagination, and I’m delighted and privileged to present the first survey of his pen and ink drawings in London. While Russian influences are evident in all his work, so too are those of Europe and Asia which lends it a universal quality. His is a unique talent, one that provokes and delights in equal measure.’

The exhibition will run in the Shapero Modern gallery from June 2nd to June 16th, Monday to Friday 9:30am – 6:30pm, and Saturdays 11am – 5pm.

Click here for more information.

And click here to see the photos of the preview party!

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