The first translation of this Soviet era art history book into English, Pskov Icons: 13th – 16th Centuries consists mostly of bright, full color renderings of 150 icons, many of which are rarely seen in the West.
“Academician Mikhail Alpatov is a prominent Soviet art historian and a well-known authority on the Pskov school of icon-painting. [...] The book opens with an introductory article by Alpatov which has been written specially for this volume. Presenting a panoramic survey of the Pskov school of painting, its place within the cultural continuum and its links with other branches of art, that author focuses his attention on the classical period of its development. [Also included in the text, an article by Irina Rodnikova] is based on the experiences of collectors, curators, restorers and researchers of icons, the author herself being on the staff of the Pskov Museum. It features the latest opinions on attributions and the evolution of the Pskov style and provides necessary clues to a better understanding of the icons reproduced in the plate section of the book.
Along with the icons that have been restored and reliably attributed to the Pskov school on the basis of their stylistic traits and documentary evidence, the volume reproduces a number of icons whose subjects and provenance give reasons for including them within the orbit of the Pskov school.” (taken from Flop Copy)
Considering the tense and bloody relationship between the USSR and all religions, not just the Russian Orthodox church, the preservation and exploration of these icons as religious, historical, and cultural objects is fascinating in and of itself. That is has been done in such a beautiful and loving manner so close to the fall of the Soviet Union merely adds to the social and political tensions inherent in the existence of this monograph.
- Title: Pskov Icons: 13th – 16th Centuries
- Catalogue by Irina Rodnikova
- Introduction by Mikhail Alpatov and Irina Rodnikova
- Translator: Anne Hansen Staros
- Photographer: Valery Barnev
- Editor: Tatyana Geichenko
- Publisher: Aurora Art Publishers
- Place: Leningrad, USSR
- Year: 1991
- Length: 318pp
- Dimensions: 10” x 14”
- Condition: The dustjacket is in great condition, its photographs still vibrant. It is protected on the outside by a plastic library cover probably affixed by the Fitchburg Library, the library whose barcode and pocket are included in the endpapers. The pages of the text are clean—no folds, tears, or extraneous marks. The red cloth covered boards and maroon endpapers are in good condition as well.