The Empress of Art by Susan Jaques

The Empress of Art

An art-oriented biography of the mighty Catherine the Great, who rose from seemingly innocuous beginnings to become one of the most powerful people in the world. A German princess who married a decadent and lazy Russian prince, Catherine mobilized support amongst the Russian nobles, playing off of her husband's increasing corruption and abuse of power. She then staged a coup that ended with him being strangled with his own scarf in the halls of t...

Details The Empress of Art

TitleThe Empress of Art
Release DateApr 4th, 2016
PublisherPegasus Books
GenreHistory, Cultural, Russia, Nonfiction, Biography, Art, Russian History, Literature, 18th Century

Reviews The Empress of Art

  • Kerry
    Biographies about Catherine the Great are fraught with problems. Catherine the Great: Life and Legend by John T. Alexander includes judgmental fixation on Catherines sexuality and demonstrates the male writers inability to view his subject through her own, female, perspectivea failure in a biographical writing if there ever was one. On the other hand, female biographers such as Virginia Rounding in her Catherine the Great: Love, Sex, and Power...
  • Penmouse
    The Empress of Art by Susan Jaques is a well-written book that accounts the life of Catherine the Great. In particular, Jaques details Catherine's passion for collecting fine art while building an empire. Her book is a wonderful, easy to read book about a woman who was ahead of her time.You will find a bibliography and end notes providing sources used to write her book.Recommend.Review written after downloading a galley from Edelweiss.
  • Azabu
    The ambitious, German-born empress remains a rich vein for biographers due to her legendary love life as well as her determination to put her picture gallery on the map. Here Catherine emerges as a voracious reader, a supporter of enlightened despotism who maneuvered her way out of a sexless marriage and carried out the expansionist mandate of Peter the Great. Her relentless pursuit of Old Masters and European artwork turned St Petersburg into a ...
  • Carolyn Harris
    The Empress of Art provides a good overview of Catherine the Great's art patronage and the development of the Hermitage Museum. Jaques writes in an engaging, accessible style and places the acquisition of key art collections such as the Walpole paintings within the context of the wider events of Catherine the Great's reign. The author has visited Saint Petersburg and demonstrates a familiarity with the historic buildings of the city and Catherine...
  • Josh Griffiths
    The Empress of Art takes a marvelous idea and makes it just okay, a tolerable read that should have been so much more. Reading this book, you get the sense that it was written by someone who is very knowledgeable on the subject matter in question (art and architecture, in this case) but knows little in the way of writing and narrative structure. Namely, there is no narrative through-line that holds everything together, instead each section, each ...
  • Kathy
    This is a well written and interesting book. Any biography you read on Catherine the Great will mention her art collecting and building. This is the first book to look at that collecting in conjunction with other events of her reign. Its also not only Catherine's story of how she put together one of the best art collections in Europe but also about the rise and fall of other major European collectors in the 18th century. You will learn a lot abou...
  • Ashley Hasty
    The Empress of Art by Susan Jaques is a book the academic and historian side of me absolutely loved. This book is not for people with a casual interest in art or history, you have to really love the subject and want in-depth knowledge about the subject to stick with it. With that being said, I thought it was written in a very approachable way and I thought the author did a great job hooking her reading from the very beginning by teasing us with l...
  • Shayna Grissom
    DNF. When they say it's the Empress of Art, they literally mean the entire book is about art.
  • Diana
    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from a GoodReads giveaway.Catherine the Great is one of the iconic figures of Russian history, but, in our day and age, many know her primarily for being an empress with an over-active libido. "The Empress of Art: Catherine the Great and the Transformation of Russia" is a refreshing look at a less salacious facet of the woman who made sweeping changes in the way that Russia was perceived by its own peopl...
  • Kayla Tornello
    This book was an interesting look at how Catherine the Great became an avid collector of multiple forms of art, such as portraits, statues, and carved gemstones. It also describes the many buildings for which she was responsible. The author did a good job of going into enough detail to inform the reader without providing so much information that the book gets bogged down. The pictures are gorgeous and make me want to visit some of these places, b...
  • John
    Quick synopsis: "The Empress bought a lot of cool stuff." I've been to the Hermitage, State Archives and the Tretyakov, so I read this with the museum catalogs and memories at hand. Interesting to see that a bit of her collection ended up in our National Gallery when the Soviets were cash-strapped. Reading this alongside "Former People" was an interesting juxtaposition.
  • Lieske Huits
    A great (art) historical view of how Catherine the Great used art and architecture as part of her plan to turn Russia into a European superpower.Fun to read, very factual and inclusive, if at times a bit superficial. Still, a great source for an overview of her collecting practices.
  • Pcox
    More fact-based than I like.