Goda S.-Peterburg: 1905. Octavo, 229 x 150 mm. Half dark red cloth with marbled boards, dark ivory title label printed in black to spine, publisher's original printed upper and lower wrappers in varying colours bound in; original red ribbon marker.
7 parts in one volume.
I: , 56 pp.
II: 23, [i] (blank) pp.
III: 36 pp.
IV: 84 pp.
V: 48 pp. Lacking pp. 49-55,  (blank), i.e., descriptions of items 1363 to 1407
VI: 49,  (blank) pp.
VII: 89,  (blank) pp.
Lacking Part VIII.
With 2,228 entries in total.
Text in Russian.
Small diamond-shaped armorial bookplate printed in light brown to upper pastedown.
Wrappers slightly worn; occasional annotations in lead and red pencil to uppers, some partially erased; deep uneven impressions to upper of Volume IV and to following ca. 8ff. of text, not affecting legibility; small tear to lower wrapper of same volume.
Uniformly browned; some minor foxing; some corners turned with resulting creasing; gutter of first leaf of Volume 5 guarded.
First Edition. Rare (OCLC locates one complete set only, at the Frick, and one copy [of one part only?] of the third edition only, at the Getty).
"The show, which opened in grand style by the tsar, became a celebration of Russian self-confidence and provided a much-needed dose of national pride at a difficult time. The war with Japan was going badly; in early January Port Arthur had fallen to the "yellow monkeys" (as the Japanese were called in the official propaganda), but the Russians still cherished the hope that the arrival of the Baltic fleet would turn the tide.'"
"The exhibition would be Diaghilev's greatest triumph in his homeland. In terms of both money and logistics, it remains a mystery how he managed to organise such a vast undertaking in just a year. Diaghilev's contemporaries were equally surprised by his punishing work ethic. Once the great thaw set in after the long Russian winter and roads were again more or less passable he travelled to remote country estates (more than a hundred of them in total) in search of portraits by forgotten masters..."
"The catalogue for the exhibitionl, which was published shortly after the opening and which was edited and largely written by Diaghilev, contains 2228 entries describing an even greater number of artworks. Besides giving signatures and dates and specifying media, it provided a great deal of historical and genealogical information about the subjects. Today, the cataloigue is a valuable historical document and a milestone in the history of Russian art. As a testament to Diaghilev's extraordinary creative and organisational talents, the exhibition ranks with the greatest achievements of the Ballets Russes." Sjent Scheijen: Diaghilev a Life, 2009, pp. 132-133.
A monumental exhibition of Russian portraits, curated by the distinguished Ballets Russes impresario. Item #29742
Price: $850.00 other currencies