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The New Publication By Wilfried Zeisler: L'objet D'art Et De Luxe Français En Russie (1881-1917)

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy are pleased to announce the new publication by French curator Wilfried Zeisler. An adaption of Zeisler’s doctoral dissertation, L’Objet d’art et de luxe français en Russie (1881-1917) Fournisseurs, Clients, Collections et Influences (French ‘Objets d’Art’ and Luxury goods in Russia (1881-1917) Suppliers, Clients, Collections and Influences) is dedicated to the study of decorative arts in the context of political, social, commercial, and artistic interactions between France and Russia. 

Around 1900, when the decorative arts received new recognition as true works of art, the Russian elite contributed to this appreciation with their purchases of “artistic luxury”. In this context, the publication analyses the role of makers, merchants and clients in the dissemination of French luxury taste throughout Russia. This book also addresses questions on the French influence on Russian decorative arts. Studies devoted to cultural exchanges at the time of the Alliance between the young Third French Republic and the old Russian Empire – during the reign of Emperors Alexander III and Nicholas II – are quite rare. 

The book is richly illustrated by more than 320 images including furniture, bronze, textiles, silver, ceramic, glass or jewelry masterpieces, historical portraits, or never before published interiors of Russian palaces and mansions. 

Drawing from hitherto unpublished documentation, the book reveals the story of a large number of little-known works of art disseminated all over the world, some of them lost since the Russian Revolution and studies them in the broader context of the history of collecting and of material culture. Dr. Zeisler’s book contributes a new perspective on the history of taste and collecting in France, Russia and Europe.

Wilfried Zeisler is currently associate curator of 19th century art at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in Washington, DC. His publication L’Objet d’art et de luxe français en Russie (1881-1917) Fournisseurs, Clients, Collections et Influences will be available for purchase at the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens shop, as well as online.

Read an interview with Wilfried Zeisler here.