Customer Reviews: Valentin Serov (Best Of Collection)
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on May 26, 2012
This book is filled with great paintings and drawings that are reproduced in quite good quality and size. Serov was a real master, especially at portraiture, but he also did great genre, historical and fictional scenes.

While I haven't read much of the text yet, it appears to give a good overview and coverage of Serov's life and work, including his life chronology at the end with a few photographs.

The main point of a book like this, in my opinion is to enjoy the artwork and to have it reproduced in a way that does it justice. This book, printed in Italy, does a good job at presenting the art. And the price at this time is incredibly affordable. If the previous Repin book by the same publisher is any example, availability at a low price won't last long.
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For many art lovers in this country the name of Valentin Serov does not register - until we view his famous first Impressionistic painting from Russia, `The Girl with Peaches', 1887. That image has managed to remain in the public eye not unlike that of his fellow painter John Singer Sargent's `Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose' - the two iconic works from the era. But other than his reputation as one of the finest portrait artists of his time his art has receded into history. This excellent book does much to correct that in giving us the `Best of Collection' with adequate explanation of his life and times to honor his memory and his legacy.

According to historical data, `Valentin Serov (1865 -1911) studied in Paris and Moscow under Ilya Repin and in the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts (1880-1885) under Pavel Chistyakov. Serov's early creativity was sparked by the realistic art of Repin and strict pedagogical system of Chistyakov. Further influences on Serov were the old master paintings he viewed in the museums of Russia and Western Europe, friendships with Mikhail Vrubel and (later) Konstantin Korovin, and the creative atmosphere of the Abramtsevo Colony, to which he was closely connected. The greatest works of Serov's early period were portraits: The Girl with Peaches (1887), and The Girl Covered by the Sun (1888), both in the Tretyakov Gallery. In these paintings Serov concentrated on spontaneity of perception of the model and nature. In the development of light and color, the complex harmony of reflections, the sense of atmospheric saturation, and the fresh picturesque perception of the world, there appeared the features of early Russian impressionism. From 1890 on, the portrait became the basic genre in Serov's art. It was in this field that his early style would become apparent, the paintings notable for the psychologically pointed characteristics of his subjects. Serov's favorite models were actors, artists, and writers. Initially abstaining from the polychromatic, brightly colored painting style of the 1880s, Serov often preferred a dominant scale of black-grey or brown tones. Impressionistic features appeared sometimes in composite construction of a portrait, or to capture a sense of spontaneous movement. At the turn of the century, Serov was at a stylistic turning point: features of impressionism disappeared from his work, and his modernistic style developed, but the characteristic truthful and realistic comprehension of the nature of his subjects remained constant. Serov's democratic beliefs were clearly shown during the Revolution from 1905 to 1907: he depicted a number of satirical figures exposing chastisers. A full member of the St.Petersburg Academy of Arts since 1903, in 1905 he resigned as a gesture of protest against the execution of striking workers and their families on January 9, Bloody Sunday.'

It is well to have a book of this quality to restore knowledge of this important painter. Likely there will be other books published as the public learns and appreciates his work more, but for now, this is as complete an examination of his life and work as is available. Grady Harp, July 12
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on October 1, 2012
I knew nothing of this painter and was actually ordering a book on Gerome when this popped up as a "you might also like this" suggestion. So I took a chance and ordered it and was delighted. The collection of paintings in the book by Valentin Serov are just beautiful. His style is like Sargent in treatment, compostion, and brush work. Most, if not all, of the paintings are reproduced in color. If you love painting, this book is an excellent addition to your art library and you'll be treated to some delightful paintings that you have never seen before. Highly recommended. Brenda Pizzo, Boston
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on October 28, 2012
This is a "how to" only in the sense of what one can learn by studying the paintings. Serov was a genius at painting a window into the essence of the person. The pose, the expression, the surroundings all tell a story. I think portrait artists can improve their skill by examining his work.
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on December 3, 2012
Absolutely wonderful book for anyone interested in art. The quality of the book is incredible, and the price is unbelievable too
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on December 20, 2012
I don't even know how this is 20 dollars, but Serov's work basically makes me droll over and over and over and over...luckily not on the book. If you are a fan of Russian impressionist work, this is a must have.
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on August 30, 2012
What a wonderful album! Albums on Russian artists are rare and this particular series is printed in Italy, in very small edition and at a very low price, but it will sell out quickly and the price rises dramatically. Serov is a very famous, extremely talented Russian artist. He is very well known and loved in Russia. The album gives a detailed history of Serov's life and the art reproductions are very numerous and a pretty good quality. The availability of this album won't last for long! Grab it while you can!
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on September 15, 2012
This collection has the best of russian painting at the end of the 19th century (I also bought the one on Ilya Repin) at incredibly low prices! If you are an art lover, don't miss it!
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on May 29, 2013
Great reproductions of paintings, Text is just the right amount. The book has a very nice flow to it. Nice to see not such well known artists can get a great quality book.
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on May 17, 2013
Arrived in good shape - no damaged pages - text is well done and reproductions are beautiful - I am very happy with this book
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