Natalya Semenova

Russian art historian Natalya Semenova is the author of The Collector: The Story of Sergei Shchukin and His Lost Masterpieces, co-author of Collecting Matisse, and co-editor of Selling Russia's Treasures. She lives in Moscow.


  Natalya Semenova

The Story of a Family and a Lost Collection

Translated by Arch Tait

Yale University Press, 13 October 2020
Hardback, £25

ISBN: 978-0-300-24982-8
288 pages, 29 colour and 27 b-w illustrations

Order from Blackwell's or Waterstones

A highly successful Moscow textile merchant, meticulous and very discerning, Ivan Morozov set about acquiring works by Monet, Pissarro and Cézanne. He collected Russian as well as European art. Acquiring masterpieces from the likes of Bonnard, Matisse and Picasso, he spent more than any other collector of the age.

Morozov had always intended to leave his art to the state, but during the Soviet period his collection was divided between Moscow and St Petersburg, only to languish in storage for decades. Now it forms the foundation of Russia's celebrated holding of modern art.

'A century of Russian society through the prism of a painting collection. Natalya Semenova's biography of Ivan Morozov has jewel-like focus yet epic scope, reads as sumptuously as a 19th-century novel, and makes stunning use of material still emerging from Soviet archives to illuminate dark corners of history.'
Jackie Wullschläger, Financial Times

Thanks to Natalya Semenova’s biography and an unprecedented Morozov retrospective at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, opening in spring 2021, his extraordinary legacy can now be fully recognised.
Apollo Magazine

What is clear is the need we now have of the harmony, the tranquillity and joy, that Ivan Morozov sought and found in the paintings that, one way or another, he bequeathed to posterity.
The Royal Academy Magazine.



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