Sergei Shchukin was a highly successful textiles merchant in the latter half of the nineteenth century, but he also had a great eye for beauty. He was one of the first to appreciate the qualities of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists and to acquire works by Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso. A trailblazer in the Russian art world, Shchukin and his collection shocked, provoked, and inspired awe, ridicule, and derision among his contemporaries.
This is the first English-language biography of Sergei Shchukin, written by art historian Natalya Semenova and adapted by Shchukin's grandson André Delocque. Featuring personal diary entries, correspondence, interviews, and archival research, it brings to light the life of a man who has hitherto remained in the shadows, and shows how despite his controversial reputation, he opened his collection to the public, inspiring a future generation of artists and changing the face of the Russian art world.