Home and landscape design

We are inclined to view the Vienna Sezession Movement as a closed shop for artists, yet one of the most formidable and influential members and manipulators of the Movement was an architect. Vienna: the Architecture of Otto Wagner by V. Horvat Pintaric (Studio Editions, £14.95) goes a long way towards putting the record straight. This magnificent volume comprises a scholarly biographical-historical-critical study with a superb assembly of drawings, photographs and plans of Wagner’s buildings, ranging from houses to hotels, from academies to churches. These buildings, although now so clearly dated, are part of the explosive story of a European fin de siecle culture bursting into the twentieth century. Invitation to Russia Home and landscape design Too many books on Russian buildings are repetitive and smack of Russian bureaucratic sponsorship. Now comes a magnificent book, Invitation to Russia by Yuri Ovsianikov (Conran Octopus, £17.99), which is authentically of the best in sponsorship and production. Although the text, dealing with ancient as well as eighteenth-century Russia, is by a Muscovite authority, the superb photography is by Frenchman, Guy Bouchet. This is a magnificent book, textually, graphically and bibliographically. Shown above are the domes of St. Basil the Blessed in Moscow; below, the Summer Palace at Pushkin.

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