Visual Texts, Ceremonial Texts, Texts of Exploration continues the work begun in Russian Monarchy: Representation and Rule, which analysed the interplay between the symbolic representations of Russian monarchs and the legal and institutional instruments of their rule. The articles in this volume examine the texts that, through various media, revealed the myths and scenarios conveying the goals and ideals the monarchy sought to elevate before the elite of the empire and, later, the public at large. Russian monarchy inhabited a highly visual culture, comprising court ceremonials, parades, public festivities, and celebrations. It mobilised the arts through painting, prints, popular pictures (lubki), and even opera. This book examines that artistic culture, focusing on several aspects. Parts I and II analyse imagery and ceremony and their relation to the verbal texts that ascribed and defined their meanings. Part III details the way texts of exploration inspired the explorers who widened Russia's engagement with the world. Parts IV and V address key texts of intellectual history and reflect on the scholarly and methodological influences on Wortman's approach to history.
Richard Wortman (PhD University of Chicago) is James Bryce Professor of History Emeritus at Columbia University. He has also taught at the University of Chicago, where he received his PhD, and at Princeton University. His two-volume study Scenarios of Power: Myth and Ceremony in Russian Monarchy (1995-2000), published by Princeton University Press is devoted to the role of imagery and representation in the exercise of monarchical power in Russia. An abridged one-volume edition, Scenarios of Power; Myth and Ceremony in Russian Monarchy, From Peter the Great to the Abdication of Nicholas II was published in 2006.