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The Power of Symbols

The Alhambra in a Global Perspective

Edited By Francine Giese and Ariane Varela Braga

This volume intends to foster a re-interpretation of the Nasrid architecture of the Alhambra in Granada and its post-Islamic appropriation and global diffusion. Taking into account the current debates on otherness, cultural exchange and artistic transfer, hybridization, stylistic renewal and national identity building, this collection of essays explores the significance of the Alhambra from the Nasrid period to the present time. Built as a military fortress and gradually enlarged to a multi-functional palace city, by the 19th century the Alhambra became a symbol of exoticism and reverie. As one of the most important legacies of the Islamic heritage of al-Andalus, its role as a mediator between East and West is more important than ever.

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The Photographs of the Alhambra at the Russian Academy of Fine Arts Museum (Nadezhda Stanulevich)


The Photographs of the Alhambra at the Russian Academy of Fine Arts Museum

Nadezhda Stanulevich

In 1947, the Soviet Academy of Fine Arts Museum officially authorised the creation of a section on Photography. Today, the Photographic Collection of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts Museum, the follow-­up institution of the Soviet Academy, includes about 37,000 negatives, 27,000 photographs and 11,300 slides.

The first photographs came to the Imperial Academy of Arts in 1839 through combinations of donations to and purchases by the library. The library and the museum of the Academy joined their photography collections before the October Revolution1. That is why many items of the museum therefore still carry labels reading “Imperial Academy of Arts. Library” (fig. 1). After the Revolution, all photographs became a part of the State Exchange Museum Fund. The State Hermitage and the Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg also acquired photographs from the Academy of Fine Arts. Between 1919 and 1925, several items changed from the museum to the collections of different institutions in Saint Petersburg, which at the time carried the name of Petrograd. However, due to two longer phases of internal reorganization during the decades between the October Revolution and the Second World War, the museum was open to the public only for ten years during this period2. Moreover, at the beginning of World War II, many photographs were prepared for the eventuality of an evacuation. However, almost all items stayed during the...

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