In their biography of the collector, the art historian Natalya Semenova and Shchukin’s grandson André Delocque show that overcoming difficulties was nothing new to [Shchukin] ... Although the authors’ account sometimes verges on the gushing, they nevertheless transmit the daring of the man and his determination to face down naysayers.
Russian art historian Semenova, with the help of Shchukin’s grandson André Delocque, wonderfully evokes the contradictory worlds of the thrusting Moscow merchant class and the swirling ferment of the pre-Bolshevik city ... Perceptive, pacy, at times sentimental and over-florid, The Collector fleshes out the human story of the Shchukin family tantalisingly dangled by the exhibition, and finishes with an unputdownable coda.
This cinematic character also marks some drawbacks in The Collector. The text is so burdened with metaphors and clichés that the reader stops counting. More egregious, the authors, who note that Shchukin left almost nothing in the way of letters or diaries, speculatively attribute thoughts and emotions to him throughout ... The study of Sergei Shchukin predicted by Joseph Alsop is here in The Collector, and much more. Alas, often too much more.