Rolf Gross

Writings and Travels

My First and Last Novel

Konrad and Alexandra (PDF)


A chronicle of the live of my grandparents playing in Georgia, Russia, Italy, and Germany,
New edition Illustrated with contemporary photograps, 2011

Essays on Favorite Subjects


Reading Hieronymus Bosch Right to Left

1450 – 1516


New Approach to Bosch's Paintings

2005 - 2009


The Frescoes and Painters of

1240 – 1557


A Guide to the Frescoes of Tuscany and their Painters


Icons and Churches of Russia

900 – 2000


Russia's spiritual Soul. One of my most beautitul Webpages.
Revised and updated Aug 2014


History of Romanesque Architecture

300-1300 AD

A chronological review of early Christian Architecture
New 2013

History of Gothic Architecture

1100-1600 AD

The Gothic illustrated with over 300 annotated pictures
New June 2014


History of Indian Architecture

5000 BC to 1900 AD

An illustrated account of the architecture of the Subcontinent
Revised 2014


History of Islamic Architecture

625 - 1857


A profusely illustrated Essay on the Architecture of Islam, from Mecca to the Alhambra and the Mosques of India
Revised 2014

The Rise of Modern Man

150 000 – 500 BC


The Evolution of Homo Sapiens or Who Created the Paleolithic Cave Paintings? An adventure story in Paleanthropology.
New 2012

Man and His Gods

5000 BC – 1400 AD


By the end of the Neolithic the men took over from the Matriarchat and created a patriarchal society headed by a plethora of Gods.
New 2014

The Travels of Ibn Battuta

1325 – 1349


Excerpts from the “Rihla”, Battuta's travelogue illustrated with many photos from the internet
Revised 2014

Sven Hedin's “Through Asia”

1893 – 1897


Hedin's seminal first expedition into the Taklamakan Desert in which he narrowly escaped death illustrated with his drawings and photographs.
New 2012

Sir Aurel Stein's Three Expeditions into Chinese Turkestan

1900 – 1916


Marc-Aurel Stein, a polyglott recluse reaped the archeological fruits of Sven Hedin's daring. His greatest triumph though was the hidden library of Dunhuang. He succeeded to acquire hundreds of scrolls from a Daoist monk at the Buddhist caves.
New 2012

Dale Chihuly's Glass Creations


A cornucopia of the blown-glass pieces by the protean master
New 2013

Frank Gehry's Architecture


A survey of Fank Gehry's Buildings
New July 2014


The Paintings of Gerhard Richter

1962 – 2008


Selections from Richter's Work with Explanatory Notes, and Videos

Contemporary Chinese Art



A Review of 32 Contemporary Chinese Painters, Sculptors, Photographers, and Installationists with Examples of their Work.
New 2013

.Special Exhibitions


Marina Tsvetaeva


1892 – 1941


The life and poems of the Russian poetess in a literal translation

The Erratic Life of Lafcadio Hearn

1850 -1904  


An illustrated biography of a peripatetic journalist who became one of the saints of modern Japan.


The Poetry of Andalucia

950–1300 AD


A collection of exceptional translations of Mozarab poems.


The Historical Photographs of
Dmitrii Ivanovich Ermakov

1846 – 1916


50 Photographs from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Tbilisi, Georgia


The People of Imperial Russia
Photos by Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky

1905 – 1916


The first color photos of Russia from the Collection of the US Library of Congress

The Renaissance Fair in Southern California

1973 -1981


A Mirror of California's Innocent Seventies and Eighties


....Travelogues and Travel Guides
......1953 – 2006

.....Novels and Writings in Kindle Format

....Unpublished Writings in PDF Format


The author with his daughter Susanne

A biographical note to my readers

I was born Rolf Werner Friedrich Gross - the initials honor my two grandfathers, one a pastor, the other one a polyglot engineer - in Silesia, Germany in 1931. I live with my wife Barbara in California. We have two adult children, Susanne in Denver and Cornelius in Rome, Italy. All three often appear in my writings, e.g. Susanne on the author's photo.
Professionally, I am/was a physicist. In 1956 I came to the US to finish my PhD at Harvard. After 28 years in research I threw physics over my left shoulder, retired, and devoted myself to my many other interests, art history, gold-smithing, architecture, photography, traveling and - writing a novel. After four years learning how to write I self-published "Konrad and Alexandra" in 2000. It was not a success, and I have still to earn a return on my publishing expenses. I recommend the present version. It has been reedited and shortened. It is also much cheaper than the paperback.

Already during my years as a physicist I was lucky to be able to travel widely, teaching in the USSR, Georgia, Central Asia, and China. "Konrad and Alexandra" and the "The Return of the Monkey King" are based on these experiences. We fell in love with Greece. "Mount Athos-The Garden of the Virgin" and "Along the Way to Arcadia" are meditations on this country and its past. "The Snow Dancer", a second novel, explores my attraction to Buddhist Dzogchen, to which Cornelius introduced me. Dreams of visiting Tibet finally became reality in 1995. I organized a minor expedition for members of my family to the far West of the country. The diary of this strenuous trip, "Tibet, To the End of the World" will appear as a Kindle edition shortly

Fascinated with the paintings by Hieronymus Bosch, I wrote a biography of this enigmatic man, when in 2002 new research permitted dating all his paintings.

An alternative is to explore the entries on this website which show annotated photo-essays on my publications and many additonal subjects in large format. I would appreciate to hear your comments and criticism, good or bad, via e-mail (see below).

....Rolf W. F. Gross
Pacific Palisades, CA, July 2011
....personal e-mail