#1 2013 (38)

 
Mikhail Nesterov in Search of His Russia

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

Lydia Iovleva

A MAJOR EXHIBITION "MIKHAIL NESTEROV IN SEARCH OF HIS RUSSIA" OPENED ON APRIL 23 2013 AT THE TRETYAKOV GALLERY. LIKE TWO PREVIOUS LARGE EXHIBITIONS, ONE HIGHLIGHTING THE WORK OF ISAAC LEVITAN (2011), ANOTHER, THAT OF KONSTANTIN KOROVIN (2011-2012), THE NESTEROV SHOW IS DEDICATED TO THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARTIST'S BIRTH. THE CONCURRENCE OF SUCH ANNIVERSARIES CAUSES ONE TO MARVEL AT THE SHEER NUMBER OF EXTREMELY GIFTED PEOPLE BORN IN RUSSIA BETWEEN 1860 AND 1865: ISAAC LEVITAN (1860), KONSTANTIN KOROVIN (1861), MIKHAIL NESTEROV (1862), ALEXANDER GOLOVIN (1863) AND, AT THE TAIL END OF THIS "ALIGNMENT OF LUMINARIES", VALENTIN SEROV (1865) (SHOWS FOR THE LAST TWO ARTISTS ARE PLANNED FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS).

An Artist's Journey

CURRENT EXHIBITION

Galina Churak

"THE MOST PRECIOUS PART OF ART IS THE GOD-GIVEN TALENT, AND IT SHOULD SERVE THE EXPRES¬SION OF KIND AND BEAUTIFUL FEELINGS, WHETHER BY MEANS OF PAINTING, MUSIC, OR ALL-EM¬BRACING POETRY."1 NESTEROV, WHO WROTE THESE WORDS IN 1898, REFERRED TO THEM AS HIS "CONFESSION", THE DECLARATION OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTE OF HIS ART - HIS DEEP DE¬SIRE TO AWAKEN THE BEST AND LOFTIEST FEELINGS IN PEOPLE. THROUGHOUT HIS LONG LIFE IN ART, HE SHARED HIS "GOD-GIVEN TALENT", WHICH NATURE BESTOWED ON HIM SO GENEROUSLY, WITH RUSSIAN ART, RUSSIA, AND THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE.

Nesterov and Ufa

MUSEUMS OF RUSSIA

Svetlana Ignatenko

THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF MIKHAIL NESTEROV (1862-1942) WAS CELEBRATED AS A SPECIAL OCCASION IN HIS NATIVE CITY OF UFA. A MEMORIAL PLAGUE WAS UNVEILED AT THE LOCATION WHERE THE NESTEROV FAMILY HOUSE WAS ONCE SITUATED. A NATIONAL EXHIBITION "MV NESTEROV'S ART FROM RUSSIAN MUSEUMS, GALLERIES AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS" WAS ORGANIZED WITH THE PARTICIPATION WITH 22 MUSEUMS AND TWO PRIVATE COLLECTIONS. A NATIONWIDE RESEARCH CONFERENCE "1ST NESTEROV FORUM" AND THE 1ST NESTEROV ALL-RUSSIA ART COMPETITION FOR CHILDREN TOOK PLACE. A PARK NAMED AFTER NESTEROV WAS OPENED. THIS EXTENSIVE CULTURAL PROGRAMME WAS ONLY THE BEGINNING OF A NATIONAL PROJECT TO COMMEMORATE THE GREAT ARTIST'S HERITAGE.

Mikhail Nesterov as Muralist and Icon Painter

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

Anastasia Bubchikova

CHURCH MURALS WERE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FIELDS OF MIKHAIL NESTEROV'S LIFE AS AN ARTIST. HAVING FIRST CLIMBED CATHEDRAL SCAFFOLDING WHEN HE WAS A YOUNG MAN OF 28, HE DEVOTED MORE THAN 20 YEARS OF HIS LIFE TO RELIGIOUS MURAL ART. BY 1890, HE HAD ALREADY CREATED "THE HERMIT" (1889) AND "THE VISION OF THE YOUNG BARTHOLOMEW" (1890), WHICH BRO­UGHT HIM FAME AND SECURED HIS PLACE AMONG THE GENERATION OF NEW PAINTERS EXPLORING NEW PATHS AND NEW IDEALS IN ART. WHEN HE WAS INVITED IN 1890 TO CREATE MURALS FOR THE ST. VLADIMIR (VOLODYMYR) CATHEDRAL IN KIEV, HE WAS AFFORDED THE OPPORTUNITY NOT ONLY TO TACKLE A FASCINATING ARTISTIC CHALLENGE BUT ALSO TO LEAVE A DISTINCTIVE MARK ON RELI­GIOUS ART, WHICH WAS SUFFERING A DEEP CRISIS ON THE EVE OF THE 20TH CENTURY.

Mikhail Nesterov and Alexei Shchusev

EXCLUSIVE PUBLICATIONS

Sergei Koluzakov

BY THE LAST YEARS OF THE ROMANOV DYNASTY MIKHAIL NESTEROV AND ALEXEI SHCHUSEV WERE ALREADY FULLY-FLEDGED CULTURAL LUMINARIES IN RUSSIA. NESTEROV HAD WON ACCLAIM WITH HIS NATIONAL-ROMANTIC PAINTINGS SUCH AS "THE HERMIT", "THE VISION OF THE YOUNG BARTHOLOMEW", AND "THE MURDERED TSAREVICH DMITRY", WHILE SHCHUSEV'S DESIGN HAD BEEN CHOSEN FOR MOSCOW'S LARGEST CONSTRUCTION PROJECT - THE KAZAN RAILWAY STATION IN MOSCOW. BOTH MEN WERE REGARDED BY THEIR CONTEMPORARIES AS VERY ORIGINAL FIGURES IN CHURCH PAINTING AND ARCHITECTURE. THIS ARTICLE'S FOCUS ON THEIR ARTISTIC COLLABORATION IS NATURAL, BECAUSE NESTEROV, AL¬WAYS DEMANDING OF HIMSELF, CONSIDERED THE CHURCH BUILDINGS DESIGNED BY SHCHUSEV IN COLLABORATION WITH HIM AS HIS GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS MADE "ON THE CHURCH SCAF¬FOLDING". MOREOVER, THE NATURE OF THIS COLLABORATION ARGUABLY INDICATES THAT THE TWO MASTERS INFLUENCED ONE ANOTHER. NOT SURPRISINGLY, AFTER THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLU¬TION THEIR CHURCH-RELATED PROJECTS WERE RARELY MENTIONED. IN THE COURSE OF THE PREPARATION FOR THE EXHIBITION "MIKHAIL NESTEROV. IN SEARCH OF HIS RUSSIA", I HAVE MAN¬AGED TO EXAMINE UNKNOWN EPISODES IN THE ARTIST'S CAREER, STUDYING THOSE OF HIS COM¬MISSIONED WORKS THAT EVEN EXPERTS KNOW LITTLE ABOUT, AND IDENTIFYING IMAGES AND DRAWINGS NEVER PREVIOUSLY PRINTED.

Mikhail Nesterov's Family in His Art

EXCLUSIVE PUBLICATIONS

Olga Ivanova

THERE ARE SOME ARTISTS WHOSE ART MAY BE EXAMINED WITHOUT MUCH STUDY OF THEIR BIO­GRAPHIES, OR REFERENCE TO THEIR LOVED ONES, WHILE WITH OTHERS THEIR WORK IS SO CLOSELY LINKED TO THEIR FAMILIES THAT IT BECOMES ESSENTIAL TO ANY ANALYSIS OF THEIR OEUVRE. MIK­HAIL NESTEROV (1862-1942) IS AMONG THE LATTER: THIS ARTICLE, WHICH INCLUDES MATERIALS, LET­TERS AND PHOTOGRAPHS FROM VARIOUS ARCHIVES, EXAMINES THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE ARTIST'S FAMILY AND HIS WORK. THESE LETTERS HELP US SEE WHAT IS USUALLY HIDDEN FROM THE VIEWER'S EYES - THE DIFFERENT ROLES THAT AN ARTIST'S FAMILY PLAYS IN HIS LIFE. NESTEROV'S FAMILY MEMBERS OFTEN INSPIRED HIM TO CREATE HIS PAINTINGS, OR SERVED AS "PROTOTYPES" FOR THE SUBJECTS OF HIS LARGE-SCALE WORKS, EVEN FOR THE FRESCOES THAT THE ARTIST CREATED FOR VARIOUS CATHEDRALS. WITHOUT DOUBT, THIS WAS VERY IMPORTANT FOR THE ARTIST; HE WROTE THAT "...IF THERE IS A FACE, THERE IS A PAINTING. IF THERE IS NO [FACE], NO EXPRESSION THAT I SEEK <...> - THERE WILL BE NO PAINTING. LIKE SEROV, IT IS THE HUMAN SOUL THAT I NEEDED FIRST AND FOREMOST." IN MAKING THE ACQUAINTANCE OF NESTEROV'S FAMILY MEMBERS IT IS NOT ONLY HIS LETTERS AND PAINTINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT, BUT ALSO THE PHOTOGRAPHS THAT HAVE BEEN PRESERVED, WHICH SOMETIMES REFLECT MUCH ON NESTEROV'S CREATIVE PROCESS. THE LEGACY OF THE AR­TIST'S DESCENDANTS, WHOSE LIVES WERE PROFOUNDLY INFLUENCED BY THE PERSONALITY OF THEIR FATHER AND GRANDFATHER, IS ALSO REVEALING.

The Portraits of Mikhail Nesterov

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

Lyudmila Bobrovskaya

PORTRAITS WERE A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF NESTEROV'S OEUVRE, BUT FOR A VERY LONG TIME -PRACTICALLY UNTIL THE EARLY 1930S - THE ARTIST WOULD REGULARLY REPEAT THE PHRASE, "I'M NO PORTRAITIST!", IN LETTERS TO HIS FRIENDS. ALWAYS DEMANDING OF HIMSELF AS AN ARTIST, NESTEROV BELIEVED THAT HIS PORTRAITS WERE NOT OF THE SAME CALIBRE AS THOSE OF HIS PREDECESSORS SUCH AS VASILY PEROV, IVAN KRAMSKOYOR ILYA REPIN; EVEN "THE GIRL WITH PEACHES" BY THE MUCH YOUNGER ARTIST VALENTIN SEROV, NESTEROV REGARDED AS REACHING AN UNATTAINABLE LEVEL OF ARTISTRY.

The First Fine Arts Museum in Russia

MUSEUMS OF RUSSIA

Veronica Bogdan

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS IN RUSSIA WAS AN INITIATIVE OF PETER THE GREAT. WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATION'S NEW CAPITAL, THERE WAS AN INCREASING NEED TO LEARN ABOUT EUROPEAN SOCIAL AND CULTURAL TRADITION, AND THE MASSIVE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS GENERATED A DEMAND FOR QUALIFIED ARCHITECTS AND PAINTERS. THE WORKFORCE OF EUROPEAN PROFESSIONALS RECRUITED FOR THE TASK SOON PROVED INSUFFICIENT IN NUMBER, AND A SCHOOL OF DRAWING, CALLED "THE ACADEMY" BY PETER, WAS SET UP UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE ST. PETERSBURG PRINTING-HOUSE. HOWEVER, THE TSAR ENVISIONED AN INSTITUTION OF LEARNING WITH A CURRICULUM INCLUDING ARTS, SCIENCES AND CRAFTS.

Russian Realism in an American Landscape

INTERNATIONAL PANORAMA

Anna Ilina

A FAMILY ENCOUNTER WITH RUSSIAN ART LED JOHN AND KATHY WU RDEMAN TO CREATE A PIONEERING PRIVATE ART COLLECTION IN VIRGINIA - WITH A PARTICULAR EMPHASIS ON RUSSIAN REALISM AND THE PLEIN AIR TRADITION. LARGE PRIVATE COLLECTIONS HAVE OFTEN FORMED THE BASIS FOR FUTURE ART GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS - THE NAMES OF PAVEL AND SERGEI TRETYAKOV, IVAN MOROZOV AND SERGEI SHCHUKIN, ANDREW MELLON AND SAMUEL KRESS, ALEXEI BAKHRUSHIN AND LEVKIY ZHEVERZHEEV, EDOUARD ANDRE AND NELIE JACQUEMART, SOLOMON GUGGENHEIM, HENRY FRICK AND PETER LUDWIG ARE ALL TESTAMENT TO THAT PHENOMENON. AMONG CONTEMPORARY PRIVATE COLLECTIONS OF RUSSIAN ART OF THIS KIND SOME, LIKE THAT OF SLAVIST RENE GUERRA IN FRANCE, ARE WELL KNOWN, WHILE OTHERS ARE STILL WAITING TO BE POPULARIZED AND STUDIED.

Worshippin  Pavel Tretyakov

EVENTS

Yelena Bekhtieva

2012 MARKED THE 180TH ANNIVERSARY OF PAVEL TRETYAKOV'S BIRTH. ON DECEMBER 27 2012, THE DAY THAT THE TRETYAKOV GALLERY'S FOUNDER WAS BORN, THE CONFERENCE HALL ON LAVRUSHINSKY LANE HOSTED A PRESENTATION OF THE COLLECTOR'S DAUGHTER ALEXANDRA BOTKINA'S BOOK "PAVEL MIKHAILOVICH TRETYAKOV IN LIFE AND ART", A NEW EDITION OF WHICH HAS BEEN PREPARED BY A LARGE AND DEDICATED TEAM.

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