HERITAGE

Yelena Krylova
VEHEMENT WISDOM OF THE INSPIRED Nikolai Chernyshev and the “Makovets” Society

#3 2016 (52)

One of the luminaries of the Russian visual arts, “the last of the Mohicans” as he was referred to by his contemporaries in the late 1960s, Nikolai Chernyshev lived a long life filled with great events and rich in artistic impressions. The beginning of the 20th century saw him move, with his family, from a remote region of the Russian Empire to Moscow. He displayed considerable enthusiasm for drawing, submitting his sketches for the entry examinations to the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. When, to general surprise, he was accepted, he immersed himself passionately in his studies there.

Natalya Korina
THE STORY BEHIND A PAINTING

#3 2016 (52)

March 16 2015 marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Alexei Mikhailovich Korin (1865-1923), the academician and professor of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (MSPSA). He was destined to be an artist from early childhood: born into an old and venerable family of Palekh icon-painters, he devoted his whole life to art and left a remarkable artistic legacy.

 

 

HERITAGE

Darya Tarligina
ENGLISH POTTERY IN RUSSIA. In the 18th and 19th Centuries

#2 2016 (51)

The reign of Catherine the Great saw English faience in all its diversity take the Russian market by storm. Its attractive price, compared to porcelain, and superior artistic design made English faience extremely popular with the Russian nobility: indeed, as the natural scientist and diarist Andrei Bolotov wrote, by 1796 many had started “buying, and filling their homes with English faience crockery”. It was accepted as perfect for everyday purposes, combining quality, practicality and elegance, and by the 1830s faience was commonly found in many households. Unlike porcelain, which was reserved for special occasions, “Faience dinnerware is not a luxury: it is used every day,” the writer Yevdokim Ziablovsky wrote in his work “Russian Statistics”.

Lyudmila Markina
“POETS OF THE HUMAN VISAGE”: FYODOR ROKOTOV AND THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH

#2 2016 (51)

We owe this characterization, “Poets of the Human Visage”, of these two portrait-painters to the art historian Alexei Lebedev: it dates from 1945, when the Soviet researcher’s enthusiasm was encouraged by the rapid progress in building ties with the UK.[1] His comparison of the Russian and English painters caught on, although Rokotov was never called “the Russian Gainsborough” in his lifetime. Nor had the fame that each artist enjoyed in his own land spread to the other country. At the 1862 International Exhibition in London Russian portraiture was represented by Levitsky and Borovikovsky: Rokotov was then simply forgotten in his homeland. Nor did Russians have any knowledge of the British artist: the remarkable “Portrait of a Lady in Blue” now at the Hermitage - Gainsborough’s only masterpiece in a Russian collection - was acquired as late as 1912. So what do the great Russian and British artists, so apparently different from one another, have in common?

Sergei Koluzakov
The St. Alexius Church at Tsarskoye Selo. Alexei Shchusev's "Unknown" Project

#1 2016 (50)

In the years preceding the revolution, Alexei Shchusev worked predominantly on church architecture and made a name for himself as a professional in that field. In 1901, he was assigned, "as an addition to the existing staff", to the office of the Holy Synod's Attorney General. However, by 1910 Shchusev had already become a member of the Imperial Academy of Arts "in recognition of his artistic reputation". After the 1917 revolution, the artist accepted the new government and wrote his own chapter in the history of Russian architecture, creating many outstanding monuments.

Irina Krasnikova
Valentin Serov: experimenting with sculpture

#3 2015 (48)

Serov’s contribution to the art of sculpture should not be seen as the result of any serious professional application, being instead a kind of “intermission” in his hard work as a painter. Most of his “non-painterly” works seem to have appeared spontaneously: they had nothing to do with the general direction that his artistic career was taking at any point, were confined to separate periods of his career, and may be characterized as “trying his hand at sculpting”.

Svetlana Yesenina
Valentin Serov, the teacher

#3 2015 (48)

Any discussion of Serov as a teacher ought to focus mainly on his work at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (MSPSA), since it afforded the exceptional artist an opportunity to interact with talented youth and unlocked his outstanding teaching talents. Teaching at private schools from time to time, Serov understood, however, that a consistent approach to the training of the young generation could only be achieved using the solid foundations that had been formed at MSPSA over decades. Perhaps this explains why he accepted the offer of the position as a life-drawing instructor in 1897, after the school’s inspector, and then director, Alexei Lvov had spent several years trying to persuade him to take the job. That was the beginning of Serov’s nearly 12-year-long service, which left an indelible mark in the school’s history.

Veronica Bogdan
The History of the Tauride Palace Wall Paintings

#4 2014 (45)

GRIGORY POTEMKIN WAS THE FIRST OWNER OF THE TAURIDE PALACE IN ST. PETERSBURG, WHICH WAS BUILT IN 1783-1789 TO AN ARCHITECTURAL PROJECT BY IVAN STAROV. THE MANSION'S ORIGINAL NAME WAS THE "HORSE GUARDS HOUSE" AND IT WAS INTENDED ONLY FOR CEREMONIAL RECEPTIONS. ON APRIL 28 1791 IT WAS WHERE HIS HIGHNESS THE FIELD MARSHALL GENERAL, NOVOROSSIYSK GOVERNOR GENERAL AND CONQUEROR OF THE CRIMEA THREW A GRAND BALL IN HONOUR OF CATHERINE THE GREAT AND THE TAKLNG OF ISMAIL. IN AUGUST 1792 THE PALACE REVERTED TO THE CROWN IN REPAYMENT OF THE DEBTS OF THE SUDDENLY DECEASED PRINCE. THE FUNDS FOR FURTHER ALTERATIONS INTENDED BY POTEMKLN (FOR WHICH FYODOR VOLKOV HAD BEEN ENGAGED) AND THE PERFECTION OF THE PARK WERE NOW COMING FROM THE EMPRESS. SHE TOOK SO MUCH OF A FANCY TO THE PALACE THAT SHE MOVED INTO IT AS HER NEW RESIDENCE AS EARLY AS SEPTEMBER 1792 WITHOUT WAITING FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK TO BE COMPLETED.

Lyudmila Markina
Flowers for the Madonna. On the bicentenary of Mikhail Scotti's birth

#4 2014 (45)

OCTOBER 2014 WILL SEE CELEBRATIONS MARKING THE 200TH ANNIVERSARY OF MIKHAIL SCOTTI'S BIRTH. TODAY, THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS HARDLY AWARE OF THE ARTIST'S NAME; IN HIS LIFETIME, HOWEVER, AS A MEMBER OF THE ACADEMY OF ARTS AND PROFESSOR, SCOTTI WAS WIDELY KNOWN AND HIS WORK WAS MUCH SOUGHT AFTER. SCOTTI'S CONTEMPORARIES, INCLUDING MEMBERS OF THE RUSSIAN IMPERIAL FAMILY, ADMIRED HIS MASTERFUL WATERCOLOURS, HIS "ITALIAN-STYLE" PAINTINGS, AND HIS PORTRAITS. SCOTTI RECEIVED WELL-DESERVED RECOGNITION FOR HIS HISTORICAL PAINTINGS, TOO: RECENTLY HIS PAINTING "MININ AND POZHARSKY" (NIZHNY NOVGOROD ART MUSEUM) HAS BECOME PARTICULARLY FAMOUS.

 

Irina Shumanova
Golovin and Diaghilev. Pro et contra

#3 2014 (44)

ON OCTOBER 2 1921 IN PETROGRAD, STRAVINSKY'S BALLET "THE FIREBIRD", DESIGNED BY ALEXANDER GOLOVIN, PREMIERED AT THE ACADEMIC THEATRE OF OpERA AND Ballet (Formerly The MARIINSKY Theatre). IT WAS The Finale OF A CONFUCT, BETWEEN The IMPERIAL THEATRES AND SERGEI DIAGHILEV'S COMPANY, WHICH HAD BEEN RUNNING THROUGH THE 1910S - A CONFRONTATION IN WHICH GOLOVIN PLAYED AN IMPORTANT AND COMPLICATED ROLE, ACTING AS DIAGHILEV'S ASSOCIATE AND, AT THE SAME TIME, CHALLENGER.

Natalya Makerova
Meyerhold and Golovin

#3 2014 (44)

THE COLLABORATION BETWEEN MEYERHOLD AND GOLOVIN BEGAN IN 1908, WHEN THE DIRECTOR STARTED WORKING AT THE IMPERIAL THEATRES IN ST. PETERSBURG, AND LASTED UNTIL 1918, AND BROUGHT 20 PRODUCTIONS IN ALL TO THE STAGE. THEIR UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP BECAME POSSIBLE BECAUSE THEY HAD COMMON GOALS AND WORKED JOINTLY TO DEVELOP THEATRICAL METHODS TO ACHIEVE THEM.

Margarita Chizhmak
"Uncork a bottle of champagne, or Read again 'The Marriage of Figaro'!" The Creative Alliance of Golovin and Stanislavsky

#3 2014 (44)

"WE'RE DELIGHTED, EXCITED, PROUD - ALL OUR THEATRE LOVES YOU, WE LOVINGLY EMBRACE YOU."2 SO READ THE TELEGRAM SENT ТО ALEXANDER GOLOVIN IN DETSKOE SELO BY KONSTANTIN STANISLAVSKY, DIRECTOR OF THE MOSCOW ART THEATRE. GOLOVIN RECEIVED SUCH TELEGRAMS AND LETTERS, FULL OF ADMIRATION AND ADORATION FOR HIS ARTISTIC TALENT, AFTER EVERY REVIEW OF HIS SKETCHES OF SETS AND COSTUMES FOR THE PRODUCTION OF BEAUMARCHAIS' COMEDY "THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, OR THE DAY OF MADNESS". AMAZINGLY, FROM 1925 TO 1930, THE PERIOD WHEN GOLOVIN WORKED FOR THE MOSCOW ART THEATRE, HE NEVER ONCE TRAVELLED TO MOSCOW, NOR DID THE THEATRE'S CHIEF DIRECTOR VISIT THE ARTIST IN HIS LENINGRAD SECLUSION.

Anastasia Dmitrieva, Maria Lipatova
Alexander Golovin's Work for the Theatre and Alexei Bakhrushin

#3 2014 (44)

ALEXANDER GOLOVIN'S CONTRIBUTION TO THE EVOLUTION OF THEATRE DESIGN WAS AS GROUND-BREAKING AS THAT OF THE IMPRESSIONISTS ТО PAINTING. IT IS NO SURPRISE THAT, EVEN DURING HIS LIFETIME, HIS WORKS WERE PROMPTLY ACQUIRED BY PRIVATE COLLECTORS AND MUSEUMS. STRICTLY SPEAKING, AN ARTIST'S WORK FOR THE THEATRE COMPRISES HIS OR HER SET AND COSTUME DESIGNS, STAGE PROPS, AS WELL PORTRAITS OF ACTORS, THEATRE COLLEAGUES, AND OTHER DETAILS. AS FOR GOLOVIN'S OEUVRE, PRACTICALLY ALL HIS WORK IS, IN FACT, THEATRE-RELATED TO A CERTAIN EXTENT, INCLUDING HIS STILL-LIFES, "IMAGINED" LANDSCAPES, PORTRAITS OF FRIENDS AND ACQUAINTANCES, AND HIS IMAGES OF "SPANISH WOMEN", OFTEN DEPICTING WOMEN WHO ACTUALLY WORKED FOR THE MARIINSKY THEATRE.

Maria Goukhberg
A Lady "in Disguise". Gurly Telyakovskaya and Alexander Golovin

#3 2014 (44)

IN 1898 ALEXANDER GOLOVIN MADE THE ACQUAINTANCE OF VLADIMIR ARKADIEVICH TELYAKOVSKY, WHO HAD BEEN APPOINTED DIRECTOR OF THE MOSCOW BOARD OF THE IMPERIAL THEATRES THAT YEAR. HE OFFERED GOLOVIN THE POSITION OF STAGE DESIGNER AT THE BOLSHOI THEATRE AND LATER, IN 1900, OF CHIEF CONSULTANT AT THE MARIINSKY THEATRE. THUS THE ARTIST WAS COMMISSIONED WITH A HUGE AMOUNT OF WORK DESIGNING STAGE SETS FOR BOTH MUSICAL AND DRAMATIC PRODUCTIONS IN THE CAPITAL, AND IN THE COURSE OF THIS WORK HE ACQUIRED HIS NOTION OF WHAT IT MEANT TO BE A THEATRE ARTIST.

Olga Atroshchenko
From Biography to Hagiography. The Russian Intelligentsia in Mikhail Nesterov's Work

#2 2014 (43)

LATE IN 1901, MIKHAIL NESTEROV, THEN LIVING ALMOST ALL THE TIME IN KIEV, BEGAN WORKING ON HIS "HOLY RUS"' (1901-1905, RUSSIAN MUSEUM), WHILE IN ST. PETERSBURG THE RELIGIOUS AND PHILOSOPHICAL ASSEMBLIES STARTED GATHERING REGULARLY. AT THE ASSEMBLIES, MEMBERS OF THE INTELLIGENTSIA MET WITH THE SENIOR CHURCH HIERARCHS TO DISCUSS RELIGIOUS ISSUES OF PUBLIC CONCERN. THE ASSEMBLIES GATHERED IN THE SPACIOUS "SMALLER" HALL OF THE GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY, LOCATED ON FONTANKA STREET, FREQUENTLY FILLING THE VENUE TO OVERFLOWING. THE ASSEMBLIES WERE INITIATED BY PROMINENT PERSONALITIES OF THE SILVER AGE, LIKE WRITERS-SYMBOLISTS INCLUDING DMITRY MEREZHKOVSKY, ZINAIDA GIPPIUS, ALEXEI REMIZOV; THE PHILOSOPHER VASILY ROZANOV, THE THEOLOGIAN VALENTIN TERNAVTSEV, AND OTHERS. AS GIPPIUS RECALLED, "THE FIRST REPORT [PREPARED BY TERNAVTSEV - O.A.] INTRODUCED... THE SUBJECT OF ALL FUTURE DISCUSSIONS: THE QUESTION OF CHRISTIANITY; OF ITS EFFECT ON HUMAN LIFEAND ON HUMAN SOCIETY. CONCURRENTLY, ANOTHER QUESTION AROSE, ABOUTTHE CHRISTIAN CHURCH (OR CHURCHES) - OF ITS PERCEPTION OF CHRISTIANITY."

Tatyana Galina
Moscow and the Art of Anna Golubkina

#2 2014 (43)

MOSCOW WAS THE SECOND HOME TOWN OF ANNA GOLUBKINA: SHE WAS BORN IN ZARAISK ON JANUARY 28 1864. GOLUBKINA BECAME A MUSCOVITE IN 1889, WHEN SHE ENROLLED AT THE FINE ARTS WORKSHOP OF THE ARCHITECT ANATOLY GUNST. LATER, IN 1891-1894, SHE STUDIED AT THE MOSCOW SCHOOL OF PAINTING, SCULPTURE AND ARCHITECTURE. GOLUBKINA LIVED IN MOSCOW FOR A LONG TIME: ALTHOUGH SHE RETURNED TO ZARAISK MANY TIMES, AND MOVED TO ST. PETERSBURG TO STUDY, AND LIVED IN EUROPE FOR LONG PERIODS FOR THE SAME PURPOSE, SHE ALWAYS WANTED TO MAKE HER HOME IN MOSCOW - TO HAVE A STUDIO IN THE CITY, AND TO PARTICIPATE IN ITS CULTURAL AND INTELLECTUAL ACTIVITIES.

HERITAGE

Irina Kapranova
Anna Golubkina's Reliefs: Between Sculpture and Painting

#2 2014 (43)

THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS NOT AS FAMILIAR WITH ANNA GOLUBKINA'S RELIEFS AS WITH HER SCULPTURES. IN FACT, OUTSIDE SPECIALIST CIRCLES, THEIR EXISTENCE IS HARDLY KNOWN. HOWEVER, IT IS CLEAR THAT GOLUBKINA'S RELIEFS, SO DIVERSE IN TERMS OF THEIR SUBJECT MATTER AND STYLE, AS WELL AS THEIR ARTISTIC GOALS AND INNOVATIVE IMPLEMENTATION, OCCUPY AN IMPORTANT PLACE IN RUSSIAN CULTURE OF THE LATE 19TH-EARLY 20TH CENTURIES. MODERN SCULPTORS HAVE DRAWN ON AND EXPANDED ON GOLUBKINA'S DISCOVERIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS IN BUILDING RELIEFS WIDELY AND WITHOUT RESTRAINT. ARTISTS ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED TO FOLLOW THE CLASSICAL CANONS OF RELIEF SCULPTURE UNCONDITIONALLY AND PRECISELY. NEVERTHELESS, THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THIS RUSSIAN SCULPTOR, WHO LED THE WAY TOWARDS A NEW ART THAT WOULD BE FREE FROM RIGID ACADEMIC CLICHES, HAVE YET TO BE FULLY ACKNOWLEDGED.

Alla Gusarova
Symbolism and Russian Art

#2 2013 (39)

FLOURISHING IN THE LATE 19TH-EARLY 20TH CENTURIES, SYMBOLISM ASPIRED TO CONVEY IN ART INTUITIVE INSIGHTS INTO DIFFERENT REALITIES - THE REALITY OF DREAM, REVERIE, MEMORY, FAIRY TALE, LEGEND, OR THAT OF A DIFFERENT, HIGHER WORLD. THIS NEW WORLDVIEW, REPLACING POSITIVISM, BECAME ONE OF THE FEATURES OF THE CULTURAL SILVER AGE IN RUSSIA, AND EMBRACED ALL AREAS OF CREATIVE ENDEAVOUR, INCLUDING LITERATURE, RAINTING AND MUSIC RUSSIAN WRITERS AND POETS SUCH AS ALEXANDER BLOK, ANDREI BELY AND VY-ACHESLAV IVANOV, AND THE RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHERS VLADIMIR SOLOVIEV, PAVEL FLORENSKY AND SERGEI BULGAKOV BECAME EVANGELISTS AND INTERPRETERS OF THE NEW MOVEMENT: THEY PREACHED ABOUT THE MYSTICAL AND EVEN DIVINE ESSENCE OF ART WHICH WAS BOUND TO TRANSFORM THE WORLD.

Lyudmila Markina
“An artist with wonderful talent and comfortable means…”

#4 2012 (37)

On the 200th anniversary of the birth of Fyodor Moller

Thus the engraver Fyodor Iordan described his friend Fyodor Moller (born Otto Friedrich Theodor von Möller, 1812-1874). Born into a family of Baltic German nobility and later in life a professor of St. Petersburg’s Academy of Arts, Moller lived a happy family and artistic life, gaining recognition in his lifetime, most notably for his portraits of Nikolai Gogol. Moller’s name, however, was soon almost forgotten, and today he remains little more than a link between Russian and Estonian culture. A conference devoted to the bicentenary of the artist’s birth took place in Kuressaare castle on the Estonian Island of Saaremaa in September 2012: it was there, in this small resort town, that Moller spent his summers from 1856 onwards.
Moller lived a happy life with his young wife and children on his estate, by a lake not far from the unique Kaali field of meteorite craters, creating a number of well-known paintings and giving art lessons to enthusiasts. He is buried in the Lutheran cemetery nearby.

Tatiana Yudenkova
Pride of the Nation
Pavel Tretyakov's Gallery of Portraits

#3 2012 (36)

Among the names that Pavel Tretyakov immortalised in his gallery of Russian national art are many that remain synonymous of Russian culture today: Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Nekrasov, Shevchenko, Griboedov, Chekhov and many others. But we should clearly understand that the collector selected such figures relying entirely on his own judgement, while his contemporaries often could not reach consensus regarding the stature of particular Russian cultural figures whom we call today, without hesitation, "individuals that the nation holds dear to its heart".

Yelena Terkel
Pavel Tretyakov and Anton Rubinstein -
Fellow Devotees to the Arts

#3 2012 (36)

Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov and Anton Gri-gorievich Rubinstein shared a selfless devotion to art. Tretyakov was a great collector and the founder of the largest museum of Russian painting, Rubinstein a great composer and virtuoso pianist and conductor. Their paths crossed early in their lives, and their respect for one another only grew over the years.

Yevgeny Pasternak
Letters on Love, Friendship, Creativity
On the 150th anniversary of the birth of Leonid Pasternak

#3 2012 (36)

Leonid Osipovich Pasternak, a member of the Academy of Fine Arts, professor at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, and one of the founders of the Union of Russian Artists, was born in Odessa on March 22 (April 4) 1862. Art historians consider him a member of a small group of Russian Impressionists, an art movement which is yet to be comprehensively studied.

Valeriya Minina
A Master of Major Forms
On the centenary of Alexander Kibalnikov's birth

#3 2012 (36)

Alexander Kibalnikov's name occupies one of the most prominent and significant places in the brilliant cohort of Soviet artists. When we recall his works — monumental sculptures, portraits, memorial and monumental compositions — it becomes clear that Kibalnikov's art has a consistent creative direction. It is characterized by its loyalty to the principles of civic consciousness and humanity, high integrity, strong inherent bond to the fate of his native country and its people. It is among the people that the artist found subjects for his art, individuals of strong will and courage, resolute, beautiful and wholesome in their thoughts and aspirations — people who embody a certain social ideal.

Irina Kapranova
The Unknown Golubkina: The Art of Cameo

#2 2012 (35)

The sculptor Anna Golubkina is an outstanding Russian artist of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Although her work has always been the subject of scholarly study, there still remains much to learn. An unexplored but distinctive and unexpected phenomenon in Golubkina's art — she generally gravitated towards monumental forms of sculpture — is represented by her cameos, made from seashell and ivory. Initial efforts to estimate the total number of these miniatures, which were created over many years, and understand their significance in Golubkina's work, led to the conclusion that carving cameos was a modest "parallel" occupation which existed alongside her more renowned and innovative work in sculpture.

Alexander Rozhin
Advocate of Spiritual Values

#1 2012 (34)

On 9 March 2012 Viktor Popkov, who died tragically early in November 1974, would have marked his 80th birthday. A graduate of the Surikov Art Institute, Popkov became one of the brightest and most remarkable artists of his generation, and his name and work has a permanent place in the history of the fine arts of the mid- to late-20th century.

Eleonora Paston
Vasily Polenov:
“I love the gospel tales beyond words…”

#4 2011 (33)

In October 2011 the Tretyakov Gallery hosted a remarkable event. In the room featuring Vasily Polenov’s works the museum put on view his two compositions – “He That Is Without Sin Among You” (1908) and “Guilty to Death” (1906), from his series of paintings “Scenes from Christ’s Life” (1890s-1900s). Found by chance at a North American educational institution, the pieces were displayed by Bonhams auction house at a pre-sale exhibition.

Zoya Shergina
Pavel Tretyakov: The Collector’s Library

#2 2011 (31)

In agreement with Pavel Tretyakovʼs will, after his death in 1898, some of the books from his personal library became the property of the gallery, which had earlier been donated to the city of Moscow. There are several surviving documents that refer to this transfer. The most important is a 19-sheet “Inventory of Pavel Tretyakovʼs Library”, rounded off with a handwritten note confirming that “the books and art publications listed herein were delivered by Pavel Tretyakovʼs heir and included into the library of the Gallery of brothers Pavel and Sergei Tretyakov on November 1 1899”, signed by Ilya Ostroukhov and Yegor Khruslov1. This date can be regarded as the founding date of the modern academic library of the Tretyakov Gallery. Over time Tretyakovʼs personal collection of books was complemented with a large number of publications acquired later. Today it is kept as a separate memorial fund2 – what sort of book collection had it been, and what part of it is deposited in the academic library?

Irina Nikiforova
The Illustrated Poster as a Mirror of Life

#2 2011 (31)

The introduction of graphic advertisement posters in the second half of the 19th-century outdoor urban space became an important historical and art phenomenon. Today, its significance and welldeserved influence are beyond dispute. Displayed in public places, graphic posters exercised a defining influence over the tastes of society. However, the poster played an even greater role in the evolution of art as it attracted the most avant-garde ideas and embodied the essence of various art movements and styles. Symbolism entered the “metropolitan landscape” with the posters of Puvis de Chavannes and Aman-Jean. “Le Style Moderne”, Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, and Sezessionstil – the last style of the end of the 19th century in its many local incarnations appeared on the streets of European cities and captured the imagination of millions by way of advertisement posters by Aubrey Beardsley and Walter Crane, Alphonse Mucha and Eugène Grasset, Franz von Stuck and Gustav Klimt.

Valentina Naumenko
Ivan Aivazovsky – A Drawing for the Album

#2 2011 (31)

Viennaʼs exhibition centre, the Kunstforum, opened an exhibition of Ivan Aivazovsky, the brilliant marine painter, and member of several European academies of fine arts, on March 16 2011. The works were lent by the Aivazovsky Art Gallery in Feodosia, in Ukraine; from the Peterhof State Museum-Reserve in St. Petersburg, the Central Russian Navy Museum (St. Petersburg), the Russian Museum, the Kiev National Museum of Russian Art, the Armenian St. Lazarus Monastery in Venice, Italy, and private collections.

Nina Markova
The Story of the Creation of Empress Elizabeth’s Coronation Album

#1 2011 (30)

The coronation album of the Russian Empress Yelizaveta (Elizabeth) Petrovna may appear to the general public as something that is both well-known and properly studied. However, this is not quite so. Since the end of the 19th century, when Dmitry Rovinsky published a full listing of the engravings printed in the catalogue, with brief comments, we have learned little new. It took a long time to prepare the album: the work started in the autumn of 1742 and continued until the end of 1744. Over that entire period, active correspondence went on between Moscow, where the court continued to celebrate the coronation, and St. Petersburg, the seat of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, as the parties concerned tried to resolve numerous problems relating to the work. Their correspondence was published as part of “Materials for the History of the Imperial Academy of Sciences”. In the late 20th century, this body of documents increased significantly due to the addition of new papers published in the collected volume on the history of the Engraving Chamber.

Tatiana Plastova
Arkady Plastov. Portraits of the Artist

#4 2010 (29)

And never for a single moment
Betray your credo or pretend,
But be alive – this only matters –
Alive and burning to the end.

Boris Pasternak

The verse of the great Russian poet of the 20th century can be seen as an epigraph to the destinies of the generation of Russians who grew up with and came of age together with the 20th century. For all the differences in their life stories, Boris Pasternak and Arkady Plastov were contemporaries in the deepest sense of the word: if for nothing else, they were connected by the fact that Leonid Pasternak – the poetʼs father – taught Plastov at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.

Olga Atroshchenko
Isaac Levitan and His Contemporaries

#3 2010 (28)

The life story of Isaac Levitan as an artist is in many respects similar to the life stories of other graduates of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Most of them offspring of peasants or bankrupt merchants, and very few from noble families, they usually came to Moscow from the remote provinces practically penniless, and often, after the loss of parents, like Levitan.

Margarita Krylova
Creative Discoveries of the Russian Artist-travelers

#2 2010 (27)

The late 18th century saw the appearance in Russia of the “artist-traveler” – artists who accompanied official delegations to new lands, or visited Europe on Academy fellowships, or traveled independently, always recording their impressions of their journeys. Drawing was the most direct form in which to do so: their sketches from nature – the first step towards final, finished compositions – were created using different media (pencil, quill, watercolour or pastel), and preserved intact the freshness of the artistic perception of nature, architectural landmarks, and people. An exhibition of graphic artwork from the Tretyakov Gallery collection, held from June 2009 through January 2010, featured more than 350 pieces from the late 18th to the early 20th century (up until the 1930s), created by artists during their travels across the Russian empire and the world.

Lyudmila Markina
Portrait with a Mystery Notes on Vladimir Borovikovsky’s iconography

#1 2009 (25)

In late 2008-early 2009 the Tretyakov Gallery hosted, in its Krymsky Val building, an exhibition “...Her beauty was rescued by Borovikovsky”, to great acclaim. For the first time in history the show featured religious works of the artist who, in Soviet times, was known only as a portraitist. Understandably, Borovikovsky's icons drew the attention of viewers, clergy, and museum specialists.

Svetlana Usacheva
A Life-long Italian Journey Sylvestr Shchedrin in the Tretyakov Gallery

#1 2009 (25)

The Tretyakov Gallery has a major collection of paintings by Sylvestr Shchedrin (1791-1830), one of the most endearing Russian landscape artists of the first third of the 19th century. In 1800 he was accepted to the Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied in Mikhail Ivanov's workshop. Awarded in 1811 a Big Gold Medal for his “graduation paintings”, he was a recipient of an academic fellowship for study abroad, and in 1818 he went to Rome, the city widely recognized as the capital of European art. It was in Italy that his talent would blossom.

HERITAGE

Anatoly Khvorostov
“The ‘Zemstvo’ on Lunch Break” in the Novosilsky County

№3 2009 (24)

“The ʻZemstvoʼ on Lunch Break” (the Russian word in its title refers to the local elective distinct councils that existed in Russia from 1864 to 1917) was and remains Grigory Grigoryevich Myasoedovʼs most famous painting, though Myasoedov worked all the time, creating more and more new pieces (Pavel Tretyakov and other collectors bought many of them).

Irina Kuznetsova
A Window Onto Europe: The Collection of Sergei Mikhailovich Tretyakov

№2 2009 (23)

The publication of this article is a tribute to its author, Irina Alexandrovna Kuznetsova, who for more than 50 years curated French and English painting at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. The Pushkin Museum, where she took her first job at 17, became for her not just a workplace but a home requiring unremitting care.

HERITAGE

Natalya Apchinskaya
Niko Pirosmani. “Glory to this right hand”

№1 2009 (22)

In December 2008 the Proun Gallery, at the Vinzavod Contemporary Art Centre, held a Pirosmani retrospective exhibition, the first show of the artistʼs work in Moscow for many years. Impeccably designed and staged, it featured 20 works by Pirosmani, mainly from private collections, along with supporting photographic and other visual materials. It proved a huge success with the public, which was ready to queue for some time to see it. This article is a tribute to the art of the outstanding Primitivist painter.

Yelizaveta Yefremova
The “Makovets” Artists: A Luminous Reality of Imagery

№2 2008 (19)

As Pavel Florensky imaginatively said, the legendary Makovets knoll, on which St. Sergius of Radonezh founded his monastery, became “a focused elevation of Russian culture”. Thus it was no accident that the founders of “Art and Life”, an association of artists and writers established in the spring of 1921, chose this old name as the title for their magazine, and later it became the official name of the group itself.

Nadezhda Tregub
Zinaida Serebryakova. Nude Portraits

№1 2008 (18)

There must be a special stimulus for any new major exhibition of an artist, and perhaps several publications about Zinaida Yevgenievna Serebryakova (1884–1967) proved just that. Two St. Petersburg scholars prepared two monographs about Serebryakova practically simultaneously, and independently from one another. 2004 saw the publication of a book about the artist written by an expert from the Russian Museum Vladimir Kruglov, while an album by the renowned art historian Alla Rusakova came out in 2006. Although the two books appeared in quick succession one after another, they almost never repeat each other either in their text or choice of illustrations. The artist is so impressive – and her artistic heritage so considerable – that researchers can tackle her legacy from a variety of different angle

Natalya Apchinskaya
On Pavel Zaltsman Walking Through the Night...

№4 2007 (17)

A solo exhibition of paintings, watercolours and drawings by Pavel Zaltsman (1912-1985) from the funds of the Tretyakov Gallery and the collection of the artist’s family opened in October in the halls of the permanent exhibition of 20th Century Art. A disciple of Pavel Filonov, Zaltsman was never overpowered by his teacher’s influence and preserved his own artistic identity, having borrowed from Filonov the latter’s approach to the presentation of images most characteristic of the tragic collisions of the 20th century alongside basic metaphysical elements. This rather small exhibition showcased paintings, watercolours, and drawings in ink and pencil, and gave viewers an opportunity to see the main motifs of Zaltsman’s works and his creative retrospective career starting from the first professionally made drawings of the early 1920s through to the last works of the late 1980s (Zaltsman died in Alma-Ata). Pavel Zaltsman was a painter and graphic artist, as well as a cinema artist, a figure fascinated by applied Oriental art, and also an outstanding lecturer in the history of world art. Zaltsman’s prose and poetry have been unknown to the general public until recently. His literary creative experience – irrational and absurdist as it was – brought him rather close to the OBERIUT group, to Zoshchenko and sometimes even to Kafka, but even if in any case incompatible with his paintings and graphic art, it gives an opportunity to realize the inner sources of Zaltsman’s visual artistry, revealing the anti-humane nature of the 20th century.

Yuri Mudrov, Olga Savitskaya
“The Forgotten One” from the Benois Dynasty

№1 2007 (14)

Five St. Petersburg museums – the Russian Museum, the Academic Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts, the St. Petersburg Museum of Theatre and Music, the Yelaginoostrovsky Palace-Museum and the Russian Ethnography Museum – were exhibiting the works of Alexander Benois di Stetto (1896–1979). His works, never before shown in Russia, reaffirmed the reputation of the illustrious family of artists as the most significant, and artistically most prolific and versatile dynasty of its time.

Lyubov Golovina
The Sculptor Alexander Opekushin:
Reviving National Feeling

№1 2007 (14)

The second half of the 19th century brought Russian art a number of talented masters, whose names have now largely been forgotten by specialists. Despite the fact that his work speaks volumes about the period of its creation with its problems and contradictions, the sculptor Alexander Opekushin is precisely one such undervalued figure.

Tatiana Zuykova, Olga Romanova
A Woman of Her Times: An Essay on the Sculptor Yekaterina Belashova

№1 2007 (14)

To mark Yekaterina Belashova’s centenary, in December 2006 the State Tretyakov Gallery Department of 20th century sculpture held an exhibition of the sculptor’s work in the Tretyakov Gallery on Krimsky Val. This included pieces from the gallery’s collection, as well as items belonging to the sculptor’s family. The exhibition was accompanied by a special memorial event. with guest speakers including art specialists and artists, many of whom were taught by Yekaterina Belashova.

Alexei Levykin
200 years of Moscow Kremlin Museums

№2 2006 (11)

The history of Russia's oldest museum, now named the "Moscow Kremlin" Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve has a long history. Its numerous collections originated in the 14th-early 15th centuries, during the reign of the first Grand Princes of Muscovy – Ivan Kalita, Dmitry Donskoi and Vasily I. In their wills, they bequeathed to their offspring golden caps, sabres, tableware and jewelled waist-belts, which soon came to be regarded by their contemporaries as ancestral relics that "protected the family" and symbolized its political power.

p class="mag2">E.Paston
Conversation with Nature in Abramtsevo

 

№1 2005 (06)

The Abramtsevo circle of artists was formed in the last third of the 19th century. It grew up around the wealthy manufacturer and patron of the arts Savva Mamontov, and came to include such artists as Ilya Repin, Vasily Polenov, Viktor and Apollinary Vasnetsov, Mark Antokolsky, Valentin Serov, Konstantin Korovin, Yelena Polenova, Mikhail Nesterov, Ilya Ostroukhov and Mikhail Vrubel. Active in many areas such as painting, sculpture and graphic art as well as drama, architecture, decorative and applied arts, the group received wide acclaim.

N.Adaskina
The Art of Solomon Nikritin

№4 2004 (05)

THE ORGANIZERS OF THE EXHIBITION WHICH OPENED IN JANUARY 2004 IN THE SALONIKI MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART HAD TWO MAJOR TASKS. FIRST, THEY WERE TO PRESENT TO THE WORLD THE WHOLE VARIETY OF SOLOMON NIKRITIN’S ART; ADDITIONALLY, THEY WERE TO COLLECT FOR THE TIME OF THE EXHIBITION ALL THE SEPARATE WORKS FROM THE COLLECTION OF GEORGI KOSTAKIS, WHO HAD BEEN THE ARTIST’S MAJOR PATRON.

T.Petrusevich
A Portrait in Search of its Viewers

№4 2004 (05)

LAST YEAR, THE HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL EXHIBITION ILJA REPIN. AUF DER SUCHE NACH RUSSLAND (ILYA REPIN. IN SEARCH OF RUSSIA) GAVE THE GERMAN PUBLIC A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY TO ENJOY A NUMBER OF REPIN’S WORKS FROM THE COLLECTIONS OF RUSSIAN NATIONAL MUSEUMS. THE EXHIBITION INCLUDED FIVE PAINTINGS FROM THE CENTRAL STATE MUSEUM OF MODERN RUSSIAN HISTORY. AMONG THEM WAS REPIN’S UNIQUE PORTRAIT OF THE FAMOUS RUSSIAN POLITICIAN AND LAWYER ALEXANDER KERENSKY (1881–1970), LISTED IN THE MUSEUM’S MAIN INVENTORY UNDER NO. 12489/4.

L.GOLOVINA
SHUBIN. TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY

№3 2004 (04)

THE REIGN OF CATHERINE THE GREAT WAS BOTH GLORIOUS AND IGNOBLE: "SOME SPOKE OF THAT TIME WITH ENTHUSIASTIC ADMIRATION AND UNCRITICAL SENTIMENTALISM: A SPLENDID AGE THAT IMMORTALIZED RUSSIA’S ACHIEVEMENTS BY THE GLORY OF ITS EMPRESS, A TIME OF HEROES AND HEROIC DEEDS, AN EPOCH OF SWEEPING, UNPRECEDENTED GROWTH OF RUSSIAN CAPACITIES THAT AMAZED AND ALARMED THE WORLD", SO WROTE HISTORIAN VASILY KLYUCHEVSKY. HE IS ECHOED BY POET AND AUTHOR ALEXANDER RADISHCHEV: "OH, MEMORABLE IS THAT CENTURY! YOUR ELATED MORTALS ARE GRANTED TRUTH, FREEDOM AND LIGHT, YOUR ASCENDANT STAR BRIGHTLY BURNING FOREVER…" IRONICALLY, THE ROMANTIC RADISHCHEV WAS LATER TO SUFFER A PAINFUL DISILLUSIONMENT; MORE REALISTIC OBSERVERS WERE AWARE OF THE DETERIORATION IN PUBLIC MORALITY, WITH A RISE IN SECULARITY AND GREED.

L.GOLOVINA
MARK ANTOKOLSKY: "I`VE DONE EVERYTHING I COULD…"

№2 2004 (03)

Radical shifts in art are very often connected with the birth of outstanding creative personalities. The second half of the 19th century was just such an example: over a short period of time a real constellation of art-stars appeared, who inspire true lovers of art to this day. Among them is the sculptor Mark Antokolsky; the attitudes towards him of art critics from diametrically opposed wings of art – the democratic and the academic – were as different as the trends of art they represented. This juxtaposition did not make his life easier, but did make him a notable figure in the history of Russian sculpture.

V.AZARKOVICH
MOSCOW IN GURI ZAKHAROV’S ENGRAVINGS

№2 2004 (03)

MOSCOW, LIKE ANY OF THE WORLD’S GREAT CAPITALS, IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING ITS APPEARANCE. THE UNIQUE CHARM OF EACH AREA CHANGES AND, THE MORE TIME PASSES, THE MORE WE APPRECIATE THE EFFORTS OF PAST MASTERS TO RECORD THE MOSCOW THAT THEY SAW. GURI ZAKHAROV WAS SUCH MASTER, AND THE ARTIST LIVED A LARGE PART OF HIS LIFE IN THE CITY THAT HE SO GRACEFULLY DEPICTED. BORN IN THE SMALL AND ANCIENT RUSSIAN TOWN OF KIMRY, HE TOOK MOSCOW CLOSE TO HIS HEART, TRYING TO PORTRAY EVERY DETAIL OF THE CITY’S ENVIRONMENT, AS IF IN A HURRY TO CATCH THE ATMOSPHERE THAT PREVAILED IN THE CITY IN THE 1960s.

 

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