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AS TIMES AND LIVES INTERTWINE...
#4 2016 (53)
A recently-discovered family album belonging to Yelena Gayevskaya, wife of Feodosia town governor Pavel Gayevsky, sheds fascinating light on society in the town, and the interaction of its notable figures, in the first half of the 19th century. Containing remarkable early portrait sketches by Ivan Aivazovsky of some of those concerned, it reveals the broad and various historical links that extended through the beau-monde of the time - including connections which lead to the great Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin. The album affords invaluable context on the close-knit world in which the future great painter moved in his youth.
AN ENGLISH OPENING
#2 2016 (51)
“They have an eye for beautiful and expensive things in Russia”: proof of that was provided by the interest expressed by Russian business and high society individuals in the recent British Antiques Mission in the Moscow Expo that took place in the British Ambassador’s private residence in Moscow in March 2011.
“ I AM STANDING UP FOR SHAKESPEARE... ”
#2 2016 (51)
English literature was discovered by Russia’s educated circles in the 18th century, although mainly in German and French translation; soon after the Patriotic War of 1812 there emerged a keen interest not only in British writers, but in the English language as well.
Mikhail Nesterov. Quiet Truths
#1 2016 (50)
When a soul, sinful but talented and longing for epiphany, encounters genuine holiness, a "divine spark" produced by this encounter kindles an unquenchable flame of creativity. For Mikhail Nesterov, "holiness" was a hallmark of the ideas and objects regarded as sacred by every nation: the lands of the forbears, religion, the history and heroes of the country. But, together with his deep "affection for one's hearth and home, affection for one's ancestral tombstones," he equally revered the title of artist, questioning, until his last days, his right to be called one.
Valentin Serov and Leon Bakst. Seeking an ideal
#3 2015 (48)
Valentin Serov (1865-1911) appeared reserved, earnest, and sombre; Leon Bakst (1866-1924) was vibrant, unpredictable and a little funny - a dedicated dandy. What was it that brought together these two artists, so unlike one another? Why did their fondness for one another grow in the years after they met while publishing “Mir Iskusstva” (World of Art) magazine? The answer seems simple and complicated at the same time: deep down, they were looking for something indiscernibly similar. While their public personas were so different, both used them to protect their respective creative selves from the rude intrusions of outsiders. Both artists were successful and famous, each in his own unique way; both were chasing their dreams and looking for new paths and expressions, while remaining honest and true to themselves in their artistic pursuits.
The "Girl with Peaches": who is she?
#3 2015 (48)
Serov’s famous painting “Girl with Peaches” depicts my grandmother Vera Mamontova in her childhood. I never met her. She died when her daughter, my mother, was only just two. During her short life she managed to accomplish everything that was expected from a woman of her milieu at that time. She was an obedient daughter, a loving sister, a bride who suffered separation from her bridegroom, a caring mother... Her surviving letters, as well as the reminiscences of those who knew her, reveal much about her life.
The Return. On the Occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Tretyakov Gallery’s Re-opening after World War II
#2 2015 (47)
THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR WAS A TREMENDOUS UPHEAVAL FOR BOTH THE TRETYAKOV GALLERY AND THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. MARKING THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF VICTORY, WE ALSO CELEBRATE THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE GALLERY'S RE-OPENING AFTER ITS RETURN TO MOSCOW FROM EVACUATION.
Marina Gritsenko’s Diaries. The Days of War as Recorded by Pavel Tretyakov’s Granddaughter
#2 2015 (47)
THE TRETYAKOV GALLERY'S DEPARTMENT OF MANUSCRIPTS HOUSES A UNIQUE DOCUMENT DATING FROM THE YEARS OF THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR: THE DIARIES OF MARINA GRITSENKO (1901-1971), THE GRANDDAUGHTER OF PAVEL TRETYAKOV, THE MUSEUM'S FOUNDER. VIRTUALLY ALL HER LIFE WAS CONNECTED WITH ART. FOLLOWING IN THE FAMILY TRADITION, SHE WAS MORE THAN JUST A FRIEND TO ARTISTS: SHE HELPED THEM GET THROUGH THE HARD TIMES OF THE WAR. THE DIARIES SHE WROTE AT THE TIME ARE A LIVING TESTIMONY OF THE COUNTRY'S SITUATION IN THIS PERIOD.
#2 2015 (47)
EUGENE (YEVGENY) LANCERAY IS ONE OF THE FEW RUSSIAN ARTISTS WHO NOT ONLY EXPERIENCED BUT ALSO CAPTURED IN HIS WORK MANY EVENTS OF BOTH THE FIRST AND SECOND WORLD WARS. IN THE WINTER OF 1914-1915 HE TRAVELLED TO THE TURKISH FRONT TO PAINT LOCAL PEOPLE, COSSACKS AND EVENTS ON THE BATTLEFIELD. THAT WAR WAS CALLED THE T,REAT PATRIOTIC WAR", AND IT WAS FOLLOWED BY THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION IN 1917 AND THE CIVIL WAR. BUT FEW COULD HAVE FORESEEN THAT A NEW WORLD WAR WOULD BREAK OUT SO SOON. ON SEPTEMBER 4 1939 THE ARTIST WROTE IN HIS DIARY: "A SECOND WORLD WAR! AGAIN EVERYTHING IS FALLING APART! BUT INERTIA STILL RULES WHILE BOTH I AND EVERYBODY ELSE TALKS AND CARES ABOUT THE SUBTLETIES OF PROPORTIONS AND SHADES OF COLOURS!.. I'M THINKING ABOUT THE PARISIANS AND KOLYA." ON SEPTEMBER 9: "OLYOK IS FEELING LOW BECAUSE WAR IS LOOMING. PEOPLE SEEM TO BE BUYING UP FOOD. QUEUES EVERYWHERE. HUGE CROWDS IN THE SAVINGS BANKS." ON SEPTEMBER 24: "HISTORICAL EVENTS ARE FOLLOWING EACH OTHER IN A FLASH: THE 17TH - SOVIET TROOPS ENTER POLAND. POLAND'S ULTIMATE DEBACLE, AND YESTERDAY - ITS PARTITION; EVERYONE IS SPECULATING WHO WILL GET HOLD OF WARSAW, WHICH STRADDLES THE DIVIDE." BUT THE WAR WOULD ONLY REACH RUSSIA IN JUNE 1941.
#2 2015 (47)
BORIS NEMENSKY BEGAN HIS SERVICE IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR AS A 19-YEAR-OLD ENLISTED SOLDIER AND ARTIST EMBEDDED WITH THE ARMY. THE "MUNITIONS" HE CARRIED ON HIS BACK WERE THOSE ALREADY TESTED BY ARTISTS FROM THE GREKOV STUDIO OF WAR ARTISTS WHO HAD PRECEDED HIM TO THE FRONT LINE: A HOME-MADE SKETCH-BOOK FOR DRAWING ON PAPER, WHICH WAS SUITABLE FOR DRAWING IN ALL ELEMENTS, WHETHER STANDING, SITTING OR LYING DOWN. THE YOUNG ARTIST'S MISSION, AS STATED BY GLAVPUR (THE CHIEF DEPARTMENT ON POLITICAL MATTERS OF THE SOVIET ARMY AND NAVY), WAS TO CREATE "A PICTORIAL RECORD OF REAL EVENTS AT THE FRONT". HERE, NEMENSKY REMEMBERS HIS WARTIME EXPERIENCES, AND THE EFFECT THAT THOSE WAR YEARS HAD ON HIS SUBSEQUENT DEVELOPMENT AS AN ARTIST.
#2 2015 (47)
KONSTANTIN MOLCHANOV (1906-1980) WAS BORN IN MOSCOW AND GRADUATED FROM THE RENOWNED VKHUTEMAS-VKHUTEIN (RESPECTIVELY, THE HIGHER ART AND TECHNICAL STUDIOS, OR THE HIGHER ART AND TECHNICAL INSTITUTE, AS IT WAS KNOWN AFTER 1926). HE WAS ONE OF THE FIRST MEMBERS OF THE MOSCOW BRANCH OF THE UNION OF SOVIET ARTISTS, A DISTINGUISHED TEACHER AT THE MOSCOW SECONDARY ART SCHOOL; HIS MILITARY SERVICE BEGAN WHEN MOSCOW WAS THREATENED BY THE APPROACHING GERMAN ARMIES, AND ENDED IN BERLIN. THE ARTIST'S DAUGHTER SVETLANA AND GRANDSON VALERY MOLCHANOV TREASURE THE MEMORABILIA THAT TESTIFY TO HIS CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE WAR EFFORT: HIS MEDALS "FOR THE DEFENCE OF MOSCOW", "FOR THE DEFENCE OF STALINGRAD", "FOR THE LIBERATION OF WARSAW", "FOR THE CAPTURE OF BERLIN", "FOR VALIANT LABOUR IN THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR 1941-1945", "FOR VICTORY OVER GERMANY IN THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR 1941-1945", AS WELL AS THE ORDER OF THE PATRIOTIC WAR 2ND CLASS, A "DISTINGUISHED COMBAT ENGINEER (SAPPER)" BADGE AND MORE THAN 60 LETTERS OF COMMENDATION FROM HIS COMMANDING OFFICERS.
#3 2014 (44)
IN 1934, IN THE GRIP OF POST-REVOLUTIONARY HARDSHIPS, WHEN ART NOUVEAU WAS ALREADY, IRREVERSIBLY, A THING OF THE PAST - PART OF A HAPPY-GO-LUCKY GONE ERA IN WHICH YOUTH HAD LIVED, AND INSPIRED DEBATES ABOUT ART UNFOLDED ON THE PAGES OF THE MAGAZINES "WORLD OF ART" AND "APOLLO", AND A ROMANTIC ARTIST'S STUDIO SOARING ABOVE THE STAGE OF THE MARIINSKY THEATRE WITNESSED "POETIC" DUELS - MIKHAIL KUZMIN WROTE IN HIS DIARY: "SPRINGTIME. EVERYTHING IS IN BLOSSOM, AND THE VIEW FROM THE WINDOW IS LIKE GOLOVIN'S BLIND MAGAZINE COVERS: THE ENTIRE SPACE IS FILLED WITH GREEN ORNAMENTS OF DIFFERENT SHADES OF COLOUR... IT IS A PLEASURE AND JOY TO WATCH HOW THE BUDS ARE OPENING, THE GRASS IS GROWING, ALL IS LIMPID, AND TWIGS ARE ELEGANT (PICTURE VERSUS COLOURATION)".
#3 2014 (44)
WHEN WE LOOK AT PAINTINGS, WE OFTEN WONDER WHAT THE ARTIST WAS LIKE IN REAL LIFE, WHAT EXCITED HIM, WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE SURROUNDED HIM, WHAT INSPIRED HIM TO CREATE HIS MASTERPIECES. IT IS NOT ALWAYS EASY TO FIND ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS, EITHER IN THE ARTIST'S WORKS OR IN EXPERT STuDIES Of HIS OR HER OEuVRE. MEMOIRS AND CORRESPONDENCE SOMETIMES HELP US LIFT THE VEIL OF MYSTERY. ALEXANDER GOLOVIN'S OWN "ENCOUNTERS AND IMPRESSIONS", PUBLISHED BY ERICH GOLLERBAKH, OUTLINED THE EXPERIENCES OF THE ARTIST'S LIFE; HE FOCUSED ON CULTURAL EVENTS, ON HIS ASSESSMENT OF VARIOUS PERSONALITIES AND PHENOMENA, BUT MUCH LESS ON HIS REFLECTIONS ON ART. THE ARTIST'S INNER WORLD AND HIS CREATIVE PROCESS REMAIN ALMOST ALWAYS "OFF THE RECORD".
Russian Patriarchs of the 20th Century in Pavel Korin's Works
#2 2014 (43)
THE LIFE AND ARTISTIC CAREER OF PAVEL KORIN (1892-1967) COINCIDED WITH THE RESTORATION OF THE INSTITUTION OF THE PATRIARCHATE IN RUSSIA. HE WAS PRIVILEGED TO MEET ALL THE PRIMATES OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH ELECTED DURING THE SOVIET PERIOD, FROM TIKHON TO PIMEN, THE FUTURE PATRIARCH. THESE FATEFUL ENCOUNTERS TOOK PLACE AT A TIME WHEN THE VERY EXISTENCE OF THE RUSSIAN CHURCH WAS CHALLENGED.
The Holy Trinity Church in Cuhurestii
#1 2014 (42)
ONE OF THE REMAINING ENIGMAS OF NATALIA GONCHAROVAS ARTISTIC LEGACY CONCERNS HER WORK ON THE MURALS FOR A CHURCH IN BESSARABIA (NOW MOLDOVA) BUILT BY THE ARCHITECT ALEXEI SHCHUSEV. FOR A LONG TIME HER INVOLVEMENT IN THE PROJECT WAS A MATTER OF DISPUTE.
The Mansion of Serge Koussevitzky. The Story Behind a Commission
#1 2014 (42)
NATALIA GONCHAROVA IS ONE OF THOSE RARE PAINTERS WITH A PRONOUNCED TOUCH FOR THE MONUMENTAL FORM. IN HER RUSSIAN YEARS IT MANIFESTED ITSELF IN RELIGIOUS PAINTINGS THAT WERE FAR FROM "ORTHODOX" - AT LEAST BY COMPARISON WITH CONTEMPORARY ECCLESIASTICAL ART AS REPRESENTED BY TH E LI KES OF VIKTOR VASNETSOV AN D MIKHAIL NESTEROV - A FACTOR THAT EFFECTIVELY BLOCKED ANY POSSIBILITY OF HER RECEIVING OFFICIAL COMMISSIONS. IT WAS ONLY IN 1915 AFTER HER DEPARTURE FROM RUSSIA, THAT WITH THE HELP OF THE ARCHITECT ALEXEI SHCHUSEV THE ARTIST WAS COMMISSIONED TO DECORATE A PRIVATE CHURCH ON AN ESTATE IN BESSARABIA. EVEN THAT WORK WAS DOOMED NEVER TO BE COMPLETED, BECAUSE OF THE WAR AND REVOLUTION.
Isaac Levitan's Summer. Day Rediscovered
#1 2014 (42)
EVERY WORK BY THE EMINENT LANDSCAPE ARTIST ISAAC LEVITAN, WHETHER HIS LARGE FINISHED COMPOSITIONS OR SKETCHES FROM NATURE, HIS DRAWINGS OR Refined pASTEL pIEcES, IS A "SwEET Melody" ABOuT RuSSIAN NATuRE – A MELODY WHICH SOUNDS SOMETIMES CLEARLY AND CHEERFULLY, SOMETIMES TENSELY AND ANXIOUSLY, BUT ALWAYS EARNESTLY AND EMOTIONALLY. LEVITAN'S APPRECIATION OF RUSSIAN CULTURE, IN WHICH HE WAS RAISED BOTH AS AN ARTIST AND AS AN INDIVIDUAL, AND WHICH HE KNEW AND LOVED, MADE HIM ONE OF THE MOST SENSITIVE LANDSCAPE ARTISTS WHO EXPRESSED THE NATIONAL ESSENCE AND THE INNERMOST MYSTERY OF THE COUNTRY'S NATURE. AS ALEXANDRE BENOIS CHARACTERISED HIM: "A SENSITIVE AND GREAT ARTIST."
Mikhail Nesterov and lexeiShchusev Collaborate. Unknown projects
#1 2013 (38)
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, ALWAYS DEMANDING OF HIMSELF, CONSIDERED THE CHURCH BUILDINGS DESIGNED BY SHCHUSEV IN COLLABORATION WITH HIM AS HIS GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS MADE "ON THE CHURCH SCAFFOLDING". MOREOVER, THE NATURE OF THIS COLLABORATION ARGUABLY INDICATES THAT THE TWO MASTERS INFLUENCED ONE ANOTHER. NOT SURPRISINGLY, AFTER THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION 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 MANAGED TO EXAMINE UNKNOWN EPISODES IN THE ARTIST'S CAREER, STUDYING THOSE OF HIS COMMISSIONED WORKS THAT EVEN EXPERTS KNOW LITTLE ABOUT, AND IDENTIFYING IMAGES AND DRAWINGS NEVER PREVIOUSLY PRINTED.
Mikhail Nesterov's Family in His Art
#1 2013 (38)
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.
H.M. Queen Sonja’s Art Collection
#4 2012 (37)
It was a beautiful day. We were on a hike in Northern Norway. In Leirfjord a large rectangular steel installation had been placed in the landscape. Everyone thought it was odd. But I insisted – we should not be discouraged. We should go and have a look! As we approached, we saw that the seemingly randomly sited construction framed the landscape in an infinite number of perspectives, depending upon where one was standing. The landscape had been there since the dawn of time. Art helps us realize that.
What more can we ask?
Queen Sonja in “Impulses” 2001
№1 2007 (14)
The growth and development of Ingush art is a little researched topic. The creative Weltanschauung is closely connected with the history, religious customs, ethical norms and aesthetic values of a people. The work of the two “fathers” of Ingush professional art, Khadzhi-Bekr Akhriev and GaziMagomed Dourbekov, is no exception.
№1 2003 (01)
IT WAS IN JUNE 1920 THAT THE GROUP UNOVIS ("AFFIRMERS OF THE NEW ART"), CENTRED AROUND THE FIGURE OF MALEVICH, ISSUED FIVE TYPED COPIES OF THE ALMANAC OF THE SAME NAME, CONTAINING ARTICLES, MANIFESTS, DECLARATIONS AND DRAWINGS BY ITS MEMBERS. IT IS KNOWN THAT ONLY TWO COPIES HAVE SURVIVED: ONE OF THEM WAS PRESENTED BY MALEVICH TO DAVID SHTERENBERG, AND THEN SOLD BY HIS HEIRS TO A PRIVATE COLLECTOR; THE OTHER, WHICH HAD BELONGED TO EL LISSITSKY, WAS DONATED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF MANUSCRIPTS OF THE TRETYAKOV GALLERY BY S.LISSITSKY-KYUPERS IN 1959. THERE IS NO INFORMATION ABOUT THE OTHER THREE COPIES.