Russian Treasures IN THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
#2 2020 (67)
Visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art can see a surprising number of objects and works of art from Russia. Because the museum does not have a department dedicated to Russian culture, seeing these objects requires going on a “treasure hunt” through different departments: Musical Instruments, Medieval Art, Arms and Armor, European Paintings, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, Drawings and Prints, Photography, Modern and Contemporary Art, and the Costume Institute. Some of the objects are quite rare and unusual, but others are quite humble and almost ordinary, except for the path that brought them to one of the largest museums in the world. This essay surveys donations of Russian art and design made to the Met by major and minor collectors, as well as objects that entered the museum as part of its regular acquisitions programme.
№1 2015 (46)
ALEXEI VENETSIANOV'S WATERCOLOURS OF THE LIFE CLASS AT THE IMPERIAL ACADEMY OF ARTS DEPICT NUDE MEN POSING ON THE MODELLING STAND IN A DIMLY LIT AUDITORIUM (1824, RUSSIAN MUSEUM). CLOSER TO THE MODELS, STUDENTS SEATED ON RISERS WORK AT THEIR DRAWINGS, WHILE OTHERS AT THE BACK OF THE ROOM STAND AT EASELS, EITHER PAINTING OR SCULPTING RELIEFS IN CLAY. WORKING FROM THE LIFE MODEL WAS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF STUDIO PRACTICE THROUGHOUT THE 19TH CENTURY, BUT INFORMATION ON RUSSIAN MODELS' SERVICE IN ACADEMIC LIFE CLASSES AND PRIVATE STUDIOS HAS NONETHELESS REMAINED SCATTERED IN ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTS, ARTISTS' MEMOIRS, AND LITERARY WORKS OF THE PERIOD.