Lyudmila Markina
«O dolce Napoli»
Naples through the eyes of Russian and Italian Artists of the first half of the 19th Century

#4 2011 (33)

The title of the exhibition at the Tretyakov Gallery’s “Engineering” wing was borrowed from a Neapolitan folk song – and for good reason, since the lines epitomize the special feelings about this southern city, one unique in Italy. “Eternal Rome”, which became a recognized academy of European masters; classic Florence, a refuge of intellectuals and patrons of the arts; carnivalesque Venice – each city is enjoyable in its own way. But Naples is special because of its location, mild coastal climate and distinct blissful atmosphere of relaxed “do-nothing-ness”.

Olga Atroshchenko
“She lived in the magical world of the fairy tale”
The work of Yelena Polenova at the Tretyakov Gallery

#4 2011 (33)

November 27 2010 marked the 160th anniversary of the birth of the remarkable Russian artist Yelena Dmitrievna Polenova (1850-1898), the sister of the famous landscape painter Vasily Polenov. To mark the artist’s anniversary, the Tretyakov Gallery prepared the exhibition titled “She lived in the magical world of the fairy tale”, which presented the most original and innovative of Polenova’s works, alongside archive documents, memorial photographs, books and magazines which revealed the artist’s singular social and artistic efforts.

Yelena Kashtanova
Yelena Polenova – The artist’s work in the collection of the Polenov Museum Reserve

#4 2011 (33)

Yelena Polenova was gifted in graphics and drawing, painting, ceramics, and the decorative arts, as well as an accomplished collector, researcher and educator... Her diverse personality and creative quest has always posed certain challenges for scholars.

Natalya Apchinskaya
Chaim Soutine
The Pain and Beauty of the World

#4 2011 (33)

Throughout the 19th century Paris was the artistic capital of the world, and it was there at the beginning of the 20th century that the art of the new era took shape. Marc Chagall wrote that “... back then, the sun of Art was only shining over Paris”, and young artists from different countries, mostly from Eastern Europe, flocked there. That international community of outstanding artists became known as the “École de Paris” (the Paris School). Among the highlights of the “Paris School” exhibition at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Autumn 2011 was the work of Chaim Soutine (1893-1943).

Tatiana Karpova
“He Did Not Live His Life in a Shell…”

#3 2011 (32)

There have been four solo exhibitions of Nikolai Ge's art in his homeland in the period since his death in 1894: a posthumous one in St. Petersburg in 1895; then another from the Ukraine museum collections in Kiev in 1956-1957; the third one in 1970-1971 which toured in Leningrad, Moscow, Kiev and Minsk; and the fourth from 1981 which was held in Moscow. The most extensive exhibition was that of 1970-1971, already 40 years ago, but it did not feature works from foreign museums and private collections. That exhibitionÕs catalogue, prepared by Natalya Zograf, was most comprehensive and informative, but had very few illustrations. Two new generations of the art-going public have little knowledge of this outstanding master, so to introduce Ge's legacy to the contemporary viewer will bring new attention back to his work.

Tatiana Yudenkova
Pavel Tretyakov and Nikolai Ge

#3 2011 (32)

The relationship between Pavel Tretyakov and Nikolai Ge has never been examined in any detail in publications devoted to the art collector. Alexandra Botkina barely touches upon the subject in her memoir, while Sofia Goldstein states definitely that Ge's late work, so highly valued by Leo Tolstoy, was never appreciated by Tretyakov. When art experts write about Ge, they stress that the master's art stood alone as original and ahead of its time, deeming the details of the relationship between the artist and the collector less of a priority.

Elmira Akhmerova
Nikolai Ge: Iconography
The Artist's Image in Self-portraits and Portraits by His Contemporaries

#3 2011 (32)

Vibrant and extraordinary, Nikolai Ge's personality fascinated his contemporaries. His image is captured in numerous portraits by two generations of artists - Ivan Kramskoi, Ilya Repin, Grig-ory Myasoyedov, Nikolai Yaroshenko, as well as Leonid Pasternak, Viktor Borisov-Musatov, Nikolai Ulyanov, and Alexander Kurennoi. There are also Ge's self-portraits and photographs from different stages of his life. Many of his contemporaries left written descriptions of Ge's appearance - the list includes his friends and students, fellow artists, and the family of Leo Tol¬stoy, with whom the artist became especially close during the last ten years of his life.

Svetlana Kapyrina
Nikolai Ge's Ancestry and Family -
An Investigation

#3 2011 (32)

Nikolai Nikolaievich Ge was a descen¬dant of the old French aristocratic family of "de Gay". His great-grandfather Mathieu (Matvei) de Gay immigrated to Russia in 1789, at the time of the French Revolution. He settled in Moscow, "joined the emigre community and began to live quite comfortably"; a little later he even started a factory. No information about his wife is available today; we do know he had children — a daughter Victoria (1775¬1852) and son Joseph (Osip) (born between 1775 and 1776, who died before 1836.) They may have been twins, given that the years of their birth seem to be the same.

Nikolai Ge: A Chronicle of the Artist's Life and Work

Compiled by
Tatiana Karpova and Svetlana Kapyrina

#3 2011 (32)

Alexander Rozhin
Dedication to a Genius

#3 2011 (32)

Many a creative genius of 20th-century art was overshadowed by the two great Spaniards - Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. Nobody was discussed, disputed or written about as much as they were; no other artist's work was covered as extensively as that of these two titans in books, albums, brochures and articles.

Sergei Orlov
Entering Silence

#3 2011 (32)

A solo exhibition of the Moscow-based sculptor Viktor Korneev, an art project distinguished by its elaborate conceptual frame¬work and original execution, runs at the Tretyakov Gallery's Engineering wing from September 1 to October 30 2011.

Galina Sidorenko
The Life-giving Tree.
Russian Wood Sculpture in Italy


It is significant that the year of the 150th anniversary of the Tretyakov Gallery has witnessed the realization of the long-planned "Russian" cultural project of Intesa Bank, as the exhibition "Wood Sculpture from the Russian Territories, from Ancient Times to the 19th Century" opened in Italy. The Tretyakov Gallery is displaying the best part of its collection there for the first time.

Svetlana Usacheva


In September 2008 the Tretyakov Gallery opened the first solo show of the Russian landscape artist Fyodor Mikhailovich Matveyev (1758-1826), commemorating the 250th anniversary of his birth. Matveyev spent most of his life in Italy, where he gained European acclaim. The great artist’s legacy had the same fate as academic art in general – appreciated by his contemporaries, it was later relegated to oblivion and for a long time considered outmoded and lacking in originality. The present exhibition re-introduces Matveyev to modern audiences. The project brought together many Russian and international museums, including the Hermitage, the Russian Museum, the National Art Museum of Belarus, and private collections. The work led to many interesting discoveries: the discovery of previously unknown facts about the artist’s life, a more accurate attribution of the content of his landscapes, and a better knowledge of the specifics and dates of their creation. The catalogue published as a part of the exhibition project is the first dedicated to Matveyev’s works. The panoramic views of Italy and diverse graphic pieces, including journey sketches on display in the Gallery’s Engineering Building, take the viewer on a “painterly journey” in the spirit of the 18th century together with an artist more than fond of the beauty of nature.

Vitaly Mishin
“Meeting Modigliani” –
at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts


The exhibition’s title makes clear that this is the first truly extensive show of works by the brilliant Italian master in Russia. The artistic legacy of Modigliani is scattered all over the world, in museums and private collections – and only international exhibition projects would have a chance to present any significant number of works by this artist, even if for a limited time only. Over 20 museums and private collections in Europe and America participated in the Moscow project. Ultimately, the exhibition organizers have managed to present 25 paintings, one sculpture, and 27 drawings, accompanied with the archive materials. (Russian museums own only two works of the master – drawings in the Pushkin Museum collection).

Vitaly Patsukov
Jannis Kounellis:
Meta-reality of S.T. as a Genetic Art Code


Twenty years after his previous visit Jannis Kounellis came to Moscow again this year. In 1991, his art affirmed the absolute value of the material, the matter, and those of its forms, which determine man’s life, its texture and its matrix.

Armando Ginesi
Italian Art of the 20th Century:
Eminent Artists of the Marche region


There is no doubt that in the 20th century one of the main features of European and Western art was a pluralism of artistic style. Starting with Impressionism, a powerful stream of centrifugal forces emerged, multiplying and spreading different forms of artistic expression all over the world and reaching giant dimensions with the appearance of the “historical avant-garde” and “Neo-avantgarde” after World War II. This active promotion of new forms would at times slow down, as if taking a break for short reflection, to subsequently give rise to new and more dynamic developments of different artistic styles.

Alexander Morozov, Natalia Alexandrova
In the Russian Tradition
A Historic Collection of 20th-century Russian Painting


The idea of writing these notes came up in anticipation of the “In the Russian Tradition.” exhibition, due to open at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC in December 2004. The collection to be shown in Washington and later in Minneapolis, at the Museum of Russian Art (TMORA), features Russian paintings from the period of 1900 through to the 1970s, from both the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and the Minneapolis collection.

Natella Voiskounski
A Journey of Architectural Discovery. “The Lost Vanguard” Exhibition: Russian Modernist Architecture 1922-1932

#4 2007 (17)

The exhibition of work by Richard Pare in New York’s Museum of Modern Art features one of the most immediate and tragic phenomena in the history of Soviet (and Russian) modernist architecture. The exhibition “The Lost Vanguard” highlights some 75 photographs by the architectural photographer Richard Pare, who has worked from 1993 to the present day, making eight extensive trips to Russia and the former Soviet republics and creating nearly 10,000 images to compile a timely documentation of numerous modernist structures, including the most neglected. The exhibition was made possible by the Russian Avant-garde Fund and Senator Sergei Gordeev, its founder and president.

Natalya Sheredega
Holy Rus. The Visual History of a Country’s Faith

#2 2011 (31)

The “Holy Rus” exhibition, featuring items from Russian and international collections, was shown at the Louvre in Paris as part of the “Year of Russia in France”. Collecting many artefacts of ancient Russian monumental art and icon painting, book printing, jewellery, embroidery and other forms of artistic expression, it gave European viewers a chance to see the unfading beauty of the Christian art of ancient Rus (Ruthenia). Under the patronage of the presidents of Russia and France, its aim was to increase the European publicʼs knowledge of Russia. “Holy Rus/Sainte Russie” provoked a serious cultural and political response in Europe, and is now on view in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow until August 14. The superb works of art of the 10th-19th centuries from a large number of museums have never before been displayed within the same museum space. Brought together, they create a holistic image of statehood, one very important for contemporary Russia. The Moscow exhibition differs from its Parisian counterpart both because it shows more items, and because it conveys a different message.

Alexandra Terentieva
The Silver Age of the Russian Poster

#2 2011 (31)

The exhibition “Irrelevant Advertising. Russian Posters of the Early 20th Century” presents a collection of posters, now held at the Tretyakov Gallery, that were produced before the Bolshevik revolution. At the core of this collection are those put together by Fedor Fedorov and acquired by the museum in 1933. The art scholar Alexei Korostin wrote about Fedorov in 1950: “A collector of posters and bookplates, in other words – a partisan of the extremes who collected either very big or very small items.” A separate section is devoted to playbills the gallery received, in 1989, as a part of Mikhail Larionovʼs and Natalya Goncharovaʼs “Parisian legacy” gifted to the museum in accordance with the will of Larionovʼs widow, Alexandra Larionova-Tomilina.

Olga Malkova
Ilya Mashkov – Nikolai Zagrekov
A Master and His Disciple

#2 2011 (31)

The exhibition “A Master and His Disciple” opened at the Mashkov Fine Art Museum in Volgograd on June 10 2011. It charts the relationship between the Soviet master Ilya Mashkov, and his pupil Nikolai Zagrekov, who studied under Mashkov at Vkhutemas, the Arts and Crafts Workshops, from 1919 to 1921. Zagrekov went on to work and achieve fame in Germany, and the exhibition addresses points of comparison between the subsequent work of the “teacher” and the “pupil”. All of Ilya Mashkovʼs students developed their own original artistic individuality, created a unique world, in effect, a metaphor of a distinct worldview. Stunningly different from their teacher and disinclined to imitate him in details, they nevertheless inherited something seminally important – the determination to “be oneself”, along with respect for the artistʼs craft and the tradition of painting.

Irina Shumanova, Yevgenia Ilyukhina
From Orest Kiprensky to Kazimir Malevich

#1 2011 (30)

of an idea and the stages of its further development. But drawing also has a life of its own as an independent art form with a distinctive language, specific rules and history. Pencils come in many different varieties – silver, lead, graphite, black chalk, wax, coloured pencils, lithographic pencils and other types – and the word also refers to a large number of similar media which can be categorized as the techniques of “dry drawing”, like charcoal, sanguine and sauce. There is an almost limitless variety of techniques involving the use of these materials, and they serve to show off a particular artistÕs individuality, sense of form, innate talent and level of skills. A drawing in pencil, charcoal, sanguine or sauce is the best reflection of its creatorÕs temperament and character. From the vast variety of pencil and pencil-related techniques every epoch chooses those that suit it best. The age of classicism treasured the austere beauty of linear drawing, romanticism – the contrasts and the picturesque quality of strokes; for the “Peredvizhniki” (Wanderers) artists, pencils were “modest workers”, and the modernist movement re-invented the selfsufficiency of lines and the aesthetic value of the process of drawing as such.

The Story of the Emergence of Enigmatic Images of Surrealism

InArtis Project presents in Moscow the graphic works of the notable modern and contemporary Surrealistic artists.

#1 2011 (30)

The exhibition “The Collective Unconscious: Graphic Works of Surrealism from de Chirico to Magritte” opened at the beginning of March 2011 at the State Historical Museum of Russia, Moscow. Initiated by InArtis Project, the exhibition gave a rare opportunity to get acquainted with the art works of Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí and René Magritte from private collections from Europe and the USA, and aimed to show the development of the visual concept of Surrealism – the story of the emergence of the images of Surrealism and their further development as a distinct phenomenon. The graphic works at the exhibition show the viewer not only different works by acknowledged masters that are stylistically different in themselves, but also illustrate the development of Surrealism itself.
The first exhibition of Surrealist artists took place in 1925 in Paris, its participants including painters as diverse as Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Klee, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, and Pablo Picasso. In the opinion of André Breton the new art had to express the secret desires and needs of all people; to grasp this art, viewers only had to have a receptive mind and the spontaneity of a child.

Natalya Apchinskaya
“To See and to Understand This Mysterious and Enigmatic World…”

#1 2011 (30)

talented Russian artists of the 20th century and an outstanding figure in the Russian avant-garde art movement of the 1920s-1930s, opened on March 15 2011 at the Krymsky Val building. “I was born at a surprisingly appropriate moment, this century suits me as no other,” Labas wrote. The artist admired the achievements of modern civilisation, which he approached philosophically and which, he believed, revealed new depths in reality. The exhibition features about 150 paintings and graphic pieces from the collections of the Tretyakov Gallery, Russian Museum, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, and the Bakhrushin Theatre Museum, as well as from the private collection of the artist's heir Olga Beskina-Labas. The Tretyakov Gallery and the Foundation for the Promotion of Preservation of Alexander Labas's Artistic Legacy express their gratitude to Rosneft for its financial assistance with the project.

Anna Dyakonitsyna
The Tkachev Brothers

#1 2011 (30)

A retrospective exhibition of the artist-brothers Alexei and Sergei Tkachev, running in the Engineering Wing of the Tretyakov Gallery from April 15 through July 17, presents the oeuvre of two figures who in many respects define the trajectories of the Russian school of painting in the second half of the 20th and at the start of the 21st centuries. The exhibition features around 180 pieces representative of the main stages of their work and the main directions of their artistic explorations. The pictures on view include large-scale “exemplary” compositions, the results of the brothersÕcollective effort from the galleryÕs collection, as well as earlier paintings, from their Moscow studio, created by one or the other brother independently, and a large assortment of sketches. All this is but a fraction of the vast body of work created by the artists who continue working to this day.




Download The Tretyakov Gallery Magazine in App StoreDownload The Tretyakov Gallery Magazine in Google play