POINT OF VIEW
Expressive Lyrics: THE LONELY DREAMS OF BORISOV-MUSATOV. On the 150th Anniversary of the Artist's Birth
#2 2020 (67)
In the history of art, the artist’s oeuvre outlives its creator. The year 2020 has a special symbolic meaning in regard to the creative fate of one of the leading masters of the Russian Art Nouveau, Viktor Elpidiforovich Borisov-Musatov (1870-1905), as it opens and closes the path of the artist’s life with landmark dates: the 150th anniversary of his birth and the 115th anniversary of his death. These anniversaries stimulate us to not only recall and clarify the documentary aspects of the master’s biography, but also to analyse on a new level the ways in which the poetic principles of his creative thinking were manifested in his work. Considered together, the iconographic structure of Borisov-Musatov's artworks and the individual qualities of his artistic language form an authentic artistic universum, which, in accordance with the laws of symbolism, possesses its own Time and Space characteristics.
From the Golden Age to the Silver Age. THE CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF VASILY POLENOV IN THE PRISM OF RUSSIAN CULTURE
#3 2019 (64)
The Tretyakov Gallery’s new exhibition "Vasily Polenov”, running on Krymsky Val until February 16 2020, marks the 175th anniversary of the artist’s birth. Polenov (1844-1927) worked mainly in the final decades of the 19th century but the variety of his artistic activity establishes him as a key figure linking broader strands of Russian culture, not least through his influence as a teacher, contributing as he did to the development of the "Moscow school of painting” at the turn of the 20th century. Featuring more than 150 works drawn from 16 Russian museums as well as private collections, the exhibition brings Polenov’s monumental "Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery” from the Russian Museum to Moscow for the first time.
Repin as the Mirror of the "People’s Will". REFLECTIONS OF THE "NARODNAYA VOLYA" MOVEMENT IN THE ARTIST’S WORKS
#1 2019 (62)
Ilya Repin was keenly sensitive to the reformist context of his time, and reflected the political nuances of Russian society in a number of his most important paintings, most significantly “They Did Not Expect Him”. Particularly revealing are those works associated with the “Narodnaya Volya”, or “People’s Will” organization, which was an integral part of the much wider sociopolitical “Narodnik” movement - from narod, “the people” - of the 1870s-1890s.
#3 2018 (60)
One of the Metropolitan Museum’s important acquisitions in European painting is a large landscape by the Russian, or, strictly speaking, Ukrainian, painter, Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi (1842-1910): “Red Sunset on the Dnieper”. Despite its late date, 1905-08, the work is representative both of Kuindzhi’s own artistic career and of what might be called a Russian Luminist school. To those unfamiliar with the history of modern Russian art, this painting, reminiscent in its expressivity of the work of Western Luminists such as Albert Bierstadt, might seem to be a curious anomaly. But in the context of 19 th and 20th century Russian painting, “Red Sunset on the Dnieper” is a remarkable and important work. Its presence in the Museum helps focus attention on a field of aesthetic study still neglected and misinterpreted.
REPORTING AIVAZOVSKY in 19th Century Russian Periodicals
#1 2017 (54)
Ivan Aivazovsky’s rapid development as an artist, as well as the speed with which he worked, was a phenomenon of real interest to the Russian public from the very beginning of his career. A variety of periodical publications, most notably “Khudozhestvennaya Gazeta” (The Arts Gazette), kept readers informed, on an almost daily basis, about the marine painter’s life, and also charted the manner in which developments in his technique were received by his contemporaries: they provide a fascinating insight into how Aivazovsky matured as an artist.
AIVAZOVSKY’S ESTATES AND LANDS
#1 2017 (54)
Although the main source of Aivazovsky’s income was the property that he owned, little is known today about exactly what belonged to the artist, or even where his land holdings were located. Art historian Irina Pogrebetskaya, for many years the chief curator at the Aivazovsky Picture Gallery in Feodosia, considers the evidence that remains.
THE AIVAZOVSKY “BRAND” IN THE SURGING SEA OF RUSSIA’S ELITE
#4 2016 (53)
Ivan Aivazovsky, that most renowned artist, outstanding representative of the Russian academic school and internationally recognized seascape artist, has long been a symbol of prosperity, stability and investment wisdom for Russian society. Alongside artworks by Isaak Levitan, Vasily Polenov, Ivan Shishkin and Konstantin Makovsky, the homes of certain “most prominent” representatives of the “Russian World” are often decorated with Aivazovsky’s paintings - as if they are an equivalent of the gold reserve or a signifier of strong faith in the stability of the government; a symbol of power, and an articulation of the conservative notion of the “imperishable”; an attribute of luxury, and a reminder of an enviable dowry or rich inheritance.
AIVAZOVSKY OUTSIDE RUSSIA
#4 2016 (53)
Aivazovsky was the key artist for the new generation of Russian collectors that emerged in the 1990s, whose work established new records for Russian art at auction. Ivan Samarine, who worked then in the newly-established Russian department at Sotheby’s, remembers a remarkable decade, as well as some key collectors from earlier generations, whose lasting enthusiasm for Aivazovsky ensured that the artist’s reputation remained constant on the international art scene. Samarine’s “Light, Water and Sky: The Paintings of Ivan Aivazovsky”, coauthored with Gianni Caffiero, will be published in a Russian version this year.
POINTS OF VIEW
Tribute to the Album
#3 2013 (40)
The immediate impression of any viewer seeing the album "The Icon Collection in the Tretyakov Gallery" is to feel the impulse to exclaim "splendid!" Published to mark the 150th anniversary of the treasurehouse of Russian art by the ScanRus publishing house and financed by the member of the Board of Trustees of the Tretyakov Gallery Vitaly Machitski this unique publication brings to mind the lines of Pushkin: "The muses at work eschew ado, The beautiful must be majestic." Modern publishing devoted to the popularization of the history of international art is amazingly diverse, and the book market has a wide variety of publications to offer. Regrettably, it should be noted that the quality of art books and albums published today very rarely matches their quantity. Re-issues of popular Western album series, translated into Russian, make our bookstores look like their London or Paris counterparts. This is good because now every person who is more or less interested in the history of architecture, painting and sculpture can find as much information as he or she needs about the subject concerned and can acquire the books for any private library. However, coming across a real gem, the one that makes the buyer of a new publication feel the joy of discovery and appreciate the book's lasting value - alas, this does not happen often.
POINT OF VIEW
Society Creates Museums - Museums Create Society
#1 2007 (14)
The Engineering Wing of the State Tretyakov Gallery hosted an international conference to mark the gallery’s 150th anniversary. Entitled “The Museum and Society”, this event was opened with a congratulatory address from the Russian UNESCO Commission.
№1 2003 (01)
AFTER NEW YORK, LONDON IS THE WORLD’S SECOND LARGEST MARKET FOR PAINTINGS, WATER COLOURS AND DRAWINGS. ANNUALLY, LONDON’S GALLERIES, ART DEALERS AND ESPECIALLY ART AUCTIONS SELL ABOUT TWENTY-FIVE TO THIRTY PERCENT OF THE VALUE OF WORKS OF ART SOLD WORLDWIDE. TO PURCHASE ART AT SOTHEBY’S OR CHRISTIE’S IS CONSIDERED BOTH PRESTIGIOUS AND A GOOD INVESTMENT. RUSSIAN ART IS A SMALL, BUT INCREASINGLY SIGNIFICANT COMMODITY.