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An overview of russian art and architecture

Throughout most of Russia's history, art, music, literature, and history were either folk art or that of the Orthodox Church. The reason for this is that during the Renaissance, Russia was a hegemony of the Mongol-Tatar Empire and thus missed the rebirth of the arts which swept Western Europe. Peter I and Catherine II changed all that with the secularization of Russian culture in the 18th century.

Russian Art and Architecture

Russian artists, however, have always had to leave Russia to escape realism imposed on them by the Russian critics and art world. Chagal, Kandinsky, and many other progressive artists could only develop their art in Western Europe.

This page contains a growing list of sources on Russian art: The History of Russian Art Alexander Boguslawski of Rollins College maintains a wonderfully rich site describing and illustrating the history of Russian art from the icons to the 20th century. The site discusses periods, artists, schools, and trends. It is beautifully designed and laid out so as to be easily navigated.

Historians of Russian and Soviet Art

Everything you want to know about Russian art, including the art itself, may be found here. Boguslawski has now added an equally splendid exhibit and treatise on Russian lubok folk painting. Icons of Kievan Rus' from the 11th-16th Century "Icon" comes from Greek eikon 'image' and the Russian word for 'image', obraz, is another word for 'icon'. Icons were painted in egg tempera on basswood and were believed to be a direct link between the soul of mortals and those of the sacred figures they represented.

  1. Early painting and decorative styles used by the Kremlin masters and by folk artists were also revived.
  2. But these artists cared more about style than about the content or message of a work.
  3. On the interior, the primary feature is the iconostasis, an altar screen on which the church's icons are mounted in a hierarchical fashion.

Kissing them was hence an act of adoration of those figures. Here is an excellent exhibition of some of the earliest icons from Russian and Ukrainian history mounted by the Archdiocese of Lviv, Ukraine.

The Hermitage At last the home of the world's second largest and most impressive collection of art is on-line. The Hermitage web site does not give you the effect of a two-day visit to the museum itself, but it is a large and complex site worthy of its origin. There are excursions through the Menshikov Palace and the Palace of Peter I, lectures, exhibits and much more.

  • Under Catherine the Great, the rococo was set aside for neoclassicism, completing St;
  • But they were denounced, and their work was suppressed;
  • The desire to preserve popular legends in permanent form resulted, in Russia, in its development from the Greek image eikon , and from the icon was developed an original Russian form, the painted screen or iconostasis, which was established everywhere by the fifteenth century;
  • It cut Russia off from Constantinople and from Western Europe;
  • If you feel as if you have to stand and appreciate every icon you see, you aren't going to enjoy any of them.

A rich and exciting resource. The images are best viewed on a Mac; if you are using a PC and the pictures are dark, download them and view them in L-View or some other viewer which allows you to increase the brightness.

Sergei Naoumov has put up an exhibit of his favorite 19th century paiter, I. Avazovskiand S.