~Specialising in art tours for the discerning traveller~

Zoom lecture:
Russian Landscape Painting
Recorded: 8 Dec 2020
Jane Angelini

Lake Russia by Levitan
Lake Russia by Levitan    

Russian Painting is still little known outside Russia, largely because it remained behind the Iron Curtain for most of the 20th century and the subject is only just beginning to gain interest, thanks to the opening up of Russia and hence its marvelously rich art galleries (Tretyakov in Moscow, Russian Museum in St Petersburg) and an increasing number of international exhibitions. The lecture will concentrate on one branch of the many artistic genres which flourished in Russia from the mid 19thcentury onwards, namely Landscape Painting.

The second half of the 19th century was a time of artistic rebellion in Russia (and across Europe) and a time when Russian painting came into its own. Some painters turned to critical realism and historical genre painting mostly criticizing Russian society, whilst those who turned to landscape painted the uplifting, often simple scenery with notes of hope and poetry. They painted the essence of the Russian land in all its spiritual glory and they did so with technical mastery that puts them on a par with European contemporaries. The poetic, almost lyrical beauty in painting was new to Russian art, however it became the symbol of people’s soul that resonates within many Russians even today. 

We will look at the work of Aivazovsky, Russia’s most famous marine painter, Savrasov, perhaps the first Russian painter to use landscape to capture “mood” Shishkin known as the “Russian Singer of the Forests”, Polenov, who captures the beauty of the Russian countryside with especial charm, Kuindzhi, possibly the best colourist of all and Levitan, whose landscapes have a simplified, mystical beauty of the land and is regarded as Russia’s greatest landscape painter.

Length: I hour  

Zoom Meeting

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