The Leningrad School

The Leningrad School was a prominent school of painting during the majority of the Soviet period, 1930-1990. Emanating from the Ilia Repin Institute for Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture (named for the famous nineteenth century realist painter and renamed the St. Petersburg Institute for Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture after the collapse of the USSR), it produced […]

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Get Real: Why Socialist Realist Painting Deserves Another Look

But this moment lasted almost as long as the Soviet Union and for anybody who wants to explore this system it has to be carefully studied. Socialist realism was a traditionalist, representational from of art, famously “national in form, socialist in content” and concerned primarily with literature and only later with painting, sculpture and architecture. Although it […]

Once Again, Art in Russia Carries Moral and Political Overtones

“The current exhibition at the Russian Museum about the art produced during World War I should be just another of the many events underway across Europe commemorating the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of that terrible conflict. But, as the introduction to the exhibition notes, the First World War was the “forgotten war” under Communist […]

How to Change the Caucasus’ Image

The Village is a Russian-language publication in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kiev that seeks to inform locals about their various cities, upcoming events, urban changes, and history. The following is an interesting entry from a series of articles which The Village introduces with the following statement: “Until recently, it seemed that everyone copied Moscow and St. Petersburg, and ultimately, everyone […]

Student Blog on Socialist Realist Art

Allie Bull studied Russian language and art over the summer of 2013 on a customized program with SRAS. As part of her studies, Allie has begun a blog “exploring what Socialist Realism is, how it emerged, major themes, and this art today.” She also discusses, in part, her studies abroad. See more about Allie’s work […]

Socialist Realism

Socialist Realism was the official artistic movement of the U.S.S.R. It was attached not only to the revolution but to the forward momentum of the communist ideology and Soviet apparatus. As an artistic movement it is still a controversial topic. It is also a difficult one, because so much is encompassed in the concept. At […]

The Wanderers

The Peredvizhniki, or The Wanderers, were a movement of Russian Realism born from the Imperial Academy of Arts in 1863. Under the rule of Alexander II, Russia was struggling through a series of liberal reforms that were part of a greater humanitarian movement. The emancipation of the serfs in 1861 deconstructed much of the social […]

Decadence

The influence of French Decadent poetry on Russian literature and painting at the dawn of the 20th century– particularly Baudelaire’s Fleurs du Mal –resulted in morbid, taboo and demonic themes. The term “Decadent,” however, comes with a lot of baggage. The artists who embraced Decadent themes around the turn of the century to some degree […]

The Blue Rose

The Blue Rose artists represented the second wave of Symbolist painting in 20th century Russia. They followed on the heels of the World of Art, but the two groups differed in many stylistic and philosophical ways. The Blue Rose group was more strongly influenced by the French Symbolist painters and the Russian Symbolist writers, specifically […]

The World of Art

The World of Art wasn’t just an artistic movement. It was a collection of art critics, painters, sculptors, thespians and clothing designers. It had feet in haute-couture, architecture and book design. It was held together by magazines and exhibitions, connected by powerful and rich benefactors. It believed, as did many movements during the artistic explosion […]