Post Soviet Theatre

How did the economic and political disarray that beset Russia in the days and years following Glasnost affect Russian cultural institutions? In Russia, theatre practitioners have long enjoyed a social position comparable to Hollywood actors or professional sports stars in America. By the mid-nineteenth century, amateur, provincial, and serf theaters had sprung up in even […]

Crime and Publishing: How Dostoevskii Changed the British Murder

A few words on this book: Described by the sixteenth-century English poet George Turbervile as “a people passing rude, to vices vile inclin’d,” the Russians waited some three centuries before their subsequent cultural achievements—in music, art and particularly literature—achieved widespread recognition in Britain. The essays in this stimulating collection attest to the scope and variety […]

Zinaida Serebriakova: A Painter of the People and Country

“Happiness on canvas” is a phrase that well describes the early works of Zinaida Serebriakova. Best known for her vibrant, joyful style, it’s only natural that the her largest exhibit of the last 30 years, timed at the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death and the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, coincided with spring […]

Ilya Repin

Ilya Yefimovich Repin is “widely, and rightly, acknowledged as the preeminent exponent of critical realism in nineteenth-century Russian art” and was often styled under the Soviet regime as an “ethical painter.” Others have called him a “pivotal figure in…Russian realism,” and during his lifetime, Repin was witness to key moments in the history of Russian art. […]

Mikhail Vrubel

Mikhail Vrubel’s importance in Russian art is now undisputed, but during his own lifetime he achieved little success. He was heavily criticized for his rough, unrealistic forms, decorative use of space and strange motifs. He was a Symbolist and an expressionist at a time when most artists still ascribed to the Realist tradition of the Wanderers. […]

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 […]