Introducing: “The Art and Artists of Russia”

It’s New Year’s Eve, the last day of this “unprecedented” year and very much a time to look forward – with optimism and hope – to 2021. I’ve taken all the projections that there will be ‘some kind of normal’ come Spring/ Easter very much to heart – especially with our art discussion meetings and reading groups in mind; won’t it be wonderful to come together again?!

Natalia Goncharova: “Khorovod (Circular Dance)” 1911; private collection; c/o Wikimedia

In the meantime, I have a plan for these pages here on The Common Viewer – to explore, over the next twelve months or so:

The Art and Artists of Russia

Interweaving history, culture and literature, we’ll work in fairly chronological order from the 1850s to the present day and, I promise you, it’s a fascinating story!

As always, I’m keen to draw together as many ‘resources for further research’ as possible as we go along, and one of the most important is the Russian Art & Culture website which includes news from across the arts-world, interviews and articles. They also co-ordinate “Russian Art Week” which is held in London twice a year. The Moscow Times is another brilliant general resource for contemporary Russian art and culture, current exhibitions opening across Russia, as well as film and television – and definitely worth dipping into every now and then to ‘get a flavour’ of the depth and extent of the extraordinarily vibrant Russian art world.

I’ll continue to publish the main story fortnightly (keeping each article fairly short), with ‘extras’ added in at random as we go along. And remember this is very much a ‘group project’, so please do feedback with ideas, questions and any relevant resources you come across that I can then share with everyone.

“Inaugaration of the Academy of Art (with Catherine the Great), 7th July 1765” by Valery Jacobi [1889; Louvre]

In January we’ll begin with a broad background and introduction to the project:

9th January: “Peter the Great – the birth of St Petersburg”

23rd January: “Catherine the Great – the Hermitage”

I’m really looking forward to this project and hope you’ll come and join me! For now, though:

see The Calvert Journal‘s article “Yolka: the story of Russia’s ‘New Year’ Tree” and

Happy New Year!


About TheCommonViewer

Independent Researcher: gently exploring the art and artists of early 20th century Britain (with forays elsewhere, in particular Russian Art History); the Art, Books & History Group meets monthly in Southend-on-Sea Twitter: @TheCommonViewer

One response to “Introducing: “The Art and Artists of Russia”

  1. Hazel Francis

    Thanks Mark – enjoyed reading the history of the yolka and looking forward to the Russian art scene. Happy New Year and fingers crossed for a much better 2021

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