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Russian Impressionism. Рaintings, drawings and sculptures

The exhibition ‘Russian Impressionism’ will run from November 1. It will present paintings, drawings and sculptures from the collection of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus.

Impressionism as an innovative course of the 1870s and the ‘invention’ of French painters began with a scandal in the art world, but by the early 20th century it had become familiar and even somewhat outdated, and in the mid-1900s, French painting had completely different goals. For Russian art, the development of Impressionism and painting methods began at the turn of the 19th–20th centuries. The Impressionism was transformed and interpreted in national traditions with a philosophical-substantial approach within the Russian territory. It can be said that that the Impressionism turned as a renewal for the realistic school of painting. Most of all, the Moscow painting school was involved in this process, including the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Its teachers, having inherited the traditions of Vasily Polenov’s plein airs, brought up a galaxy of impressionist artists. Abram Arkhipov, Sergey Vinogradov, Konstantin Korovin, Valentin Serov, Aleksandr Moravov, Pyotr Petrovichev, Leonard Turzhansky, Aleksey Stepanov, Mikhail Shemyakin – these are just a few names of Moscow artists who became the glory of Russian impressionism. St. Petersburg and regional artists were involved in this process as well. It is worth mentioning that a lot of painters were under the influence of impressionist painting, for instance, Sergey Malyutin, Philip Malyavin, Stepan Kolesnikov, Nikolai Kuznetsov and others.

In the Soviet period, the influence of totalitarianism and ideology on art stopped the natural course of its development and entailed a change in the creative methods of many artists. Since 1932, the Soviet art was set to socialist realism, but all other movements that were not oriented towards a realistic school were drawn strong criticism. The word ‘impressionism’ became irrelevant, and accusations of ‘formalism’ were increasingly sounded from the pages of devastating reviews. A lot of artists refused avant-garde methods and returned to a realistic tradition. However, the plein-air impressionist painting, which (due to impressionist Aleksandr Gerasimov, who was Konstantin Korovin’s student and Stalin’s favorite artist) became one of the leading creative methods of Soviet artists by the mid-20th century. The Soviet impressionism includes the works of Sergei Gerasimov, Fyodor Modorov, Aleksandr Osmerkin, Genrikh Pavlovsky, the Tkachyov brothers, Tatiana Yablonskaya, Viktor Oreshnikov and others.

The exhibition will run until January 10, 2020.