Summer School 2021 - Course 11 - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Summer School 2021 – Course 11

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Course 11

Russian Art 1863-1932: Innovations, Influences and the Roots of Modernity

Dr Natalia Murray

Summer School – Online
Monday 21 – Friday 25 June 2021

A ballet dancer leaps in his tunic; the tunic is yellow and whips up in the air behind him.

Leon Bakst, Boeotian. Costume design, 1911, Museum of Avant Garde Mastery, Itinerant Russian collection

Course description

This course examines the history of Russian art in all its diversity from the first artists’ rebellion against St. Petersburg’s almighty Art Academy in 1863, the blossoming of arts in Russia’s ‘Silver Age’, to the upsurge of avant-garde art and its subsequent disappearance after 1932, when Socialist Realism became the only artistic style permitted in the Soviet Union.

We shall look at the cultural as well as geographical boundaries of Russian art, and its contact with developments in European art as well as the shifts of cultural context, which often occurred through emigration, cultural export, exhibitions, publications, and collaborations. The complex nature of the Russian avant-garde, its origins and roots, will be examined throughout the course. We shall also look at traditional Russian art and icons and their influence on the Russian avant-garde, and will discuss the works of Repin, Serov, Benois, Bakst, Somov, Vrubel, Malevich, Tatlin, Kandinsky, Filonov, Rodchenko, Chagall, Popova, and others. Lastly, we shall examine the influence of political changes in Russia under Stalin on the development of Russian art.

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