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Artistic Culture of the 19th Century, Part 5
September 15, 2014 16:01

Back to Artistic Culture of the 19th Century, Part 4

Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin (1826-1889) was the founder of the satirical novel: Redneck Old Times, History of One Town, The Golovlyov Family.

Two great writers, namely Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Leo Tolstoy rose to the highest pitch of greatness in Russian literature of realism.
 
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) who was greatly influenced by Nikolay Gogol’s “natural school” addressed to the subject of “the humiliated and insulted”. A deep psychologist and humanist, he expressed the most important problems of his time in his books. Having condemned anarchical revolt (The Crime and Punishment), having foretold the destructive power of revolution and revolutionaries (The Demons), and criticizing the world of vice (The Karamazov Brothers), Dostoyevsky aspired to portray a truly beautiful personality (such as Prince Myshkin in The Idiot and Alyosha Karamazov in The Karamazov Brothers). He focused on the social contradictions and contradictions of the human soul, the “two chasms”: “Madonna's ideal and Sodom ideal”, which Dostoyevsky tried to reconcile with evangelical principles of humility and forgiveness.
 
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a sober-minded realist and a great psychologist, who conveyed “the dialectics of the soul” (quoting Chernyshevsky) of his characters. He is mostly notable as the creator of the epic War and Peace, as well as the classic novels Anna Karenina and Resurrection. Leo Tolstoy's creativity that reflects a whole epoch in the history of Russia astounds with the power of truth and art perfection. “Destiny of the person, destiny of the people” is the main subject of his works presenting an all-embracing picture of the continuous movement of life, time, and history process.
 
Russian literature of the second half of the 19th century stood out with its great poetry as well. Nikolay Nekrasov (1821-1878) wrote about the heavy lot of the Russian people, their spiritual beauty, and glorified the Russian nature. The poets Fyodor Tyutchev (1803-1873) and Afanasy Fet (1820-1892) made a significant contribution into development of literature, and esthetic views of society. The notable playwright Alexander Ostrovsky (1823-1886) became the creator of the Russian national theater. 
Realism, democracy, and national spirit were the main characteristic features of the Russian fine arts of this period.
One of the leading artists of the 1860s was Vasily Perov (1834-1882), a critical realist, the author of paintings Tea Drinking in Mytischi, The Last Tavern at the Outpost, Farewell to Dead Man, and others. Portraits of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Alexander Ostrovsky and other luminaries of Russian culture took an important place in his art. 
 
Vasily Perov was one of the organizers of the Association of Itinerant Art Exhibitions founded at the initiative of Grigory Myasoyedov (1835 - 1911), Nikolay Ge (1831-1894), and Ivan Kramskoy (1837-1887). It played a key role in the subsequent development of the Itinerants movement in Russian art. 
 
The Itinerants aimed at polygonal display of contemporary life. They took an active part in development of national art schools in Russia. The artists developed all genres of fine arts, especially genre, historical, portrait and landscape painting.
 
Vladimir Stasov (1824 - 1906), a fighter for national spirit and democracy in art, played a great role in activities of the Itinerants, as well as writers and composers of the second half of the 19th century.
 
 

Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Russian Culture Russian Literature    

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