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Artistic Culture of the 19th Century, Part 8
September 22, 2014 14:32


Back to Artistic Culture of the 19th Century, Part 7

The singer of Russian nature, Sergey Yesenin (1895-1925) came to be the mouthpiece of intimate secrets of the human soul. The poetess Marina Tsvetayeva (1892-1941) started her tragic way.


A remarkable event in the cultural life of Russia of the late 19th – early 20th centuries was the foundation of the Moscow Art Theater by Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko. The theatre was based on the realistic principles and the repertoire made of plays by Anton Chekhov, Maxim Gorky, Leo Tolstoy, Gerhart Hauptmann, and Henrik Johan Ibsen.

It was the heyday of remarkable actors, such as M. N. Yermolova, A. P. Lensky, the Sadovskis dynasty (in the Maly Theatre), M. G. Savina, V. N. Davydov, V. F. Komissarzhevskaya (The Alexandrine Theater) and others. Vsevolod Meyerhold's stage productions in the Alexandrine Theater stood out with their originality. He later founded his own theatre company. 
A very significant phenomenon in the Russian culture at the turn of centuries was creativity by the first film directors, among them Yakov Protazanov (1881-1945), and a pleiad of popular actors, such as Vera Kholodnaya, I. Mozzhukhin, V. Maksimov, V. Polonskaya, etc.
 
Music life was developing rapidly. Higher music education was provided by the Petersburg and Moscow Conservatories opened back in the 1860s. Music schools in Saratov and Odessa were transformed into conservatories in the 1910s. There was the Philharmonic Society in Moscow, and Evenings of Modern Music and Music Exhibitions were held in Petersburg.
The most prominent Russian composers of the late 19th century were Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943), Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936), and Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915). Music by Igor Stravinsky and young Sergey Prokofiev excelled in innovative tendencies. The Russian Seasons (Ballet a Russe) in Paris played a great role in promotion of Russian art abroad. The company presented Stravinsky's ballets (The Firebird, Petrushka, etc), the star dancers Anna Pavlova, Mikhail Fokin and Vatslav Nizhinsky, and stage design by Alexander Benua and Alexander Golovin.
 
Painting, graphic art, architecture, sculpture, and applied arts were developing in versatile ways. One of the most important sides of art life of Russia of that period was a big number of exhibitions (10 to 15 exhibitions per year) with their geographic scope extending (to Kharkov, Odessa, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Saratov and others). The Itinerants went on with their travelling exhibition activity, just like the Petersburg Artists Society and the Moscow Association of Artists. Exhibitions of the new art group Mir Iskusstva (World of Art) Association were organized in Petersburg starting from 1899. Thanks to prompt activities of its member Sergei Diaghilev (1872-1929) the Russian art extensively toured abroad, while international exhibitions were held in this country.
 
The grand Russian Museum was opened for public in Petersburg in 1898. In August, 1892 Pyotr Tretyakov donated his famous art collection to the city of Moscow. The year 1898 saw the foundation of the building of the Moscow Museum of Fine Arts (nowadays the world renowned Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts). Along with that Moscow has several private art galleries, those of P. Schukin, I. Morozov, A. Bakhrushev, and others.
 
Art criticism was also developing and young art critics and art historians advanced, the artists Alexander Benua (1870-1960), Igor Grabar (1871-1960) and Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947) among them.

Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Russian Culture Russian History Russian Artists Russian Poetry  

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