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Russian Engraving Art and its Development, Part 3
March 18, 2015 15:00

Copperplate engraving was extremely job-laden and painstaking and so it was used less and less in the 19th century. The artist I.P. Pozhalostin was one of its last adherents in Russia. 
 Alois Senefelder from Austria invented lithography in 1797. It started its victorious march over Europe in the early 19th century. Russia’s first lithographic picture in was printed by the lithography propagandist and enthusiast A.O. Orlovsky in 1816. A number of private lithographic studios were opened in Russia from 1817. The Society for Encouragement of Arts played the main role in proliferation of lithography from the 1820s. One of its first projects was publishing the series Collected Views of St. Petersburg and Neighborhoods. It was the result of collaboration of K.F. Sabat, S. P. Shiflyar and K.P. Beggrov. K.F. Sabat headed the joint work. He chose the views, arranged the architectural space, and decided overall composition. S.P. Shiflyar created house features of streets with their characteristic features. K.P. Beggrov saved the beauty and expressiveness of free drawing with subtle gradation of shadows, and filled the prints with the feeling of light and air. 350 engravings were created and 50 of them were water colored (The Winter Palace, View from the Admiralty). 
Unique was the edition of the Nevsky Avenue lithographed panorama published by A. Prevo, a commission agent of the Society for Encouragement of Arts. The 16 meter long water color original by V. S. Sadovnikov was lithographed by Ivan Ivanov and Pyotr Ivanov. 
Albums of lithographed portraits were published along with landscape series. Remarkable is the album The Contemporaries. Collected Lithographed Portraits of Government Officials, Writers and Artists Living in Russia Nowadays created by G. F. Gippius. Numerous lithographed portraits of tsars and royal family members were published in the second half of the 19th century. However, contemporaries could see faces of the opposition as well: collected portraits of the Decembrists came out in 1858. The edition was initiated by the Decembrist’s son E.I. Yakushkin and lithographed by A. T. Skino. One of the last pre-revolutionary editions was the album 15 Lithographs by Russian Artists published by the World of Art journal in 1900. The leading masters of the World of Art association participated in the project. 
Lithographed series and albums of genre pieces enjoyed great popularity in the middle of the 19th century. It was associated with development of the genre art in Russia of that period. One of the most famous series was the album Scenes of the Russian Folk Life published by the Society for Encouragement of Arts in 1839. It included 36 lithographs after I. Shchedrovsky. 

Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Engraving Prints Arts and Crafts   

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