Explore the expressions of Russian Art
Art has been an integral part of Russian history for centuries. To many visitors, the older artworks especially might seem somewhat confusing - an array of rich colors draped across a canvas in a somewhat stylistic manner. For those who have an eye for art and understand how it has influenced culture and beliefs, these idealistic representations left behind by artists for all to see is something a lot more special. But what sort of art can you expect to see on your travels? There is quite a stunning variety.
The tradition of painting icons was carried over from Byzantium influence in the early 8th and 9th century. After some time, the correctness of using religious images in worship came into question and the tradition of icon painting started to change. It went from being striking to being more subtle. Softer colors were used and a greater degree of subjectivity was introduced. A few excellent examples of this most ancient form of religious art can still be seen in some of the great art galleries and useums of Russia.
The Stalin baroque period became quite notable. This return to older traditions and stylizations resulted in some truly exquisite masterpieces, even though artistic talent could be considered to be somewhat stifled under such rigid rules.
The 17th and 18th centuries saw Russian artists becoming more familiar with western painting techniques. The resulting development of new artistic styles went somewhat hand-in-hand with the social reform that was prevalent at the time. It marked a break away from classical traditions. The style embraced daily Russian life and tried to renew interest in traditional Russian art forms. The abstract geometrical patterns, lines, shapes and colors were inspired by traditional decorative art. The examination of icons resulted in paintings lacking somewhat in visual depth and perspective. Slowly the subject matter turned from the more mundane to the industrial revolution that was beginning to take place in that country. This was the beginning of the Suprematism movement. In this movement, bold geometric shapes were employed to create visual masterpieces.
It wasn't long before a Russian Avant-Garde scene began to emerge. However the greatness of this movement was soon overpowered when the Stalinist state renounced the art style in favor of Soviet Realism. However many artworks from this period still exist and have finally started to receive the attention due to them in more recent years.
Clearly, art has been an integral part of Russian life - depicting schools of thought, reflecting religious and political ideals and serving as a medium of expression. If you plan to see some of these masterpieces while visiting the country, it is a good idea to get a basic grasp on the event surrounding these movements as this will allow you to get more enjoyment from your experience.