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Author Topic: Culture and Arts in Russia & Ukraine  (Read 38108 times)

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Offline Chris

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Culture and Arts in Russia & Ukraine
« on: September 15, 2007, 08:32:38 AM »
SIGHTS

Andreevsky Spusk Andreevsky Spusk is one of the oldest streets in Kiev

Askold's Grave Askold's Grave is a part of the park complex on the right bank of the Dnepr River.

Babiy Yar Babiy Yar is a ruefully known place of grief over the victims of appalling genocide, anti-Semitism and World War II

Golden Gate  Golden Gate is a unique fortification architecture monument that survived until nowadays

Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra On the high hills of the right bank of the Dnepr River magnificent Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra topped with gilded domes is situated.

Kreschatik Kreschatik is the most famous and one of the busiest streets in Kiev

Podol is an old district of Kiev, where craftsmen and fishermen used to live.

St. Sofia Cathedral St. Sofia Cathedral is the world famous historical and architectural monument of the first half of the 11th century



Offline Chris

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Re: Culture and Arts in Kiev
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2007, 08:44:44 AM »
MUSEUMS

ARTEast Gallery A lot of art lovers consider ARTEast Art Gallery to be the best in Ukraine.

Kiev Art Gallery Kiev Art Gallery offering various works of art to everyone's taste is a modern American and Ukrainian joint project

Kiev Museum of Western and Oriental Art The Museum of Art named after Bogdan and Varvara Khanenko was founded in 1919 on the basis of their private museum

Museum of Cultural Heritage The Museum of Cultural Heritage was open on May 29, 1999. This museum presents the works by those Ukrainian artists who were compelled to live abroad.

National Art Museum of Ukraine One hundred years old. The 1990s, the first decade of Ukrainian independence, were the time when museum came to an international level.

National Museum of Medicine of Ukraine The National Museum of Medicine of Ukraine was founded in Kiev in 1973.

Ukrainian State Museum of Theater, Music and Cinema The State Museum of Theater, Music and Cinema of Ukraine is the only museum of this kind in the country

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Culture and Arts in Kiev
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2007, 01:35:38 AM »
Chris, very nice!  Thanks for posting these links.

Do you mind if we include the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus?  http://www.musicmissionkiev.org/tour.cfm

They Kyiv Symphony is a unique organization:
- They perform concerts thru the year in Kyiv.
- As a fulltime professional Symphony they perform frequently on Ukrainian radio and television.
- As a nonprofit organization they provide employment to talented professional Ukrainian musicians.
- Part of their income also operates a daily food bank for old widows/widower pensioners.
- Another part of their income operates a free medical outreach to Kyiv street children.
- Another part of their income operates two children's orphanages in the Kyivskaya Oblast (region).
- They also operate a big brothers/big sisters program modeled after the American/British organizations.
- They operate a summer camp for older teen orphans who are about to be released into general society.

Did I mention that they are professional, world-class musicians?

Every other year they tour the USA with fund-raising concerts.  There are no ticket prices, you listen to a two hour concert and can make donations as well as purchase CDs, calendars, etc.

They will be in the western USA in the fall of 2008.

For those of us in Arizona there will be a Scottsdale concert, three Mesa concerts, and two Prescott concerts.  Also several in California.

If you live in a tour city (see website) you can volunteer to host musicians in your home, prepare meals for the orchestra during their stay, be a concert usher, help with publicity, etc.

It is a wonderful organization, the musicians are friendly, and the quality of the performanaces is world-class (they've played in Carnagie Hall for example).


Offline Chris

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Re: Culture and Arts in Kiev
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2007, 02:09:08 AM »
Thanks mendeleyev,

Please feel free to add what you want to this thread, I am just trying to add some items of interest for people who may be passing through Kiev in the future.

Chris

Offline Cestmoi

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Re: Culture and Arts in Kiev
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2008, 01:20:52 AM »
There is also museum of Russian art - just next to museum of Western and Oriental art.
Museum of Russian art has absolutely stunning collections of Aivasovskiy, Shishkin, Ge, Vrubel, ancient russian icons, i might be mistaking, but i think they also have Vasnetsov. It's a must see place. The interior decoration of the museum is also very interesting. In addition to regular collection, they often have temporary exhibitions on the 1st floor. Usually very interesting too. 

for classical music - 2 polish catholic cathedrals - on chervonoarmiyska and triohsviatytilska, and Andriivska church on Andriivsky spusk.

also St.Michael's Cathedral - straight across from St.Sofia's Cathedral.
St.Michaels' does not have such old fresques as St.Sofia's does, but it's still very beautiful - outside and inside.

Offline Ferret

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Re: Culture and Arts in Kiev
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2008, 03:30:57 PM »
Already mentioned the National Art Museum of Ukraine
http://www.kiev.info/culture/national_art.htm
If you love art, leave plenty of time for a long visit there. Just the walk up to and past the big lions is something.
Ferret

Offline Chris

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Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2008, 03:21:41 AM »
Russian culture is one that is rich and colorful, Russian art is considered by some to be very interesting and unique. When we say Russian  we really mean all of the countries of the Former Soviet Union, as there are many famous painters and artists from all the regions.

However, there was also Soviet Art - During the Russian Revolution a movement was initiated to put all arts to service of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The instrument for this was created just days before the October Revolution, known as Proletkult, an abbreviation for "Proletarskie kulturno-prosvetitelnye organizatsii" (Proletarian Cultural and Enlightenment Organizations). A prominent theorist of this movement was Alexander Bogdanov. Initially Narkompros (ministry of education), which was also in charge of the arts, supported Proletkult. However, the latter sought too much independence from the ruling Communist Party of Bolsheviks, gained negative attitude of Vladimir Lenin, by 1922 declined considerably, and was eventually disbanded in 1932. After Stalin died Soviet Art went into decline as gradually Russians artists became more independent of the state and in the 1980s the government ruled that it could not restrict what Russians artists could paint.

The ideas of Proletkult attracted the intersests of Russian avantgarde, who strived to get rid of the conventions of "bourgeois art". Among notable persons of this movement was Kazimir Malevich. However the ideas of the avantgarde eventually clashed with the newly emerged state-sponsored direction of Socialist Realism.

In search of new forms of expression, the Proletkult organisation was highly eclectic in its art forms, and thus was prone to harsh criticism for inclusion of such modern directions as impressionism and cubism, since these movements existed before the revolution and hence were associated with "decadent bourgeois art".

Among early experiments of Proletkult was pragmaic aestetic of industrial art, the prominent theoretist being Boris Arvatov.

Another group was UNOVIS, a very short-lived but influential collection of young artists lead by Kasimir Malevich in the 1920's.

There are many era's of Russian Art and hopefully we can learn more about FSU art in general with RUA members help and experience.


Offline Chris

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2008, 03:26:25 AM »
Icon painting

Russian icon painting was inherited from the art of the Byzantine churches, and it soon became an offshoot version of the mosaic and fresco traditions. Icon paintings in Russia attempted to help people with their prayers without idolizing the figure in the painting. The most comprehensive collection of Icon art is found at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

Rather than being a mere imitation, Russian icons had a peculiar style and masters such as Andrei Rublev took the icon to new heights.

For those art lovers a visit to the Tretyakov Gallery is a must, allow at least a whole day to see the majority of the exhibits there, including hundreds if not thousands of Icon paintings.

Example of a Russian Icon painting on wood

Saint Nicholas with 16 scenes from his life

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Offline Chris

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2008, 03:28:23 AM »
So what is an Icon?

An icon икона is a painting of a sacred person or event that bears religious meaning. In Greek, “icon” means “image” or “likeness.” The principle underlying the icon is the doctrine that God became visible in Christ and was thus for the first time able to be depicted. According to legend, the first icon painter was the apostle Luke. For the believer, the icon provides a means of seeing and, in a sense, communicating with the holy figure it portrays. However, while an icon is venerated, it is not itself the object of worship.

Russia inherited the tradition of icon painting from Byzantium when Vladimir adopted Christianity in the late tenth century. But it is possible to trace the roots of the icon all the way back to tomb portraits of ancient Egypt. Icon painting flourished in Russia, where several types of icons gained precedence, including one called the Umilenie or “Tenderness” icon depicting the Mother of God with the Christ child. Icon painting continued to develop in Russia throughout the medieval period and until the reforms of Peter the Great. At this time, painting was greatly secularized.

Interest in icons renewed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Icons were collected and restored, which led to newfound knowledge about the art of icon painting.

Numerous scholarly studies were made of the icon, and the history of Russian art was positively reevaluated in the light of the discoveries of the aesthetic achievements of old Russian painting. Special sections of the major art museums in St. Petersburg and Moscow were established to house and exhibit the newly restored icons.

Icons were originally used only in religious processions and in churches. However, beginning in the fifteenth century, growing prosperity allowed for the personal ownership of icons. People placed them in their homes, either in a corner of the room or over the head of the bed.

In churches, you will see icons on a special wall or screen that separates the sanctuary from the nave. This wall is called the iconostasis, a Byzantine form of church decoration which became highly developed in Russia. The iconostasis is made up of a number of tiers of icons, which depict the biblical history of the church. The order of the icons on the iconostasis does not change, but the number of tiers can vary. In the lower center of the iconostasis are the Royal Doors which lead into the altar area, reserved only for male celebrants. The icon to the left of the doors is that of the Virgin, and the icon on the right of the doors is that of the Savior.


Offline Chris

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2008, 03:36:43 AM »
During my travels around Russia and Ukraine I have often admired some of the oil paintings that are frequently displayed in many of the well known galleries, but sometimes you can find a few gems in little back street gallery's too. Last year I had the pleasure of meeting an artist in Chernivsti, Western Ukraine,  I bought some of his work and was so impressed that I commissioned him to paint me some more pieces, I now have around 8 original pieces of his work, all signed and dated.

The artist is called Tesler, he is little known outside Ukraine, but very talented never the  less, I have taken some photos of the paintings I have, unfortunately my photo skills do not do them justice, the colours are very strong and vibrant, in the original paintings, but at least it gives you a flavour of the style, type and quality that this artist can produce and his attention to detail.

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Close up
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Offline Chris

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2008, 03:39:00 AM »
ila_rendered

Close up
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Offline Chris

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2008, 03:43:27 AM »
Some landscapes and country scenes

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Offline Chris

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2008, 03:49:04 AM »
Russian avant-garde

The Russian avant-garde is an umbrella term used to define the large, influential wave of modernist art that flourished in Russia from approximately 1890 to 1930 - although some place its beginning as early as 1850 and its end as late as 1960. The term covers many separate, but inextricably related, art movements that occurred at the time; namely neo-primitivism, suprematism, constructivism, and futurism. Notable artists from this era include El Lissitzky, Kazimir Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky, Vladimir Tatlin, Alexander Rodchenko, and Marc Chagall amongst others. The Russian avant-garde reached its creative and popular height in the period between the Russian Revolution of 1917 and 1932, at which point the ideas of the avant-garde clashed with the newly emerged state-sponsored direction of Socialist Realism.

a few examples

Dancer with a Cat. 1914 by Yuri Annenkov




Portrait of the Photographer and Artist M. Sherling. 1918.   


Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2008, 11:36:02 AM »
Wow Chris, very nice thread!

I find Tesler's style and clarity to be extraordinary!

Offline Chris

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2008, 12:26:31 PM »
Wow Chris, very nice thread!

I find Tesler's style and clarity to be extraordinary!

Yes he has an extraordinary talent, I wish I could do him justice and show them in much better detail with good quality photos of them.

Offline Chris

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2008, 12:37:15 PM »
For those interested in Russian Art here are some great links for you, with slideshows of various examples of each style and period of art:-

Icon Painting

Russian Paintings of the 18th Century

Russian Paintings of the 19th Century

Russian Paintings of the 20th Century

Russian Lubok or Popular Print










Offline Chris

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2008, 12:46:29 PM »
Modern Art

The rising influence of European culture in Russia during the 17th and 18th centuries brought Russian artwork closer to the familiar traditions of western painting. It wasn't until the end of the 19th century that the next great body of uniquely Russian artistic styles arose, having developed in conjunction with liberal forces of social reform. This modern movement took many different directions almost from its inception, and it would be impossible to describe all of them. However, even a very general acquaintance with their common ideas and interests makes their work much more accessible.

From the start, the modern art movement was concerned with breaking away from the classical tradition and creating a new kind of art that was intimately engaged with the daily life of Russian society. It developed a renewed interest in traditional Russian art forms, including both decorative folk art and, of course, icon painting. From decorative art it gained an appreciation of the power of abstract geometrical patterns--lines, shapes, and color were used to construct rhythms and energetic forms, not necessarily to depict objects or actual spaces. The re-examination of icon painting made painters more aware of the power of a flat, two-dimensional visual perspective. In other words, they realized that they could treat the canvas like a canvas, rather than trying to give the impression that it was a window into a space.

From the end of the nineteenth century until about 1910, the modern art movement remained most interested in traditional aspects of Russian life--religion and village life were as influential as the life of the great cities. As the forces of social reform became more closely linked to the rising population of industrial workers, Russia's avant-garde artists turned increasingly to the factory and the frenetic pace of urban life for inspiration. Brilliant colours, simplified and sharply angular forms, and an emphasis on the liberatory energy of the modern world became the basis for new and increasingly abstract compositions. Cubo-Futurism, Rayonnism and Suprematism were the most important of the styles and schools that emerged during this time. Among their most prominent artists were Kasimir Malevich, Vladimir Tatlin, Mikhail Larionov, and Anna Goncharova.

After the 1917 Revolution, the Russian Avant-Garde leapt into the service of the new Bolshevik regime. It seemed to promise just the sort of break into a new world, and sweeping away of the old, that they had been working for in art for years. They produced political posters, organized street pageants and fairs, and, most notably, carried out the design of the country's great public spaces for anniversary celebrations of the Revolution. Caught up in the new regime's emphasis on the importance of industrial power, they began to bring to composition a sense of the rationality and technological focus of industrial work and design. Constructivism, as this style is known, continued to evolve into the late 1920s, when the conservatism of the Stalinist state renounced the Avant-Garde in favor of Soviet Realism. Many of the prominent artists of the earlier schools played a central role in Constructivism, especially Tatlin. Other well-known artists of the Constructivist movement include Alexander Rodchenko, Varvara Stepanova, and Liubov Popova.

Repudiated by the Stalinist government and neglected in the west, the Russian Avant-Garde has only recently received the attention it deserves. The Russian Museum in St. Petersburg possesses the finest collection of its work.

To Evening by Alexi Zaitsev painted this year.

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Offline ECR844

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2008, 12:48:42 PM »
"Chris and "Mendy,"

   Out of curiosity whats a price point comparison between the Eastern artists and their western counterparts? Do you find that the art is more affordable for the more famous artists or evenly priced with "western" markets?

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2008, 01:53:46 PM »
In Europe it tends to be priced more evenly and that is one of the reasons why we maintain a very active presence in Moscow.  However the USA is a bad market for European art except in major population centers.  For example, my wife can sell a typical average sized (non-commissioned) painting in Russia, Germany, Britian or Spain for $2-5k, depending on the subject/scene.  That same painting in the USA, unless the buyer is art sophisticated, would likely set idle until the price dropped to $600 or below.

A "commissioned" piece on the other hand, where the buyer commissions the artist to paint a subject/person, and in which the buyer has more control over the final outcome, can bring $5-20K (in Europe/Russia) or even more depending on a number of variables.

Its just attitudes and priorities:  A Russian/Ukrainian housewife may be poor but she will appreciate having a quality painting inside her home.  Even if it's a major purchase, she views it as a conversation piece, future heirloom for her children, and a source of visual comfort and joy.  In the good ole USA however, the typical housewife buys art with a "dollar store mentality" of if it's pretty and the frame is wood, it can be hung on the wall. 

American's are also very 'self centric' about art too--Indian art does well in the West and Early American themes plays well from the East to Midwest.  New York and San Francisco (and Chicago to a small extent) are the rare exceptions.  These cities of course have large groups of European immigrants who are active art buyers.  The fees/commissions to get into a good gallery in these cities are often prohibitive for many artists.

We used to have her represented in Scottsdale, Chicago and Washington galleries but eventually pulled the art because after paying a 50% gallery commission and shipping/transport, export fees, it cost more to sell in the USA than we could get from the purchase price when using an established gallery.

Her art can be purchased and shipped to the USA, but by individual order.

Offline ECR844

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2008, 02:05:42 PM »
Thanks for the explanation, "Mendeleyev." Now does your wife have a website where her art can be purchased from, or another accessible venue?

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2008, 02:10:07 PM »
As sampling of her work:


Commissioned portrait.




Painted in Spain, won award for best caricature of life at Paris art show.  The painting was large but this small photo was all I could find.



Patriarch's Pond, Moscow.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2008, 02:24:36 PM »
More of Mrs Mendeleyeva:


Floral, oil on canvas.




Last of the Season.



At the death of Moscow ProtoPriest Dmitry, the Russian Orthodox Church commissioned this to be presented at the commemoration of his 40th day after passing.

Offline Chris

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2008, 02:42:12 PM »
Some very nice pieces from your wife Mendy, I especially like the 'Patriarch's Pond, Moscow.' and the Floral, oil on canvas, very nice indeed.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2008, 02:44:59 PM »
Thank you Chris!   :)


ECR, thanks for the question and I'll send a link via PM.  Being a Russian website (but in several languages) there is a lot of personal information about family there especially from the number of magazine and television links about her, and with the need to keep my work as a journalist at arms length from her public work as an artist, its rare that we make it easy to put two and two together.

Offline Chris

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Re: Russian, Ukrainian and FSU Art
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2008, 02:55:22 PM »
Mir iskusstva

Mir iskusstva (Russian: «Мир иску́сства», World of Art) was a Russian magazine and the artistic movement it inspired and embodied, which was a major influence on the Russians who helped revolutionize European art during the first decade of the 20th century. From 1909, many of the miriskusniki (i.e., members of the movement) also contributed to the Ballets Russes company operating in Paris. Paradoxically, few Western Europeans actually saw issues of the magazine itself

The artistic group was founded in 1898 by a group of students that included Alexandre Benois, Konstantin Somov, Dmitry Filosofov, Léon Bakst, and Eugene Lansere. The starting moments for the new artistic group was organization of the Exhibition of Russian and Finnish Artists in the Stieglitz Museum of Applied Arts in Saint-Petersburg.

The magazine was cofounded in 1899 in St. Petersburg by Alexandre Benois, Léon Bakst, and Sergei Diaghilev (the Chief Editor). They aimed at assailing low artistic standards of the obsolescent Peredvizhniki school and promoting artistic individualism and other principles of Art Nouveau. The theoretical declarations of the art movements were stated in the Diaghilev's articles "Difficult Questions", "Our Imaginary Degradation", "Permanent Struggle", "In Search of Beauty", and "The Fundamentals of Artistic Appreciation" published in the N1/2 and N3/4 of the new journal.

Apart from three founding fathers, active members of the World of Art included Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Eugene Lansere, and Konstantin Somov. Exhibitions organized by the World of Art attracted many illustrious painters from Russia and abroad, notably Mikhail Vrubel, Mikhail Nesterov, and Isaac Levitan.

In its "classical period" (1898-1904) the art group organized six exhibitions: 1899 (International), 1900, 1901 (At the Imperial Academy of Arts, Saint Petersburg), 1902 (Moscow and Saint Petersburg), 1903, 1906 (Saint Petersburg). The sixth exhibition was seen as a Dyagilev's attempt to prevent the separation from the Moscow members of the group who organized a separate "Exhibition of 36 artists" (1901) and later "The Union of Russian Artists" group (from 1903).

In 1904-1910, Mir Iskusstva as a separate artistic group did not exist. Its place was inherited by the Union of Russian Artists which continued officially until 1910 and unofficially until 1924. The Union included painters (Valentin Serov, Konstantin Korovin, Boris Kustodiev, Zinaida Serebriakova), illustrators (Ivan Bilibin, Konstantin Somov), restorators (Igor Grabar), and scenic designers (Nicholas Roerich, Serge Sudeikin).

In 1910 Benois published a critical article in the magazine "Rech'" about the Union of Russian Artists. Mir Iskusstva was recreated. The new chairman became Nicholas Roerich. The group took new members including Nathan Altman, Vladimir Tatlin, and Martiros Saryan. Some said that the inclusion of the Russian avant-garde painters demonstrated that the group had become an exhibition organization rather than an art movement. In 1917 the chairman of the group became Ivan Bilibin. The same year most members of the Jack of Diamonds entered the group.

The group organized numerous exhibitions: 1911, 1912, 1913, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1921, 1922 Saint-Petersburg, Moscow). The last exhibition of Mir Iskusstva was organized in Paris in 1927. Some members of the group entered the Zhar-Tsvet (Moscow, organized in 1924) and Four Arts (Moscow-Leningrad, organized in 1925) artistic movements.

Like the English pre-Raphaelites before them, Benois and his friends were disgusted with anti-aesthetic nature of modern industrial society and sought to consolidate all Neo-Romantic Russian artists under the banner of fighting Positivism in art.

Like the Romantics before them, the miriskusniki promoted understanding and conservation of the art of previous epochs, particularly traditional folk art and the 18th-century rococo. Antoine Watteau was probably the single artist whom they admired the most.

Such Revivalist projects were treated by the miriskusniki humorously, in a spirit of self-parody. They were fascinated with masks and marionettes, with carnaval and puppet theater, with dreams and fairy-tales. Everything grotesque and playful appealed to them more than the serious and emotional. Their favorite city was Venice, so much so that Diaghilev and Stravinsky selected it as the place of their burial.

As for media, the miriskusniki preferred the light, airy effects of watercolor and gouache to full-scale oil paintings. Seeking to bring art into every house, they often designed interiors and books. Bakst and Benois revolutionized theatrical design with their ground-breaking decor for Cléopâtre (1909), Carnaval (1910), Petrushka (1911), and L'après-midi d'un faune (1912).



source: Wikipedia