painting

Natalia Goncharova at the Tretyakov gallery

by Olga on December 21, 2013

Natalia Goncharova (1881–1962), an exciting artist of the Russian avant-garde, who played a crucial role in the development of Russian modernism. Her name resembles the name of Pushkin’s wife, also called Natalia Goncharova, whom distant descendant she was. Freedom of avant-garde art of the early 20th century allowed the painter to try everything from primitivism to the grotesque. Natalia Goncharova was happy to know the lifetime success. Today she is known as one of the most expensive woman artists. The invaluable Tretyakov gallery exhibition displays all genre diversity of Goncharova’s paintings. Everyone will find there something touching the soul.

I was mostly touched by her Spanish women.

N. Goncharova Spring 1932
N. Goncharova Read more

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Maxim Vorobiev «View of Manege, Kutafya tower and St. Nicholas church in Sapozhki in Moscow», 1817.
M.N.Vorobiev1817 View of Manege, Kutafya tower, and the church of St. Nickolas in Moscow

Most tourists visiting the Kremlin enter it trough the Trinity (Troitskaya) tower. This is the tower with a bridge and outer barbican, known as Kutafya tower (a white one with a “crown” on its top). Left of it the watercolor by M.Vorobiev shows us just recently completed Manege building (1817). For its long history it was used for riding horses, as a government garage, and the main state exhibition hall. The church of St. Nicholas (1648) was demolished in 1838. A modern building behind the Kremlin wall, which obstructed the view of the Kremlin ensemble, was erected in 1961, under Nikita Khruschev, for Communist Party congresses.

The square in 2013.
10 years ago the monument to Alexander II flanked by two lions (standing today beside the cathedral of Christ the Savior) was planned to put up here. The idea did not come true.

Manege, Kutafya tower, Moscow

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The exhibition of Konstantin Korovin (1861-1939), Russian Impressionist painter, dedicated to his 150th birth anniversary is open till August, 12 at the Tretyakov Gallery on Krymsky Val, 10. The last exhibition like this took place in Moscow in 1922.

Konstantin Korovin Gurzuf 1914

Konstantin Korovin. Gurzuf, 1914

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Maslenitsa

by Olga on February 19, 2012

I was asked, when Maslenitsa starts this year in Russia.

This year, Maslenitsa week starts tomorrow on February, 20, and will last till Sunday, February 26. It always takes place during the week before Lent. Maslenitsa is a celebration of the end of winter and welcoming the approaching spring, and hence of warmth, hope, and joy. I believe nobody painted Maslenitsa better than Boris Kustodiyev.

Kustodiyev_maslenitsa_1916 Read more

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Old Moscow university

by Olga on February 19, 2012

Konstantin Yuon “Moscow university” (1911).
K.Yuon Moscow university 1911

The old building of Moscow university on Mokhovaya street in 2012.
Moscow university  2012

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Caravaggio in Moscow

by Olga on January 31, 2012

The Caravaggio exhibition at the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum runs until February 19, 2012.
If you want to escape long queueing and freezing come at 10am.
Caravaggio The Adoration of the Shepherds 1609

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Red square

by Olga on January 17, 2012

“Feeding pigeons in Red Square in 1890-1900” by Konstantin Yuon (1946).
K.Yuon Feeding pigeons in Red square

Red square in 2012.
Red square, 2012

What are the differences?

1. Two towers which are to the right from the Historical museum (on the opposite side of the square from us) were demolished in 1931. The Resurrection Gate with two chapels was considered to be an obstacle for military parades and demonstrations on the way to Red Square. The gate was reconstructed in the 90s.

2. St. Nicholas tower looks to be white-washed.

3. Lenin’s Mausoleum was built in 1930.

4. There are no chapels next to the Spasskaya Tower. They were destroyed in 1925 and therefore did not exist in 1946 like the Resurrection Gate when Yuon painted them.

5. We can not see in the picture by Yuon such details as any of the double headed eagles on the Kremlin towers. They were replaced by the stars in 1935. The stars are clearly visible in my photo.

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Lubyanka square

by Olga on January 5, 2012

Konstantin Yuon “Lubyanskaya square in winter”, 1905
K.Yuon "Lubyanskaya square in winter", 1905

Lubyanka in 2012.
The walls of Kitay-gorod, the Vladimir tower, St. Panteleimon chapel, and an old fountain with drinking water no longer exist.
The Iron Felix (statue of KGB founder F.Dzherzhinsky erected on the square in 1958) was pulled down in 1991.
Lubyanskaya square, 2012

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Moskvoretsky bridge

by Olga on December 28, 2011

Moskvoretsky bridge by Konstantin Yuon, 1911.
K.Yuon Moskvoretsky bridge 1911

Moskvoretsky bridge by Konstantin Korovin, 1914.
K.Korovin Moskvoretsky bridge 1914

Boris Yakovlev “The view on the Kremlin from the side of an old Moskvoretsky bridge”, 1936.
B.Yakovlev View on the Kremlin

Konstantin Yuon “Utro Moskvy. 1942.”
K.Yuon Utro Moskvy 1942

The view from Bolshoi Moskvoretsky bridge today.
view from Moskvoretsky bridge

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They started to decorate Christ the Savior Cathedral with murals in 1860. During the next twenty years forty artists took part in the work, among them – H. Siemiradzki, V. Surikov, Vl.Makovsky, V.P. Vereshchagin, I.Pryanishnikov, N.Koshelev, M. Vasiliev, and many others.
When the cathedral of Christ the Savior built on the same place in the late 20th century was to be painted there existed just black and white photographs of the original interior. It turned out that the picture of Fyodor Klages “Internal view of Christ the Savior cathedral in Moscow” (1883) was the only survived “document”, executed in color.

F.Klages "Internal view of Christ the Savior cathedral in Moscow” (1883)

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