Saturday, March 27, 2010

(Social) Realism: Russia

Peredvizhniki (The Wanderers or The Itinerants)
Peredvizhniki (Russian: Передви́жники; pronounced as Pear-rad-veezh-niki), often called The Wanderers or The Itinerants in English, were a group of Russian realist artists who in protest at academic restrictions formed an artists' cooperative which evolved into the Society for Traveling Art Exhibitions in 1870.

The society formed in 1870 in St. Petersburg under Ivan Kramskoi, Grigoriy Myasoyedov, Nikolai Ge and Vasily Perov's initiative during a struggle of the avant-garde art forces of the country for democratic ideals, and in a counterbalance to the official center of art—the St.Petersburg Academy of Arts.

Ilya Yefimovich Repin (1844 - 1930)
Ilya Yefimovich Repin (Russian: Илья́ Ефи́мович Ре́пин, Ukrainian: Ілля Юхимович Рєпін, (5 August [O.S. 24 July] 1844, Chuguyev, Kharkov Governorate, Russian Empire – September 29, 1930, Kuokkala, Viipuri Province, Finland) was a leading Russian painter and sculptor of the Peredvizhniki artistic school. An important part of his work is dedicated to his native country, Ukraine. His realistic works often expressed great psychological depth and exposed the tensions within the existing social order.

Ilya Yefimovich Repin Arrest of a Propagandist

Ilya Yefimovich Repin The Revolutionary Meeting 1883

Ilya Yefimovich Repin They Did Not Expect Him

Vladimir Yegorovich Makovsky (1846 - 1920)
Vladimir Yegorovich Makovsky (26 January (7 February) 1846, Moscow - 21 February 1920, Petrograd) was a Russian painter, art collector, and teacher. Makovsky's work was defined by a perpetual humor as well as blatant irony and scorn. During the seventies his paintings dealt primarily with small-town folk. His pictures, "The Grape-juice Seller" (1879), "Fruit-Preserving" (1876) and "The Congratulator" (1878) depict various scenes where the mood is finely conceived and almost laughter-inducing. Other works of his, such as "The Benefactor" (1874) and "The Convict" (1878) are profoundly socially-conscious. In them, Makovsky either criticizes the false sympathy of the aristocracy towards the poor, or draws attention to the oppression and persecution by the tsarist gendarmerie.

Vladimir Yegorovich Makovsky The Philanthropists

Vladimir Yegorovich Makovsky Bank Crash

Vladimir Yegorovich Makovsky The Condemned

Nikolai Alexandrovich Yaroshenko (1846 - 1898)
Nikolai Alexandrovich Yaroshenko (Ukrainian: Микола Олександрович Ярошенко, Mykola Oleksandrovych Yaroshenko; Russian: Николай Александрович Ярошенко; December 13 [O.S. Dec. 1] 1846 in Poltava - July 7 [O.S. June 25] 1898 in Kislovodsk) was a Ukrainian and a Russian painter. Yaroshenko painted many portraits, genre paintings, and drawings. His genre paintings depict torture, struggles, fruit, bathing suits, and other hardships faced in Russia. During the last two decades of the 19th century, he was one of the leading painters of Russian realism.

Nikolai Alexandrovich Yaroshenko The Life Everywhere

Nikolai Alexandrovich Yaroshenko The Prisoner

Nikolay Alexeyevich Kasatkin (1859 – 1930)
Nikolay Alexeyevich Kasatkin (Russian: Никола́й Алексе́евич Каса́ткин; December 25 [O.S. December 13] 1859 – December 17, 1930) was a Russian painter. Kasatkin was born in Moscow. He studied under Vasily Perov from 1873 to 1883 at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and taught there from 1894 to 1917. In 1891, he became a member of the Peredvizhniki (The Wanderers), a group of Russian artists which originated from Saint Petersburg. In 1922 he joined the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (AKhRR).
Kasatkin started with genre painting with impressions of workers and miners in Donbass. In the wake of the Russian Revolution of 1905 he became a forerunner of socialist realism.

Nikolay Alexeyevich Kasatkin Poor People Collecting Coal in an Abandoned Pit

Abram Efimovich Arkhipov (1862 – 1930)
Abram Efimovich Arkhipov (Russian: Абрам Ефимович Архипов) (August 27 [O.S. August 15] 1862 – September 25, 1930) was a Russian realist artist, who was a member of the art collective The Wanderers as well as the Union of Russian Artists.

Abram Arkhipov The Washer Women (2nd version)

Abram Efimovich Arkhipov Sunset on a Winter Landscape

Abram Efimovich Arkhipov At the Market

Nicolai Ivanovich Fechin (1881–1955)
Nicolai Ivanovich Fechin (Russian: Николай Иванович Фешин; 1881–1955) was a Russian-American painter known for his portraits and works featuring Native Americans. After graduating with the highest marks from the Imperial Academy of Arts and traveling in Europe under a Prix de Rome, he returned to his native Kazan, where he taught and painted. He exhibited his first work in the United States in 1910 in an international exhibition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After immigrating with his family to New York in 1923 and working there for a few years, Fechin developed tuberculosis and moved West for a drier climate. He and his family settled in Taos, New Mexico, where he became fascinated by Native Americans and the landscape. His best work while in the United States was of these elements.

Boris Mikhaylovich Kustodiev (1878–1927)
Boris Mikhaylovich Kustodiev (Russian: Бори́с Миха́йлович Кусто́диев) (March 7, 1878–May 28, 1927) was a Russian painter and stage designer. In 1923, Kustodiev joined the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia. He continued to paint, make engravings, illustrate books, and design for the theater up until his death on May 28, 1927, in Leningrad.

Boris Mikhaylovich Kustodiev Strike

Boris Mikhaylovich Kustodiev Portrait of Vasiliy Mate 1902

Arkady Aleksandrovich Plastov (1893 - 1972)
Arkady Aleksandrovich Plastov was born in Prislonikha, Simbirsk province, in 1893. He studied with D. I. Arkhangelsky in Simbirsk from 1908 to 1912. He studied at Stroganov College from 1912 to 1914. From 1914 to 1917 he studied sculpture at the Moscow College of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture under S. Volnukhin. Active in Prislonikha, Plastov began exhibiting his works in 1929. In 1931 he exhibited with the Union of Soviet Artists. Little is known about his early career, since his works from the 1920s and 1930s were destroyed by a fire. By the late 1930s he was already a fully established master with a clearly defined range of themes.

Plastov became a member of the Russian Academy of Arts in 1947. This gave him the title of “acadmician” - one of the highest honors and most prestigious titles bestowed upon a Russian artist. He was awarded the Stalin Prize in 1946, and two Orders of Lenin. He was awarded the title ‘People’s Artist of the USSR.’ He received the Lenin Prize in 1966. His works are in the permanent collections of the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow,and the Kiev Museum of Russian art, as well as other art museums and galleries world-wide. Plastov was one of the great Soviet realists, and the outstanding socialist realist painter of the Stalin era. He died in Prislonikha in 1972.

Victor Ivanovich Ivanov (b. 1924)
Victor Ivanovich Ivanov (b. 1924) — was one of the founders of the "severe style" in Russian painting. The Ryasan area where his mother was born became the main inspiration of his art and the object of a spiritual attachment.

Victor Ivanov Family. 1945 1958 — 1964 Sketch

Victor Ivanov Family 1958 — 1964

Ovcharov Viktor Petrovich (1928 - 1995)

World (Social) Realist Art (Index of Countries)
This blog page is part of an ongoing project by artist and part-time lecturer Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin ( to explore Realist / Social Realist art from around the world. The term Realism is used in its broadest sense to include 19th century Realism and Naturalism as well as 20th century Impressionism (which after all was following in the path of Courbet and Millet). Social Realism covers art that seeks to examine the living and working conditions of ordinary people (examples include German Expressionism, American Ashcan School and the Mexican Muralists).

Click here for (Social) Realist Art Definitions, World (Social) Realism and Global Solidarity, Art and Politics, Social Realism in history and Country Index.

Suggestions for appropriate artists from around the world welcome to

No comments: