Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky - the exhibition catalogue from National Portrait Gallery available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky

Regular price £24.95

'Provides not only a vivid and intimate survey of an extraordinary period, but a kind of advert for the virtues of the painted portrait itself' - The Telegraph

Modest Mussorgsky, 1881 by Ilya Repin, Russia and the Arts at the National Portrait Gallery

This book, accompanying an exhibition at London's National Portrait Gallery, explores the history of Russian portraiture between 1867 and 1914, a time of great cultural vibrancy in the country. The exhibition is part of a joint project between the State Tretyakov Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, which has been devised to celebrate their shared 160th anniversaries. 

Beautifully illustrated with key works from the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia and the Arts highlights some of the extraordinary developments that took place in the arts in Russia during this period and showcases a wealth of painted portraits of major Russian figures by Russian painters from the Realist, Impressionist and Symbolist movements. Paintings featured in the exhibition include Vasily Perov's portrait of Dostoyevsky and Ilya Repin's portrait of Modest Mussorgsky.

Author Rosalind P. Blakesley looks in the first and second chapters at the portrait tradition in Russia: the rise of secular portrait painting following the founding of the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg in 1757; the shifting tastes of patrons and publics; the reception of portraits in exhibitions and collections (including those of the tsars); and the role of portraiture in the cultural politics of imperial Russia. Other chapters look at developments in theatre and music, the rising Realist aesthetic and the rise of novel forms of visual expression through experimentation, from Impressionism to Symbolism, and the World of Art Movement, with its conscious reconnection with artistic developments in the West. 

  • Author: Rosalind P Blakesley
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Date published: March 2016
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-1855145375
  • Product Dimensions: 29 x 23 x 1.5 cm

★★★★ 'An intimate survey of Russia at its greatest' - The Telegraph

★★★★ 'This is not an exhibition to miss. Many works have never travelled outside Russia, and most have never been seen in Britain before. To walk among them is to return to that almost unimaginable Russian culture of radical thinkers, writers, artists and composers before it was devastated by the first world war and the Bolshevik terror' - The Guardian

★★★★'the show tells a fascinating story of a country in turmoil'Time Out

★★★★ The Times

★★★★ 'With work by some of the finest Russian artists from the second half of the nineteenth century up to the start of the first world war, these portraits feature some of the greatest and most celebrated of that country's cultural icons' - Culture Whisper

'Dramatic, intense, passionate' - Huffington Post

Explore our pinterest board with images and reviews of the show.

Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky