How Russian artist Makovsky painted a portrait of the US president and opened the “Russian style” to Americans
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Western world discovered the Russian style. Sundresses, kokoshniks, furs and precious fabrics, boyars and feasts - this is exactly the kind of…

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Ciphers, signs and self-portraits: How artists of the past signed their paintings
Not every masterpiece of painting contains the signature of the artist. There were reasons for this, both at the dawn of the Renaissance and in the modern era; they are…

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How philanthropist Savva Mamontov revived Russian ceramics: Unique majolica Abramtseva
Everyone knows about the influence that philanthropist Savva Mamontov had on patronage of Russian culture, who gathered the greatest artists at his Abramtsevo estate. But special attention is required to…

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What paintings of Russian classics were banned from showing, and for what reason they fell out of favor with censors

We used to associate censorship prohibitions with forbidden books or films. But even in such a seemingly harmless genre of art as painting, artists could go against the ideological principles of power, which is why these or those paintings were not accepted for display at public exhibitions. Several such stories occurred in the Russian Empire, and they are associated not with some little-known artists, but with universally recognized brush masters.
One of the most famous wanderers, Ilya Repin, by the 1880s, was an artist with great experience. His paintings were bought by Pavel Tretyakov, cultural figures such as the writer Turgenev and composer Mussorgsky posed for him. In addition to portraits and a social theme (for example, “Barge Haulers on the Volga”), Repin was always interested in historical subjects. The legend that Tsar Ivan the Terrible, in a fit of anger, dealt a mortal blow to his son Ivan by a staff, was known thanks to historical work, although it is difficult to judge how true it is. Continue reading

Merchants, crooks, money-lenders, millionaires: Whose blood lives in the veins of Vasily Kandinsky
The founder of abstractionism is a personality no less mysterious than his work. Originally Vasily Kandinsky from an unusual family. In his veins flows the blood of real robbers and…

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19th Century Girl Albums
The young ladies of the 19th century were not so different from the modern ones: they also needed attention, recognition, evidence of sympathy from friends and, of course, a cordial…

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Why the extravagant genius of the Renaissance has not been recognized for centuries in the Homeland: “Another Venetian” by Lorenzo Lotto
Among the great Italian Renaissance artists, Lorenzo Lotto occupies a special place. More recently, this painter was in the shadow of his famous contemporaries and countrymen, for centuries remaining unrecognized…

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“Makha dressed” and “Makha naked”: How passions flared up around the scandalous paintings of Francisco Goya
Surprisingly, the paintings of the famous Spanish artist, painted at the turn of the enlightened XVIII and golden XIX centuries, became the causes of scandals up to the emancipated XX.…

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