Russian art of the 19th century: general characteristics, history of development, main directions
Russian art of the 19th century: general characteristics, history of development, main directions

Video: Russian art of the 19th century: general characteristics, history of development, main directions

Video: Russian art of the 19th century: general characteristics, history of development, main directions
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As you can see from the history of Russian art, the 19th century was a period of flourishing and active development of various trends. The culture of that time is determined by bourgeois relations. Capitalism was fully formed already in the 18th century, it covered various spheres of material production, and this affected non-productive areas. Such features of the social system affected the philosophical teachings, painting and literature, and the consciousness of the public. All this greatly influenced the life of a person.

General information

Understanding Russian literature and art of the 19th century is possible only if a person is aware of the contradictions that were characteristic of the bourgeoisie of that time in our country. The context of the previous century was not simple. Internal clashes, conflicts, opposing tendencies and class confrontations have strongly influenced the creative, non-material spheres of life. The bourgeoisie fought the proletarians, material culture suddenly found itself on the wave of fashion, andspiritual culture progressed against the background of the alienation of the individual. In the 19th century, all this changed dramatically and radically. The whole life of a person turned literally upside down when machines became available that separated the person and nature, changed stereotypes and ideas about the meaning of man in the world. Since then, man has been dependent on machines. Mechanization is accompanied by the alienation of spiritual spheres, separation from the foundations. Handicrafts and creativity are being replaced by monotonous activities.

In many ways, Russian art at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries is determined by the spirituality of the public. This kind of culture is due to advances in the natural sciences and philosophical breakthroughs. Science was the key direction of social development, the one that determined all spheres of social life. Value orientations are conditioned by bourgeois criteria and the rejection of such a society. Accordingly, the culture of that century includes several seemingly opposite directions. This is a period of romanticism and a time when critical realism is actively developing. In the 19th century we see the progress of symbolism, along with which many are passionate about naturalism, but no less public attention is attracted by positivism.

Russian art of the second half
Russian art of the second half

Worldview and culture

The whole European culture of that century is a demonstration of social contradictions. It is amazing how deep the creative tension is, how closely connected science and the spiritual, literature and everyday life, art and philosophy. Russian art of the early 19th century is especially interesting in the field of painting. In itthe time the dominant school is academic drawing. The most attractive areas for artists are history, the image of battles. This is largely due to the consequences, the impact on the society of the Patriotic War and the victory in 1812. Success in military operations was the reason for the rise of the self-consciousness of the nation. In the mid-60s of the same century, social themes and everyday life became more fashionable and popular in the medium of painting. Toward the end of the century, impressionism gains popularity. If you look at the work of that time, you will notice that more and more artists create images in the Art Nouveau style or turn to the school of neoclassicism.

Russian art of the 19th century is impossible to consider, not to mention the academic drawing. This school of painting is the key one in this century. It is she who sets the fashion, determines the popular trends, current styles. The key method is classicism. Typical and most popular genres are portraiture, history, and decorative painting. However, the youth of that time was extremely opposed to academic conservatism. Avoiding depicting motifs from the Bible or mythology, they preferred to paint landscapes and paint portraits. More and more often, the features of romanticism and realistic features are visible in the works.

Names and examples

In short, Russian art of the 19th century is an amazingly multifaceted phenomenon, distinguished by the variety of directions and the originality of their manifestations. Quite curious are the portraits painted by Kiprensky. It is in them that one can see how the canons of portraiture are complemented andperfectly combined with the romanticism of the new era. The most revealing in this regard are the portraits of Chelishchev, the Rostopchins, and the Khvostovs.

No less curious are the works created by Tropinin. These are realistic portraits in which the person is the center that attracts attention. This author depicts every face with extreme precision. The figures drawn by him perfectly reflect the real person who posed for the picture. Particularly curious and incredibly reliable are his works, which depict Ravich, Bulakhov, and the Carrots. The same artist created one of the most outstanding portraits of Pushkin - the one where the great poet listens to himself, leaning on a stack of sheets.

Russian art of the first half
Russian art of the first half

Brullov and Ivanov

In Russian art of the first half of the 19th century, a strong academic school attracts attention, in accordance with the requirements and canons of which the work “The Last Day of Pompeii” was created. This unique work has become one of those that glorified its author Bryullov throughout the world. In many ways, it is the best way to illustrate the changes and development of social thought of that period. By the manner of her portrayal, one can see how much society is waiting for changes, how powerfully the self-consciousness of the nation has risen. Bryullov's work symbolizes the human courage of those who faced a terrible catastrophe.

However, Bryullov's other works are no less curious and indicative in terms of reflecting the ideas of that time. Traditionally, the artistic, historical, cultural value of the "Italian Noon" is highly appreciated. Among the gold funds of that era - created by this author"Horsewoman", "Bathsheba". To this day, the admiration of critics is caused by the unique painting "Italian Morning". And in them, and in other works of the outstanding author, one can see how accurately, clearly, surprisingly insightful Bryullov reflects the beauty of nature and man.

Ivanov is an equally important representative of Russian art in the first half of the 19th century. In his works one can see how folk spirituality awakens. The author's most famous work is The Appearance of Christ to the People. It is known that the artist worked on this canvas for about two decades. The divine essence is seen in the distance, and the foreground is given to Ivan the Baptist, who points to Jesus, drawing the attention of the common people to him. The faces of the entire public depicted on the canvas brighten when approaching the deity, and the observer immediately sees how filled with joy the souls of these people.

The century is moving towards the middle

In the first half of the 19th century, Fedotov and Venetsianov worked. Through the efforts of these artists, the everyday genre was laid down, and social painting was formed. In the paintings of Venetsianov, one can see the idealization of peasant everyday life. This artist focused on human nobility, on amazing beauty, which is not determined by social affiliation and class division. Particularly attractive are the works created by him "Peasant woman with cornflowers" and "Barn". The images of people engaged in work on arable land and harvest are very indicative.

russian art late 19
russian art late 19

In the second half of the 19th century, Russian art is gradually moving towards realism. The main theme of that period is reflectionpeasant life in all its features. The new trend was asserted rather difficult. His followers had to make a lot of efforts in the fight against representatives of the academic direction, who preferred classical painting. Some said that art is above everyday life, that there should be no place for everyday topics, society or nature in it. However, as can be seen from the works of that era, academicians were forced to retreat under the pressure of a new direction. Since 1862, all pictorial genres have been considered equal. From now on, subject matter is not taken into account when evaluating an image, and artistry is the only important quality.

Romanticism and sentimentalism

When the war of 1812 ended, in Russia, obviously, the interest of the ascetics of culture in the life of the people increased. Much attention is drawn to the individuality of the common man. This is how a new idealism is born, based on the idea of a person who is not dependent on difficulties, spiritually strong, feeling deeply, expressing it passionately. Such an ideal became the basis of creation in the style of romanticism. This concept was new to the art of that time, it originated only in the 19th century. Gradually, classicism surrenders its former traditions, and it is romanticism that takes its place. Russian art of the 19th century develops in this vein mainly at the beginning of the century. It is here that painting literally takes leaps and bounds forward. The best aspirations, the soaring of the soul - all this is intended to reflect the works of artists. Especially successfully it was possible to do this through portraiture. Mostoutstanding works in the style of romanticism of that era belong to the brush of Kiprensky.

He largely influenced all Russian art of the 19th century. At first he studied at the Educational School, then at the Art Academy. The artist received knowledge in the class of historical painting. His work quickly attracted attention due to the successful and atypical color schemes that define the modeling of the form. The energy is reflected in pastose painting, due to which everything depicted becomes even more expressive and emotional. Sarabyanov spoke about Kiprensky and romanticism, recognizing that the trend itself in our country was not as strong as in many European powers, it did not know the tragedy as in Western countries, but it was Kiprensky who was special in this movement. His works largely correspond to the academic classical notion of harmony, but the artist surprisingly reflects subtle emotional experiences and analyzes them, depicting the work in a spirit that is almost close to sentimentalism. In the paintings of Kiprensky, the combination of the past and the present is especially clearly visible. It is felt that these images were created in an era when society is full of hopes, consciousness is especially strong thanks to victories. Romantic portraits by this artist are said by critics to be surprisingly charming, original and extremely expressive.

About Kiprensky in more detail

Having made a special contribution to the Russian art of the 19th century, Kiprensky rarely created something as bright as the one he created in his youth in the Italian stage of his life. This is due to the nuances of his fate. Among the mostinteresting and significant works can be noted painted in the 27th year of the portrait of Pushkin. Kiprensky created it when he happened to return to his native land for the last time. In 1822 he painted a remarkably elegiac portrait of Avdulina, every stroke of which is filled with sadness.

As many critics say, it is impossible to overestimate the importance of the graphic portraits that came out of this artist's stylus. Most often, the author worked with Italian pencils. For coloring watercolors and pastels were used. Kiprensky also used colored pencils. The very fact of such quick sketches is considered entertaining.

It is believed that this genre of fine art is the best reflection of modern times. In the works of Kiprensky one can see how surprisingly skillfully he uses pencils, capturing fleeting facial expressions and minor changes, literally the movements of the soul. The graphic work of the famous artist has evolved noticeably over the years. Later works are not so direct, they do not have the former warmth, but the virtuosity of the execution of each stroke and the sophistication of the work as a whole cause absolute delight.

Russian art of the 20th century
Russian art of the 20th century


Born in 1777, a Pole by origin, this artist made a significant contribution to Russian art of the 19th century. Today, critics call him a consistent romantic. He brought into our culture some directions that are more characteristic of Western creativity. He is known for his depictions of bivouacs and paintings showing shipwrecks. Pushkin wrote about his abilities. It so happened that Orlovsky quickly assimilated upon arriving in Russia, and this is reflected in his works. Especially expressive and revealing graphic art, portraits in this genre. Outwardly, one can see typical signs of European romanticism, tension, the desire for rebellion. At the same time, something especially personal, secret is also visible. The self-portrait of the artist created in 1809 is especially indicative in this respect.

This author laid the foundation for realism in many ways. His brush belongs to genre sketches. He created lithographs, made various drawings, on which he captured moments from the life of the city.

Time goes by - art evolves

Russian art of the second half of the 19th century is the gradual fading of academism. Since the beginning of this century, realism has gradually become stronger and stronger. At the Art Academy, teachers tried to instill in students that art is above life. The main themes for creation were considered biblical stories and mythology. This led to an open rebellion among the students, and the commune was headed by Kramskoy. The development of the situation over the course of a century caused the appearance of the Wanderers. All these people did not accept academic painting in principle. Myths, decorative paintings, theatricality, bombast were rejected by new artists who wanted to paint a simple life. During this period, progressive painting, the main idea of which is democracy, receives the greatest recognition from society. The key figures of that time can be called Kramskoy, Stasov. The main collector of the era is Tretyakov. Thus the secondhalf of this century is a time of special flourishing of democracy and realism in artistic culture.

Within the walls of the Art Academy, new trends lead to significant changes. In 1963, the Revolt of the Fourteen began, which contributed to Russian art at the end of the 19th century. Several artists preparing to graduate from the academy refused to write creations on the topics assigned to them, and teachers refused to allow students to freely choose the theme of the graduation canvas for themselves. As a result, the rebels simply left the educational institution and founded their own artel. True, it did not last long. Soon, Muscovites and Petersburgers created those same traveling exhibitions of the 70s. More often they could be seen in the capital region, less often artists went to provincial cities. Wandering existed for more than half a century. Any exhibition was considered a significant social event, especially in the provinces. The Wanderers had an ideological program and sought to reflect reality, real life, its problems and difficulties.

Russian fine art of the century
Russian fine art of the century

Partnership: more details

Russian art of the 2nd half of the 19th century is not only the Wanderers, but they were one of the most important phenomena of that time. Myasoedov once said that the success of this whole movement will be determined by how well the first performance will be. Reality showed that he was absolutely right. A meeting dedicated to the activities of the circle was convened on December 6, 1870. Then it was decided that the exhibition should be held next year, from 15September until the first day of the next month. However, in reality, it was not possible to meet the specified deadlines. The Wanderers were able to show the work to people only on November 25th. The exhibition lasted just over a month, closed on the second day of 1872, was an amazing success and determined the future of the Partnership. There were 16 participants in total with 47 paintings.

It must be said that Russian art of the 19th and 20th centuries is largely known precisely because of the activities of the Wanderers. According to critics, it was the representatives of this movement who were able to create a unique genre, within which they raised the most acute social problems, voiced the most important nuances of everyday life of ordinary people. For example, Myasoedov created the famous painting “Zemstvo is having lunch”, and Savitsky in his works reflected the commitment of the peasantry to Orthodoxy and the sincerity of the faith of the common man. The classic painting by this artist, which glorified him - "Meeting the Icon".

Consumer genre

This trend gains strength in the 60-70s of the 19th century, becomes a new genre painting. Features of the direction allow us to talk about his relationship with impressionism. The primary object of the artist's interest is everyday life, expressiveness of the moment, a moment, a change in mood, an interest in people outside the norms of society. Russian art of the late 19th - early 20th century largely reflected this direction. The formation of the Soviets made the everyday genre even more relevant. New features appeared associated with socialism, which the society of that time aspired to. The works of artists show optimism, dedication, the establishment of a newlife. Especially characteristic of that time was the unity of the social, personal.

Russian art of the late 19th - early 20th century is attractive for its features of the everyday genre. As soon as the Soviets came to power, Kustodiev, Vladimirov tried to reflect in their canvases the changes that had taken place in the country. Pimenov, Deineka began to create in a specific genre, quite energetic and cheerful. Here you can see the desire for construction, the spirit of an industrial society, the love of sports. Such themes became organic prerequisites for creativity in the 30s, laid down by the peculiarities of Russian art of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Among the especially famous names of that time, it is worth noting Plastov, Odintsov. Gerasimov's works and paintings by Gaponenko are characteristic.

Russian art at the beginning of the century
Russian art at the beginning of the century

About music

Amazing and beautiful Russian musical art of the 19th century. Traditionally, music has a special place in the history of our country. According to many critics, it was at the beginning of the 19th century that the classics flourished especially magnificently in our country. Glinka, Dargomyzhsky create their amazing things, thanks to which art rises to the universally recognized world level. However, music does not develop on its own, but in the context of social progress, the growth of statehood. The war of 1812 and the uprising of 1825 play an important role. Patriotic moods reign in society, the spirituality of the nation rises, and this affects all spheres of cultural life. Belinsky will say later that the year 1812 shook the country, woke it up from sleep, opened up new sources of strength.

In such conditions, a classical music school is being formed. The creations of Pushkin and Zhukovsky, Krylov become iconic for the era. Based on their amazing literary works, composers also create. In many ways, the growth of music is already noticeable at the level of lyceum students. Musical art is developing in boarding houses, universities, circles dedicated to both music and literature at the same time. In St. Petersburg, the meetings held by Odoevsky are especially famous, and in Moscow - at Volkonskaya and Griboedov.

Russian art of the end of the century
Russian art of the end of the century

In conclusion: a little about architecture

Architecture occupies a special place in Russian art of the 19th century. In the 30-50s, multi-style becomes the dominant trend. It is relevant until the end of this century. The main idea is the reasonableness of the definition of the stylistic performance of the object. At the same time, the architects took into account the artistic goals and architectural tasks. In the second part of the century, the anti-classical movement became stronger, having received a theoretical foundation. Quite curious are Stasov's arguments about the Renaissance and the trends that he brought to architecture. He said that the architecture of his time in his native country was not a restoration, but a new Renaissance. The retrospectivism of this era is not an end in itself, but a means of shaping the architecture of the future.