PECOB Portal on Central Eastern
and Balkan Europe
Università di Bologna  
Friday September 29, 2023
Testata per la stampa

The Russian Canvas

Painting in Imperial Russia, 1757-1881

by: Rosalind P. Blakesley
published by: Yale University Press
pp: 380
ISBN: 9780300184372
price: $75.00

The Russian Canvas charts the remarkable rise of Russian painting in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the nature of its relationship with other European schools. Starting with the foundation of the Imperial Academy of the Arts in 1757 and culminating with the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881, it details the professionalization and wide-ranging activities of painters against a backdrop of dramatic social and political change. The Imperial Academy formalized artistic training but later became a foil for dissent, as successive generations of painters negotiated their own positions between pan-European engagement and local and national identities. Drawing on original archival research, this groundbreaking book recontextualizes the work of major artists, revives the reputations of others, and explores the complex developments that took Russian painters from provincial anonymity to international acclaim.



“Because of the massive changes in Russia in the twentieth century, this period of Russian art has been consigned to the shadows of European art history. This well-researched, authoritative and intriguing book with a large number of stunning illustrations brings the period back into the spotlight and explores the complex developments of the time and provides some insights into the work of major Russian artists of the period, many who have been neglected in Russia and beyond”
—The London Visitor

‘Drawing on much original research, this study explores the transformation of Russian painting in the late 18th and 19th centuries.’
- Apollo

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