Pavel Pyasetsky and the Trans-Siberian

I’m reading Christian Wolmar’s To the Edge of the World: The Story of the Trans-Siberian Express, the World’s Greatest Railroad, which I would heartily recommend to anyone interested in railways and Russian history. By 1900, the Trans-Siberian railway was taking on passengers across the country, but Western observers continued to hold it in contempt. To counter that view and to demonstrate its equality among European railways, the Russian government commissioned the magnate in charge of the Orient Express to come up with an attractive display at the 1900 Universal Exposition in Paris. Nagelmackers arranged for four carriages to be built and equipped specially for the exhibition – the very acme of luxury and design. Visitors would pay to sit in a carriage for a meal, and:

…the real treat was the exhibit designed by Pawel Pyasetsky, who was specially commissioned by the railway to demonstrate the ‘experience’ of travelling on the Trans-Siberian. To give a sense of movement to the ‘passengers’ tucking into their three-course meals, the artist devised an elaborate arrangement outside the windows of the dining car to give the feeling of a virtual train ride. A moving panorama was created by means of an elaborate series of belts moving along at varying speeds. The front one travelled rapidly, carrying mundane features such as sand and rocks, while the next, slightly slower, had plants such as shrubs and brush. Behind that, there was a third, again somewhat slower, showing distant scenery while the fourth, which rolled along the slowest of all, was Pyasetsky’s masterpiece, a set of watercolours on lengthy scrolls, with scenes that he had sketched on trips along sections of the railway that had been completed early.

The watercolours included scenes from the cities of Moscow, Omsk, Irkutsk and Beijing and the idea was to give viewers the impression that they had journeyed along the whole railway. The show actually lasted forty-five minutes and there were nine separate scrolls with a total length of around 900 metres.

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Avant-Garde Outing Continued

Russian Revolution in Art, Russian Avant-Garde: 1910 – 1932, runs in London till September 20, 2014 at the St Petersburg Gallery.

Marché au Minho, by Sonia Delaunay. (1916).

Marché au Minho, by Sonia Delaunay. (1916).

The Bridge 1, by Natalia Goncharova. (1916).

The Bridge 1, by Natalia Goncharova. (1916).

Vladimir Baranoff-Rosine.

Vladimir Baranoff-Rosine.

Spatial force construction, by Liubov Popova. (1921-22).

Spatial force construction, by Liubov Popova. (1921-22).

Floating: Suprematist forms, by Ilya Chashnik. (1922-23).

Floating: Suprematist forms, by Ilya Chashnik. (1922-23).

Study for cup and saucer, by Vasily Kandinsky. (1920-21).

Study for cup and saucer, by Vasily Kandinsky. (1920-21).

Study for cup and saucer, by Vasily Kandinsky. (1920-21).

Study for cup and saucer, by Vasily Kandinsky. (1920-21).

Architectonic Suprematism, by David Yakerson. (1920).

Architectonic Suprematism, by David Yakerson. (1920).

Krasnov’s Crimea

Nikolai Petrovich Krasnov (Nov 23, 1864 – Dec 8, 1939) was an architect, academic, and painter of architectural scenes.

Between 1887-1899, he was chief architect of Yalta, for which he was paid 900 roubles per annum, and a contract for twenty four years, of which he fulfilled twelve.  He also held a private practice until 1911.

At the young architect lay full responsibility for solving a wide range of issues associated with the rapid development of Yalta as the all-Russian resort city. Architect Nikolai Krasnov started with an expansion of the promenade, which in 1913 became the main street of Yalta. In 1889 he began to develop a new plan for the city. Under his guidance, urban sewerage and new streets were constructed, and old streets were renamed. He limited the width of the streets and the height of buildings, eliminated chaotic construction in the city; built a school and a children’s hospital; constructed the Pushkin Boulevard, strengthened the embankment of the river Wuchang-Su retaining the original wall and stone parapet, while across the river he setup two concrete bridges of reinforced concrete. In 1913, he compiled an album of illustrations for over 60 of his works, and he presented it to the St Petersburg Academy of Arts.

Perspective plan of the front yard of Count Yusupov’s hunting lodge in Kokkozy village.

Count Yusupov’s hunting lodge in Kokkozy village.

Yusupov’s hunting lodge.

Gate in Yusupov’s park, Kokkozy.

 

The Grand Duke Georgy Mikhailovich’s church of St Nina.

Western facade of Grand Duke Pyotr Nikolayevich’s palace “Dyulber”.

 

Park and facade of the Dyulber palace.

View of the Dyulber palace.

 

“Harax” palace of the Grand Duke Georgy Mikhailovich.

Harax palace.

 

Entry gate into the Italian courtyard of the Livady palace.

Livady palace park.

 

Arcade of the Italian yard of the Livady palace.

 

Eastern facade of the Livady palace.

 

Arcade of the Italian courtyard of the Livady palace.

Park in Livady palace grounds.

 

Livady palace park.

Rose arch in Livady palace park.

 

Eastern facade of Livady palace.

 

Frontispiece of Krasnov’s book “Fiftieth Anniversary of Yalta”.

Soviet Sport, Soviet Art

As I mentioned in my monthly roundup, Sotheby’s are holding a brief exhibition on soviet realist portrayals of the sports. The boy and I went over there yesterday and took a look. We also wielded our cameras to great effect as you can see below.

One good thing about Sotheby’s is that their exhibition catalogues are generally free, so when we left, we grabbed one. All of the information in the captions is from the exhibit notes.

Oarswoman, by Mikhail Sokolov.

Mikhail Sokolov was a member of the Miriskusstvo (“World of Art”) movement in the 1910s, and followed that with cubist styles. During his exile in the 1930s, he became interested in dramatic works of realism; the Oarswoman is one of his best. Unusually, he doesn’t portray her at her moment of triumph; rather, this is the post-race, exhausted face of the winner. The painting reveals her humanity and reality, rather than abstractions of victory and achievement.

At the start, by Kirill Kustodiyev. (1933).

A parachute jump, by Georgy Nissky. (1930s).

A parachute jump, by Georgy Nissky. (1930s).

Judoists, by Oleg Ponomarenko. (1979).

Judoists, by Oleg Ponomarenko. (1979).

Gymnastics Lessons, by Nikolay Kotov. (1930s-1950s).

Gymnastics Lessons, by Nikolai Kotov. (1930s-1950s).

A skating rink, by Viktor Popkov. (1966-69).

A skating rink, by Viktor Popkov. (1966-69).

Playing billiards in Ulanovo, by Viktor Popkov. (1974).

Playing billiards in Ulanovo, by Viktor Popkov. (1974).

Volleyball, by Viktor Popkov. (1968).

Volleyball, by Viktor Popkov. (1968).

Waverunner, by Vladimir Kutilin. (1959).

Waverunner, by Vladimir Kutilin. (1959).

Vladimir Kutilin’s Waverunner is one of his earlier works, painted soon after his studies completed at Surikov Art Institute. It was inspired by increasing popularity of the sport (invented in the US in 1922) in the USSR. This work highlights the ambition and energy of the Soviet youth, and also points out the increasing appreciation among common citizens of the healthful benefits of sport.

Marathon, by Mikhail Pereyaslavets. (1980).

Marathon, by Mikhail Pereyaslavets. (1980).

The skiers, by Anatoly Nikich. (1950s).

The skiers, by Anatoly Nikich. (1950s).

The skiers, Anatoly Talalayev. (1961).

The skiers, Anatoly Talalayev. (1961).

In a sports hall, by Olga Vaulina. (1930s).

In a sports hall, by Olga Vaulina. (1930s).

Aeromodeller, by Olga Vaulina. (1930s).

Aeromodeller, by Olga Vaulina. (1930s).

Aeromodelling was a popular sport in the 1920s and 1930s, especially driven by the Soviet preoccupation with the conquest of the skies. Schoolchildren in particular formed aeromodelling clubs in which to pursue their interests in aircraft development. Olga Vaulina depicts the sky bound ambitions of the boy with the contrasting placement of his hand on the globe of the earth.

The Bridge II

Continuing our theme of bridges, I must point out that there were several in that series of posts on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. Please do take a look when time permits and the gestalt is here. Heh.

Fyodor Vasilyev (1850-1873), one of the Wanderers, is first up:

At the Sink, by Fyodor Vasilyev.

Here’s Mikhail Vrubel (1856-1910) in Venice.

Bridge of sighs, Venice, by Mikhail Vrubel. (1894).

The Ukrainian artist Alexander Bogomazov’s (1880-1930) Impressionistic view of a bridge.

Bridge, by Oleksandr Bogomazov. (1908).

Some symbolism from the Lithuanian Mikalojus Čiurlionis (1875-1911):

Allegro (Sonata of the Serpent), by Mikalojus Čiurlionis. (1908).

Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva (1871-1955) is inspired by the canals and bridges of Amsterdam:

Amsterdam: the market of iron, by Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva. (1913).

Symbolism once again with Mstislav Dobuzhinsky (1875-1957):

Bridge in Kėdainiai, by Mstislav Dobuzhinsky. (1933).

And to round this post off,  Alexandra Ekster (1882-1949):

Bridge, Sevres, by Alexandra Ekster. (1912).

The Bridge I

Looking around for a theme, I saw some sketches of Whistler of bridges over the Thames, and it occurred to me that there must be a similar cornucopia of cityscapes by artists of the erstwhile Russian empire. One needn’t seek long. Who better to start with than the wonderful Konstantin Korovin?

Here is a work by the Kalugan artist Leonid Mezhekov (1890-1965).

Stone bridge in Kaluga, by Leonid Mezhekov. (1950).

Stone bridge in Kaluga, by Leonid Mezhekov. (1950).

Here is a work by the St Petersburg artist Azat Galimov (1958-).

Fontanka. View of St Pantalaimon’s Church, by Azat Galimov.

Here is Alexander Deineka (1899-1969).

Berlin, by Alexander Deineka. (1945).

Next we have Ivan Shishkin (1832-1898).

Augustus Bridge, Dresden, by Ivan Shishkin. (1862).

And lastly, for now, we have Pyotr Konchalovsky (1876-1956).

Bridge of the Apostles in Venice, by Pyotr Konchalovsky.

Prams in Art!

Goodness gracious me. Parashutov’s yen for classification reaches surreal limits with a bunch of art works incorporating pushchairs and prams. I scavenge shamelessly.

Summer, by Lev Aronov.

Summer, by Lev Aronov.

Indian Summer, by Viktor Varlamov. (1970).

Indian Summer, by Viktor Varlamov. (1970).

Nikitsky gates, by Sergey Volkov. (1986).

Nikitsky gates, by Sergey Volkov. (1986).

Rusanovka, by Sergey Shishko. (1966).

Rusanovka, by Sergey Shishko. (1966).

Untitled, by Vasily Grigoryev.

Untitled, by Vasily Grigoryev.

Frida with pram: at the dacha, by Lev Zevin. (1935).

Frida with pram: at the dacha, by Lev Zevin. (1935).

On a walk, by Vladimir Boldyrev.

On a walk, by Vladimir Boldyrev.

Pokrov boulevard, by Aminodav Kanevsky. (1925).

Pokrov boulevard, by Aminodav Kanevsky. (1925).

Vadim Odainik

Vadim Odainik (Odessa, 1925 – Kiev, 1984) was a Ukrainian artist of multifaceted talent. His brightly coloured landscapes and emotive portraits are fascinating pieces, and, despite having lived through the stultification of Soviet Realism, he appears not to have succumbed to its ill charms. “This symbiosis of the realities of socialist Ukraine of the mid-twentieth century and folk themes, executed in almost impressionistic style with a touch of Art Nouveau and folk motifs is captivating.”1 Indeed.

Karlovy Vary. (1964).

Karlovy Vary. (1964).

Filatov Street - it is snowing. (1976).

Filatov Street – it is snowing. (1976).

Winter in the Carpathians. (1972).

Winter in the Carpathians. (1972).

Carpathians. (1980).

Carpathians. (1980).

In the Carpathians. (1976).

In the Carpathians. (1976).

In the Carpathians (sketches). (1977).

In the Carpathians (sketches). (1977).

Hutsul woman from Yavorov: Vasilina. (1965).

Hutsul woman from Yavorov: Vasilina. (1965).

Hutsul still life: wedding presents. (1970).

Hutsul still life: wedding presents. (1970).

Hutsul musicians.

Hutsul musicians.

Zoya, the artist's wife. (1946).

Zoya, the artist’s wife. (1946).

Chersonessos (Crimea). (1962).

Chersonessos (Crimea). (1962).

Picnic. (1965).

Picnic. (1965).

Harvest. (1949).

Harvest. (1949).

Reference

1. Parashutov, ВАДИМ ОДАЙНИК. ХУДОЖНИК, ВЛЮБЛЕННЫЙ В КАРПАТЫ.

The Divine Weed 2

Continuing our exploration of the theme of tobacco smoking in all its forms, we return to the Finnish artist Vilho Lampi, who painted the following series of auto-portraits.

Self-portrait, by Vilho Lampi. (1928)

Self-portrait, by Vilho Lampi. (1928)

Self-portrait, by Vilho Lampi. (1928)

Self-portrait, by Vilho Lampi. (1928)

Self-portrait, by Vilho Lampi. (1928)

Self-portrait, by Vilho Lampi. (1928)

Self-portrait, by Vilho Lampi. (1930)

Self-portrait, by Vilho Lampi. (1930)

Self-portrait, by Vilho Lampi. (1932)

Self-portrait, by Vilho Lampi. (1932)

Alexander Varnek (1782-1843), an artist acclaimed by his contemporaries as a Russian van Dyck, painted a self-portrait in the 1820s. Observe the almost rakish hat and the thoughtful pipe.

Self-portrait, by Alexander Varnek. (1820s).

Self-portrait, by Alexander Varnek. (1820s).

Sokrat Kozhevnikov (1837-??) is a little-known Russian artist with a superb first name that one probably no longer encounters in his native lands any longer. Here is his 1858 work Old man with a pipe.

Self-portrait, by Kozhevnikov.

Old man with a pipe, by Sokrat Kozhevnikov. (1858).

Boris Kustodiev did this affectionate portrayal of his fellow artist, Isaac Brodsky.

Portrait of Isaac Brodsky, by Boris Kustodiev. (1920).

Portrait of Isaac Brodsky, by Boris Kustodiev. (1920).

In 1922, Samuil Adlivankin, a commissioner in the Samara VKHUTEMAS painted himself in this noir-ish work.

Self-portrait, by Samuil Adlivankin. (1922)

Self-portrait, by Samuil Adlivankin. (1922).

And, lastly for now, we have Anatoly Shugrin’s 1930s sketch of an Anonymous man with pipe.

Portrait of an anonymous man, by Anatoly Shugrin. (1930s).

Portrait of an anonymous man, by Anatoly Shugrin. (1930s).