Painting of the XIX-XX centuries, Room 1

You can see a unique collection in the galleries dedicated to 19th and early 20th-century painting. This collection features not only works by renowned masters but also those of less famous artists, offering rare insights into the art of that era.

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Russian painting's evolution is deeply entwined with the history of the Academy of Arts, reflecting its structure, traditions, and the quest for creative autonomy among its leading artists, marking a distinct era in Russian art.

The St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, founded in 1757 under Empress Elizabeth Petrovna and spearheaded by Ivan Shuvalov, a notable public figure, echoes a connection to antiquity in its very name, reminiscent of Plato's Academy. Both the European and subsequently the Russian Academies of Arts emerged during the era of classicism, drawing inspiration from Antiquity and the Renaissance. A tradition was born in the Russian Academy to send its graduates on 'pensioner' trips to Italy, a nod to the ancient Roman culture and Renaissance art. The collection in this hall includes Italian landscapes, a portrait of an Italian woman, and scenes depicting life in fishing villages, the fruits of such journeys by St. Petersburg's academicians.

Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805), a professor at the Paris Academy of Arts, greatly influenced the young painters of the St. Petersburg school. His works, preserved in the Academy's museum and also part of the Hermitage collection, is exemplified by 'Boy with a puppy,' a piece that typifies Greuze's style, marked by a pronounced charm and a somewhat exaggerated adoration of child imagery. This French sentimentalist influence is perceptible in Russian portraiture of the early 19th century, notably in the esteemed female portraits by Vladimir Borovikovsky (1757-1825). The gallery also features Borovikovsky's 'Portrait of a man,' an early 19th-century work embodying the stringent neoclassical style. It was during this period that Borovikovsky was appointed as an academician and advisor to the Academy of Arts.

A remarkable moment in 1804 saw the first exhibition of works by Vasily Tropinin (1776-1857), a serf of extraordinary talent, who was an auditor at the Academy as serfs were barred from formal enrollment. He later achieved acclaim as a master and honorary member of the Moscow Society of Art Lovers, best known for his 'Lace Makers.' This hall displays two of Tropinin's portraits.

Karl Bryullov (1799-1852), a luminary of early 19th-century art and a member of numerous European Academies, is represented here by his earlier work 'Salvation from the water' (1824). His portrait style echoes the 1853 work of Alexandr Lebedev (1830-1898), an academician who eventually transitioned from painting to becoming a renowned caricaturist.

The mid-19th century saw Romanticism challenging the classicist foundations of the Academy. Despite the efforts to preserve traditional norms, this shift led to the emergence of academism, a movement that stipulated thematic and stylistic conventions rooted in classicism. This period also highlighted a profound internal conflict within Russian art, as eloquently discussed by the renowned critic Vladimir Stasov in his essay 'Twenty-Five Years of Russian Art.' He critiqued the limited scope of academic artists, bound by their classical and academic subjects.

The 'revolt of the fourteen' in 1863, led by Ivan Kramskoy, marked a pivotal moment as fourteen students left the Academy in protest against its conservative policies. This gallery exhibits works from these 'rebels,' including a portrait by Kramskoy (1837-1887) and 'Small organ-grinders' by Konstantin Makovsky (1839-1915).

Kramskoy's later works, like the one displayed here, are renowned for their psychological depth, capturing not just the physical likeness but the essence of the subject's personality, as seen in his famed 'Portrait of an unknown woman.' Kramskoy was instrumental in founding the St. Petersburg Artel of Artists and the Society for Traveling Art Exhibitions, focusing on themes of everyday life. Makovsky's 'Small organ-grinders,' in contrast to Greuze's idealized children, portray the harsh realities of struggling, freezing children earning their livelihood through music, reflecting the academic influence yet venturing into new, poignant themes.

The Wanderers, like Konstantin Savitsky (1844-1905), depicted real-life subjects without artifice. Their works, characterized by spontaneity and naturalness, marked a departure from traditional depictions of everyday scenes. Illarion Pryanishnikov (1840-1894), a founding member of the Wanderers, portrayed a barefoot spinner, elevating her simple beauty and spiritual essence.

Vasily Perov (1833-1882), another founding member, is represented by his 'Portrait of a beggar.' Perov's works, focusing on the tribulations of peasant children, stand in stark contrast to the compositions of his contemporaries, like Alexey Akininov (1949-1877). Perov's 'The funeral of a peasant' and Akininov's 'Winter. Waggon-train' demonstrates divergent approaches to similar themes, with Perov's work calling for compassion and social responsibility.

Each Wanderer artist embraced the freedom of theme and interpretation, propelling Russian painting toward critical realism. This era saw art often challenging the status quo, striving to make the world a little better and more just.

Alexander Gine 'Valaam'
Alexander Gine
Alexey Bogolyubov 'Torre dell Greco'
Alexey Bogolyubov
Torre dell Greco
Vasily Polenov 'Early morning'
Vasily Polenov
Early morning
Alexey Bogolyubov 'Port'
Alexey Bogolyubov
Rufin Sudkovsky 'Seascape with sailboats and boat'
Rufin Sudkovsky
Seascape with sailboats and boat
Konstantin Savitsky 'Sailor Petr Koshka'
Konstantin Savitsky
Sailor Petr Koshka
Alexander Rizzoni 'Portrait of Italian woman'
Alexander Rizzoni
Portrait of Italian woman
Alexey Akininov 'Winter. Waggon-train'
Alexey Akininov
Winter. Waggon-train
Henri-François Riesener 'Portrait of unknown lady in red'
Henri-François Riesener
Portrait of unknown lady in red
 'Fish trade'
Fish trade
Karl Bryullov 'Salvation from the water'
Karl Bryullov
Salvation from the water
Aleksandr Lebedev 'Portrait of a woman'
Aleksandr Lebedev
Portrait of a woman
Pavel Dzhogin  'The old pond'
Pavel Dzhogin
The old pond
Ivan Khrutsky 'Still life with candle'
Ivan Khrutsky
Still life with candle
Nikanor Chernetsov 'View of the Volga near the monastery mountains in province of Kazan'
Nikanor Chernetsov
View of the Volga near the monastery mountains in province of Kazan
Vladimir Sverchkov 'Still life with flowers'
Vladimir Sverchkov
Still life with flowers
Alexander Mordvinov 'Girl at work'
Alexander Mordvinov
Girl at work
Carl Timoleon von Neff 'The Three Graces'
Carl Timoleon von Neff
The Three Graces
Victor Bobrov 'The knitting'
Victor Bobrov
The knitting
Vasily Tropinin 'Portrait of unknown'
Vasily Tropinin
Portrait of unknown
Ivan Khrutsky 'Portrait of a boy'
Ivan Khrutsky
Portrait of a boy
Petr Gruzinsky 'On the road in winter'
Petr Gruzinsky
On the road in winter
Vasily Perov 'Portrait of a beggar'
Vasily Perov
Portrait of a beggar
Jean-Baptiste Greuze 'Boy with a puppy'
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Boy with a puppy
Konstantin Makovsky 'Small organ-grinders'
Konstantin Makovsky
Small organ-grinders
Alexey Savrasov 'Milestone'
Alexey Savrasov
Nikanor Tyutryumov 'Magdalene'
Nikanor Tyutryumov
Vladimir Borovikovsky 'Portrait of a man'
Vladimir Borovikovsky
Portrait of a man
Illarion Pryanishnikov 'Spinner'
Illarion Pryanishnikov
Pavel Dzhogin  'By the seashore'
Pavel Dzhogin
By the seashore
Aleksey Chernyshev 'Fish market'
Aleksey Chernyshev
Fish market
Vasily Tropinin 'Oxana'
Vasily Tropinin
Sergey Postnikov 'Shepherd boy'
Sergey Postnikov
Shepherd boy
Vasily Schreiber 'Moses stops the storm'
Vasily Schreiber
Moses stops the storm
Konstantin Savitsky 'Hunters'
Konstantin Savitsky
Vasily Polenov 'The steppe river Olshanka'
Vasily Polenov
The steppe river Olshanka
Ivan Akimov 'The Judgement of Paris'
Ivan Akimov
The Judgement of Paris
Nikolay Koshelev 'Portrait of Italian girl'
Nikolay Koshelev
Portrait of Italian girl
Ivan Kramskoy 'Portrait of a young lady'
Ivan Kramskoy
Portrait of a young lady
Ivan Pelevin 'Grandmother with grandchildren'
Ivan Pelevin
Grandmother with grandchildren
Nikolaos Himonas 'The barques'
Nikolaos Himonas
The barques
Arkhip Kuindzhi 'Seaside scene'
Arkhip Kuindzhi
Seaside scene
Alexey Pisemsky 'Winter landscape'
Alexey Pisemsky
Winter landscape
Nikolay Milioti  'The Three Graces'
Nikolay Milioti
The Three Graces