10 PAINTINGS of Russian Neoclassicism art

The Russian Museum
Dreamer and idealist painters of the early 20th century united around the magazine ‘Mir Iskusstva’ (‘World of Art’) and, inspired by Classical antiquity, gave impetus to a new direction in painting.

At the turn of the 20th century, the most talented Russian artists of their time were looking for a new artistic language. And they turned to Antiquity and the Renaissance. Thus, a new style was born – Russian Neoclassicism – which opposed the realism of peredvizhniki and the social themes they reflected in art.

The followers of the new trend were idealists and dreamers and they shared their aesthetic vision uniting around the ‘Mir Iskusstva’ (‘World of Art’) magazine, issued by Sergei Diaghilev. Among the loudest names were artists Leon Bakst, Zinaida Serebryakova, Alexander Samokhvalov, Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin and even Kazimir Malevich.

They went beyond the framework of academic painting, penetrated into the book graphics, design and architecture, in the scenography (worth just costumes and scenery of Diaghilev’s ‘Ballet Russes’!)

1. Leon Bakst. Terror Antiquus, 1908 

2. Boris Kustodiev. Portrait of René Nothaft, 1909

3. Valentin Serov. The Rape of Europa, 1910

4. Zinaida Serebryakova. Nude, 1911

5. Alexander Yakovlev & Vasily Shukhaev. Self-Portraits (Harlequin and Pierrot), 1914

6. Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin. Mother, 1915

7. Konstantin Somov. Portrait of Methody Lukyanov, 1928

8. Alexander Samokhvalov. Girl in a Sports Shirt, 1932 

9. Kazimir Malevich. Self-portrait, 1933 

10. Alexander Deineka. Expanse, 1944

The ‘Inspired by the Classics’ exhibition is on display in the Benoit Wing of the Russian Museum until September 11, 2023.

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