Portrait Obsession

Jun 19, 2017 at 14:27 o\clock

Institute of Russian Realist Art

Way outside the city center of Moscow sits a rather modest museum that contains one of the best collections of the Russian realist school of painting of the 20th century. The museum is known as the Institute of Russian Realist Art (IRRA) and it houses three floors of exhibition space, totaling over 4,500 square meters, with approximately 500 works of Russian and Soviet art. The collection begins with Soviet Realism and ends with contemporary work from artists living today. It is an interesting collection that chronicles Russia’s political history with Stalin’s propaganda art, the Great Patriotic War and Khrushchev’s “thaw.” This fabulous collection shows us how these Russian artists interpreted the world in which they lived. 

Soviet Painting from the 1900s to 1960s

This section of the display is devoted to artists active in the first half and middle of the 20th century. Their painting displays unfettered creative endeavor and a figurative, object-centered artistic vision. The style of many of these artists took form well before the revolution; their art is rooted in the traditions of 19th-century painting. The collection of the Institute of Russian Realist Art (IRRA) includes works by outstanding members of the Moscow school of painting such as Arkady Plastov (1893-1972), Sergei Gerasimov (1885-1964), Igor Grabar (1871-1960), Alexander Deineka (1899-1969) and Vasily Svarog (1883-1946), as well as canvases by artists of the St. Petersburg school, such as Ilya Repin’s pupils Isaak Brodsky (1883-1939) and Gavriil Gorelov (1880-1966), and other well-known masters.

The works of Sergei Gerasimov reveal his talent as a Russian Impressionist. Gerasimov’s portraits of his wife and of the artist Vasily Pochitalov, as well as his views of Mozhaisk and the Luzhnetsky Monastery, display different facets of the great painter’s art. A graduate of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, Arkady Plastov retained a lasting fondness for country views and the rural way of life. His “Village in March, Sheep Grazing”(a version of the well-known work “After the Fascist Air Raid”), and “Summer. New Roof” clearly demonstrate Plastov’s talent as a painter. In the same room viewers will find the landscapes “Birches” and “House Corner in Winter” by another representative of the Moscow school, the Impressionist Igor Grabar. Also here is Vasily Svarog’s “Voroshilov and Gorky at the Red Army Central House Shooting Gallery”, a popular Soviet painting of the 1930s.

Read more on https://musings-on-art.org/institute-of-russian-realist-art

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