Fine Arts | Russian Art
A480 | 26716 | Kennedy


Since its 11th-century beginnings, Russian art has served a variety
of purposes that range from the lofty religious tradition of icon
painting to the “paradise on earth” of the Moscow metro system.
Russian art, like Russian history, has been distinguished by sudden,
radical changes of direction and by a whole-hearted pursuit of
utopian ideas. The class will deal with the evolution of Russian art
from the 12th century to the present, emphasizing the last 100 years
and exploring the political context within which artworks functioned.

Topics to be considered: the development of distinctively Russian
forms of religious art, folk art, the adaptation of western ideas by
the Russian aristocracy, the rise of Russian romanticism, and—by mid-
semester—the emergence of nationalism and “critical realism” during
the second half of the 19th century. The remainder of the semester
will be devoted to the Russian avant-garde of the period 1908-1932
and, in the final week and a half, we will look at socialist realism
and at contemporary Russian art.

Requirements: 3 exams (2 in-class during the semester, final exam in
take-home format), readings will be posted via e-reserve. The course
is open to students with some background either in art history or in
Russian history and culture (junior, senior, or graduate student
status strongly recommended.) Those wishing to add one credit hour
so that the course is consistent with requirements for art history
majors may sign up for one credit hour of A495, which will be earned
by writing a term-paper approximately 10 pages in length. For other
possibilities, please speak with Amanda Peterson or Janet Kennedy.