Fine Arts | Russian Art
A480 | 2116 | Kennedy


MW 2:30p-3:45p, 3cr
FA 010

Over the course of its history Russian art has had a wide variety
of forms and purposes, ranging from the lofty traditions of icon
painting to the "paradise on earth" of the Moscow metro system
constructed in the 1930s.  It has also been distinguished by
sudden, radical changes of direction and by the whole-hearted
pursuit of utopian ideas.  A480 deals with the evolution of
Russian art from the 12th century to the present (emphasizing the
last 100 years).  The course covers painting, sculpture, and
architecture, placing them in a cultural and historical
perspective.

Topics covered in the first part of the semester will include the
development of a distinctively Russian form of religious art, the
adoption and adaptation of western ideas in Russian court art and
architecture, the rise of Russian romanticism, and the emergence
of nationalism and of "critical realism" in the second half of
the 19th century.  At least half the semester will be devoted to
the various phases of the Russian avant-garde from
neo-primitivism through Russian constructivism, with some
attention given at the end to socialist realism and to the
non-conformist art which has arisen since the 1950s.

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.)  Course
requirements will include two in-class side exams and one
take-home essay exam.  Graduate students may substitute a
research project for the take-home exam.