This book is based on materials from the conference 'The USSR: Life after Death', and the round table 'The Second Crash, from the Collapse of the Soviet Union to the Crisis of Neo-liberalism', held in December 2011 and January 2012, respectively. The two events brought together different generations of experts and researchers. For some, Soviet life was part of their personal experience, while for others it was just part of their country’s history. To what extent and in what form have Soviet socio-cultural practices and everyday life patterns survived in the capitalist post-Soviet society? Is the 'Soviet legacy' an obstacle to the development of a new bourgeois society in Russia or, conversely, does it serve to stabilize the new system? Does a 'Soviet mentality' create resistance or help adapt to the neoliberal reality? The answers to these questions, which seemed quite obvious to the mass consciousness back in the 1990s, need to be reconsidered today.
Sergei Eisenstein's biography falls comfortably into the pattern of a conventional Bildungsroman. A bourgeois family, the tyranny of the father, the neurotic love affairs of the mother, a predetermination of life for the only son, then Revolution as a wheel of fortune and a chance of freedom that turned the formerly suppressed young man to the Avant-Garde artist, International successor and stepson of his terroroizing and terrorized motherland. This biography came into being after extensive research in Moscow, Berlin, Paris, New York and Los Angeles, and the author is the first to analyze Eisenstein's diaries - materials that were partly inaccessible in the past. The book is addressed to wide audience but could be useful for a specialist becaise of changing research optics and fighting the stereotypes. The book contains 96 illustrations: photos, portraits, caricatures, book covers and 30 rare movie posters.
The Nogais of the North-Eastern Caucasus call their funeral stone steles syntaslar. Thousands of these steles rise in the cemeteries of the Nogai Steppe. So far, they have not attracted the attention of researchers yet. The book first introduces into the scientific turnover of about three hundred Nogai syntaslar. These are curious monuments culture of one of the Muslim peoples of Russia. The earliest of these steles date back to to the last quarter of the XVIII century. This type of monuments is preserved in the Nogai Steppe up to 70-80-ies of the XX century. The authors of the book analyze texts, form and ornamentation of grave steles, images on them of various objects related to both Islamic denomination of Nogai, as well as clothes, ornaments and occupations of men and women. Particular attention is paid to the inscriptions of the XVIII-XX centuries, made in Arabic script, mainly in literary Arabic. Book is designed not only for specialists, but also for a wide range of readers interested in history and culture of the Turkic Muslim peoples.
What is the theatre of the Soviet state? This is the theatre, forced to live on the State rules. Theatre, clamped in a vise of the censorship machine. Why prohibited performances? Not because that found in them something seditious... The state feared theatre. Afraid of the art of the original, unexpected, beyond, such as in the Theatre on Taganka. Reading censorship documents, one cannot understand how the theatre lived and put the new performances. Helped support of the audience.
Protocols discussions performances officials and unique Artistic Council of the theater , the letters to the head of state and senior officials, article theater, notes spectators and other documents tell about the bright fate of the Taganka. A significant part of the documents is published for the first time.
In two volumes of the book "Traditional art of China" the artistic tradition of China is considered as a holistic cultural phenomenon with national plastic specificity and unique history. The basic principles of the theory of Chinese art are stated. The first volume covers the era from the Neolithic period to the IX century, inclusive. The second covers X–XIX centuries.
It is intended for centers of teaching Chinese at the level of higher education, as well as students of review courses on the history of Chinese art without studying the Chinese language, historians, archaeologists, culturologists.
"The Millennial Kingdom" is an outline of medieval christian culture, from the time of Fathers up to its apogee around 1300, the age of Dante. The author does not pretend to have described and analyzed all facets of spiritual life during this long period, he focuses on that ones, in which intellectuals, writers and painters left especially deep imprints. The reader will find here, together with great authors and masterpieces, little known and studied monuments in author's photographs, as well as texts translated from latin, old french and other late medieval vernacular languages. These quotations from the primary sources are allways accompanied by polemical reflections on several opinions and clichés, methodological positions and estimations about the Middle Ages, current among historians and in human sciences in XXth and XXIth centuries.
Critical catalogue of pictures of the French school of the 16th - the first half of the XIX centuries from collection of the State Pushkin Mueum of Fine Arts
Critical catalogue of french paintings from the collection of museum-palace "Arkhanghelskoie". Reconstruction of collection of french paintings of N.B.Yusupov (1750-1831).
The Abkhazian princes (mtavars), who united under their rule the ancient Abasgia
and Apsilia, in the late 8th century received from Byzantium the control over Lazika-Egrisi, but shortly thereaft er (about 787) fell from the Empire and proclaimed themselves to be independent kings. In the 9th century the ecclesiastic and cultural development in the Abkhazian Kingdom was poor, so that even for the foundation of a monastery the Abkhazian king was forced to invite an abbot from Klarjeti. Only aft er returning to the union with Byzantium in 880-s starts an active church construction, especially in Abkhazia, the old domain of the Abkhazian kings. The churches were built also in the Southern Zechia (modern Sochi region), joined now to the Abkhazian Kingdom; the ancient churches were restored too. The heyday of church building falls in the reign of George II (922–957) and Leon III (957–967). Under Demetre III in the 970-ies begins the internecine war that only ends with the accession of the fi rst common Georgian king Bagrat I, who brings in the Abkhazian Kingdom the building traditions of Tao-Klarjeti. Geographically, the monuments of the Abkhazian church architecture built in the period of the Abkhazian Kingdom are distributed mainly on the territory from Sochi to Novy Afon (to the south of it only tw o cathedrals in Mokvi and Bedia (the fi rst building) can be noted). However, in this space they are placed not uniformly, but form some close groups around major centres: in the regions of Sochi, Pitsunda, Lykhny and Anakopia (only Miussera church stands apsrt). From the chronological point of view, we do not know here the churches which are precisely dated to a time before the late 9th century. Most of the churches of Abkhazia of the late 9th – 10th century belong to the “Abkhazian” architectural school; its evolution followed mainly the complication of the architectural ty pe of the inscribed cross, and can be divided into three stages: the period of Bagrat I and Constantine III (890ies — early 920ies), the period of George II (late 920ies — mid 950ies) and the period of Leon III (957-967).Aft er it the other builders erected the cathedrals in Pitsunda (about 970) and Bedia (about 999). To the builders of Pitsunda cathedral, who came from Byzantium and Tao, can be presumably attributed also church no. 5 in Pitsunda and the cloisonnée basilica in Kiach, as well as the reconstruction of a similar basilica in Miussera. The last tw o monuments stand out in the architecture of Abkhazia, representing Kartlian ty pes, although built under some infl uence of the “Abkhazian” school. The church architecture of Abkhazia of the late 9th – 10th century presents a signifi cant number of monuments (primarily of the “Abkhazian” school) — thirty -tw o, which are quite evenly distributed across 3 major architectural ty pes: 10 or 11 hall churches, 7 basilicas of diff erent ty pes and 13 or 14 one-domed churches; aside stands the biapsidal church no. 5 in Pitsunda, which had possibly four domes. Among the basilicas we see a considerable number of cloisonnée basilicas (5) and reconstructed early Byzantine basilicas (4) in the complete absence of new basilicas on pillars or columns and the absolute dominance of the vaulted ceilings, in contrast to the Early Byzantine period. Among the single-domed churches dominates the complex inscribed cross (with bemas) on cruciform pillars (8 monuments): together with 2 or 3 “domed halls (Kuppelhalle)” in Bambora they form the basis of the “Abkhazian” architectural school of the late 9th – 10th century; other ty pes of domed buildings are very rare. In the church architecture of Abkhazia in the period of the Abkhazian Kingdom the infl uence of the Transcaucasian architecture can be traced to be very limited: the later inspires only tw o cloisonnée basilicas without protruding apses in Miussera and Kiach and partly the decoration of the churches in the Bzyb fortress and Msygkhua (940–970-ies), but this infl uence came from the Western Kartli and Samtskhe, which were also under the rule of the Abkhazian kings. On the contrary, the local “Abkhazian” architectural school, to which belong most of the churches of Abkhazia of the late 9th – 10th century, infl uenced both the above-mentioned Abkhazian monuments of Transcaucasian sty le and partly the architecture of Kartli and Kakheti, as well as of Alania. The main architectural infl uence on Abkhazia, which led to the emergence of the “Abkhazian” school, had the mid-Byzantine architecture of Pontus: the latter brought here the complex ty pe of the inscribed cross church on cruciform pillars, which had a special development during the fi rst tw o thirds of the 10th century, from the simple church of St. Simon in Anakopia (899?) to the sophisticated cathedral of Mokvi (957–967). Of special note is Pitsunda Cathedral, built by a mixed crew from Byzantium and Tao, which actively used decorative brickwork and consoles. From the point of view of the building techniques, the Abkhazian churches of the late 9th – 10th century mainly follow the Byzantine traditions of Pontus, which is characterized by stone walls and vaults, brick arches of various kinds, cut stone facades, semi-open porches, cruciform pillars, stepped buttress arches, combination of multifaceted central and semicircular lateral apses. The early Byzantine bricks and tiles were oft en secondary used. The fl oors are made mostly of concrete, sometimes with brick dust. Churches usually have many entries with wooden doors, and a large number of narrow windows with wooden ore stone frames with round glass; the windows are oft en located by three in the form of a pyramid. The Transcaucasian building tradition is refl ected only in the stone decorations of the facades of some churches (see above), ceramic antefi xes (in Msygkhua) and a number of elements in Pitsunda cathedral, originating from Tao. The decoration in Abkhazian churches is poor. Only a small number of monuments (Bzyb, Mokvi, Msygkhua churches, St. Theodore in Anakopia) have stone reliefs on the facades. Judging by the only fully preserved church in Lykhny and some excavations, it can be assumed that the churches of the “Abkhazian” school had dentil cornice. An exception in this sense is Pitsunda cathedral, where the opus mixtum and cloisonnée masonry, ceramic pseudo-meander and patterns from overfi red brick were used. Carving in Abkhazian churches was focused predominantly on the altar screen. Although most of the churches were plastered inside (defi nitely not plastered originally were only Bzyb church and Pitsunda cathedral), the fragments of frescoes of the late 9th – 10th century are preserved only in Lykhny and Krion Neron. The liturgical devices in the churches of Abkhazia are presented by a raised altar platform (the question of the function of the lateral apses oft en remains open) and altar screen with small columns and architrave; liturgical function had also several entrances and semi-open porches. The churches oft en held burials. The Abkhazian church architecture of the late 9th – 10th century is not a peripheral, but one of the most important phenomena of the Eastern Christian architecture of this period. By the number of domed churches (13 to 15), the most complex and “prestigious” for those times, it greatly exceeds most of its neighbours: Alania (5), Egrisi (3 or 4), Kartli (6), Kakheti (6), Samtskhe and Javakheti (5), Vaspurakan (about 5), Chaldia (0), and is comparable with Syunik (13), the Kingdom of Ani (about 18) and Tao-Klarjeti (about 25). As for the size of buildings, the biggest churches of Abkhazia (in Mokvi and Pitsunda) are comparable to the cathedrals of the neighbouring regions (Oshki, Ishkhani, Shirakavan, Ani cathedral, Panagia Chrysokephalos in Trebizond) or even significantly surpass them (Martvili, Kumurdo, Middle Zelenchuk church, Argina, St. Apostles in Kars, St. Cross on Akhtamar).
What is it to be a work of art? Renowned author and critic Arthur C. Danto addresses this fundamental, complex question. Part philosophical monograph and part memoiristic meditation, What Art Is challenges the popular interpretation that art is an indefinable concept, instead bringing to light the properties that constitute universal meaning. Danto argues that despite varied approaches, a work of art is always defined by two essential criteria: meaning and embodiment, as well as one additional criterion contributed by the viewer: interpretation. Danto crafts his argument in an accessible manner that engages with both philosophy and art across genres and eras, beginning with Plato’s definition of art in The Republic, and continuing through the progress of art as a series of discoveries, including such innovations as perspective, chiaroscuro, and physiognomy. Danto concludes with a fascinating discussion of Andy Warhol’s famous shipping cartons, which are visually indistinguishable from the everyday objects they represent.
In Soviet Russia, during the 1920s—early 1930s dozens of publishing houses published children's literature richly (sometimes lavishly) illustrated by the best (yet sometimes the worst) artists of the epoch. They epitomized the real revolution in the art of the picture-book and, at the same time, the revolution in the message that had been conveyed in these books. In other words, the children's books of the early Soviet era embodied the twofold revolution: in aesthetics and in spirit. This book is the study of this revolutionary phenomenon: how early Soviet authors, artists, and book designers used innovative artistic concepts in the production of books intended for children and thus served the ruling authorities in forging the new citizens of the Communist state by means of the subtle art of indoctrination.