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Working paper

Сокровищница русской живописи: история создания (1780–1820-е годы)

article is devoted to historical deconstruction of art history language for depiction of the RussianThe article is devoted to the historical deconstruction of art history language for describing the Russian masterpieces of painting of the XVIII-XIXth century. The study is focused on three key linguistic tropes of the Russian art history: ‘art history is a struggle of the canons’, ‘Russian art is realistic and national’, ‘national treasure-house of great masterpieces’. Examination of textbooks on drawing, publicist works and memoirs makes it possible to discover the conventional character of the language categories. They were articulated by the 1820ties when the formation of the Russian nationalizing discourse had encouraged designing of ‘the Russian workshop of painting’ or ‘the Russian style within the world of arts’. Elena Vishlenkova has been scrutinizing the cooperated and individual initiatives in question and in this way she has been reconstructing the configuration of the ‘expert team’ of artists, journalists, consumers (the so called ‘the admirers of beauty’). Their arguments serve to prove that the choice of the names and works fit to adequately representing Russian art before European viewers was based on some changeable criteria (the subject of the creative works, artist’s national identity, the art method, the viewer’s perception etc.) The search for more stable characteristics for selection has resulted in acceptance of art conventions which created the bulk of ‘the Russian art canon’.