The exhibition “Female models though art by the Russian artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries” is based on twenty three paintings displayed chronologically. It begins with the Female’s Portrait (Venetian maid), created by the artist I.A. Vrachev in 1889. However, the majority of the exhibited paintings were made between 1894 and 1917 by the Art Academy College’s students whose teacher was an outstanding Russian artist D.N. Kardovsky. These students are: U.V. Kovarsky, A.V. Uhanov, A.P. Mochalov, S.L. Abugov, B.I. Anisfeld and A.I. Savinov. The museum of the Art Academy also possesses sketches once made by Dmitry Kardovsky while he was a student of a celebrated art pedagogue Anton Ažbe in Munich. A few of these sketches featuring female portraits will also be shown at the exhibition.
The various teaching and learning styles as independent themes could also be noticed within this rather small exhibition. Visitors will be able to trace different stages of artistic work: from a staged “costume” compositions which was popular in the late 19th century (Praying woman with a candle by F. Bondarenko) through a nature-based etudes (created in the studios of Ilya Repin, V. Makovsky and D. Kardovsky), to accomplished immense paintings (from which, as an examples, A. Uhanov and S. Abugov acquired titles of artists).
Drawing female models from nature became possible in the Imperial Art Academy only in the late XIX century. Since then many artists became well trained. For instance, Tikhonov V. G. became a recognized master of the nude genre: his work Standing woman was praised by the Art Academy teachers and became part of its collection as a fine example. This painting can be found hanging on a wall in the studio of V. Makovsky which was photographed by Karl Bulla in 1913 and 1914.
Viewers will be attracted by the wide variety of artistic styles exhibited: F. Bondarenko and I. Vrachev used to carefully depict each detail, L. Evreinov, F. Kovarsky and V. Tikhov paid a tribute to impressionistic style and B. Anisfeld, whose Danae caused a scandal and a split amongst academic professors, preferred bright and decorative style.
The exhibition will be open from the 6th of March until the 12th of April, 2015, in the Blue hall of the Art Academy Research Museum.