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Scientific work
Saint-Petersburg, Universitetskaya embankment, 17.
phone: (812) 323-3578, (812) 323-6496
Sculptural casts
History of the Russian School of Art
Petersburg in patterns and drawings






History of the Russian School of Art

Exposition “History of the Russian School of Art” which is the main collection of the Scientific-Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts is placed in 15 halls of the internal round block of the Academy building.  First eight halls of the exposition are devoted to the history of the Russian academic school of the period from the second half of the 18th century till the beginning of the 20th century.  The other 7 halls represent the works of the period from the beginning of the 20th century up to the present time. It holds the masterpieces of outstanding Russian and foreign artists which lets us have a look into the history of the Academy, as well history of the West European art, understand its influence on forming the Russian school of art which is perhaps the only classical school preserved in Europe.  
 Also unique in its character is a systematic collection of study and graduation works of the Russian artists from the 18th century up to now. Paining, prints, sculpture and drawing which you can see here are interesting not only because they reveal a complicated path of a painter to mastership, but also because they reflect the artistic development of Russia for two and a half centuries which is extremely important for understanding the modern Russian art, it’s themes and plastic language.
 The Museum of the Academy of Arts, particularly, holds in its collection a student composition of I. Repin  “Angel of Death Extirpates Egyptian Firstborns” (1865) creation of which the author covered in his book “Far Close”. The exhibition also represents true in its details painting “Setting the Model in the Studio of Repin” created by a group of Repin students in 1899 – 1902 with participation of the master himself which is depicted in the center of the composition.  Among the characters one can recognize B. Kustodiev, F. Malyavin and other subsequently prominent painters.
Furthermore, one can see in these halls painting, print and sculpture works which are related to the history of the Emperor Academy of Arts, portraits of its presidents, outstanding masters of the Russian art which studied and taught here.
 The exposition also holds sculpture, painted and engraved portraits of the members of the Emperor family which were the patrons of the Academy.
 In 1758 the founder and the first president of the Academy of Arts Ivan Shuvalov gifted to the Academy 101 paintings (majorly of West European masters of the 16th-18th century) and a big collection of the paintings and prints having established the basis of the training museum expositions of which used to help the scholars learn the theory of painting art and served as original works for replicating which was an obligatory study stage in the Academy. One of the paintings in the collection of Ivan Shuvalov is exhibited in the first exposition hall of the “Russian School” – it’s the canvas of an Italian master of the 17th century Andrea Celesti “Killing the Infants”.
The basis of the mastership in the Academy was always the drawing. The museum holds study exercises of replicating, plastic anatomy, painting from plaster casts of the ancient sculpture.  The best drawings and sketches of the nude of the Academy’s student in the 18th-19th centuries were awarded with silver medals of the first and the second merits (large and small). The exposition also represents sketches of models made by Karl Bryullov, Fyodor Bruni, Alexandr Ivanov, Pavel Chistyakov, Andrey Ryabushkin and other prominent masters.  
 In different times the following outstanding Russian masters were the students of the Academy: A.P. Losenko, F.I. Shubin. M.I. Kozlovsky, I.P. Martos, K.P. Bryullov, V.I. Bazhenov, I.Ye. Starov, A.N. Voronikhin, I.Ye.REpin, V.I. Surikov, V.N.Serov, M.A. Vrubel, M.M. Antokolsky, M.K. Anikushin and many others.
Graduating the Academy of Arts was accompanied by creation of a finished work of art (so called “program” – picture, print, sculpture or an architecture project) of the approved by the Board of the Academy theme which was the same for the whole class of all faculties. This order reflected impersonal choice of the best work author of which was not only awarded with a bug golden medal, but also the right to improve his skill abroad within a certain period as an Academy beneficiary. As a report of this educational stage served their works which often brought fame and recognition to their authors.
 Though the works of less famous painters who studied simultaneously with subsequently great artists also represent a great value, as far as these works help to restore a true picture of the school history and show the conditions in which Russia’s best artistic forces were formed.
 The works of the 17th-19th centuries prove the prevailing religious world view, when the Bible themes were considered to be the source of moral values and eternal verities.  In the second half of the 19th century we can observe a sharper insight into the reality for both historic interpretation of traditional Christianity themes and depiction of the every-day life. A certain interest represents the attempts of beginners to create the art of a new form and contents reflected in their works of the first years after the events of October, 1917. Then one can also find the art patterns of the totalitarian state of 1930s-50s, war and revolution episodes, sometimes naïve but sincere attempts to show the beauty of the labor in graduation paintings and sculptures of 1960s-1980s.
                Collection of study works made by students of the Institute after I.Ye. Repin annually grows due to appearance of new works. These works prove that the height level of skill, as well as continuation of the best traditions of the Russian art is preserved in the Academy of Arts. Graduation works of the scholars of the last decade attract us by freedom of their artistic language and depth of the themes concerning the past and the present.
                Currently the exposition is closed.

On 31st of July museum is closed.
On 20th of March museum is closed.

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