Russia´s Soul

Icons, paintings and drawings of the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

16 May to 26 August 2007

In 1856 Moscow merchant Pavel Tretyakov (1832 - 1898) purchased his first painting of a contemporary Russian artist. In doing so, he laid the foundation for his famous picture gallery, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2006. Today the State Tretyakov Gallery is regarded as the most important collection of Russian art in the world. Around 150 outstanding paintings, icons, and drawings have been selected from this rich collection for the exhibition in Bonn, which traces the development of Russian art as it charted its unique course between the pan-European tradition and its own cultural tradition.

The focus of the exhibition is on the latter half of the nineteenth century. During this eventful period all of Moscow was seized by an unprecedented painting fever. The influential collector and art patron Tretyakov especially admired the young generation of realist painters such as Ilya Repin, Ivan Kramskoy, Vassily Polenov, Nikolai Ghe, to name a few. Their social critical scenes of life in Russian society, lyrical landscapes, and penetrating portraits are masterly expressions of the fervent and much evoked search for the ‘true Russia’.

Introducing this extensive group of works are seldom shown paintings from the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. A selection of exquisite icons also provide insight into the spiritual sources of Russian aesthetics. The upheavals that characterised the turn of the century are manifest in the rich diversity of artistic positions, beginning with the symbolism of Michael Vrubel and Victor Borissov-Mussatov and extending to the representatives of Russian modernism.


Russlands Seele
Ikonen, Gemälde und Zeichnungen aus der Tretjakow-Galerie, Moskau

ca. 372 pages with 270 color illustrations
Format 24,5 x 28 cm
Museum edition: 28 EUR
edition out of print
Trade edition: Prestel, München Externer Link in neuem Browserfenster
ISBN: 3-7913-3697-5

Cataloguecover: Russia´s Soul
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  1. Image from ExhibitionPhoto: Peter Oszvald © Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland GmbH

Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Museumsmeile Bonn
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