The Russian Canvas

Painting in Imperial Russia, 1757-1881

Rosalind P. Blakesley

View Inside Price: $70.00


June 7, 2016
380 pages, 9 x 11
135 color + 155 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300184372
Hardcover

The Russian Canvas charts the remarkable rise of Russian painting in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the nature of its relationship with other European schools. Starting with the foundation of the Imperial Academy of the Arts in 1757 and culminating with the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881, it details the professionalization and wide-ranging activities of painters against a backdrop of dramatic social and political change. The Imperial Academy formalized artistic training but later became a foil for dissent, as successive generations of painters negotiated their own positions between pan-European engagement and local and national identities. Drawing on original archival research, this groundbreaking book recontextualizes the work of major artists, revives the reputations of others, and explores the complex developments that took Russian painters from provincial anonymity to international acclaim.

Rosalind P. Blakesley is reader in Russian and European art at the University of Cambridge.

“Because of the massive changes in Russia in the twentieth century, this period of Russian art has been consigned to the shadows of European art history. This well-researched, authoritative and intriguing book with a large number of stunning illustrations brings the period back into the spotlight and explores the complex developments of the time and provides some insights into the work of major Russian artists of the period, many who have been neglected in Russia and beyond”—The London Visitor

‘Drawing on much original research, this study explores the transformation of Russian painting in the late 18th and 19th centuries.’ - Apollo

“Blakesley deserves great credit for her lucid and thorough narrative. Her beautifully illustrated book is also full of fascinating —because they are unfamiliar —pictures.”—Michael Prodger, Literary Review

The Russian Canvas is the triumphant outcome of a gargantuan project. . . . Blakesley has painstakingly sifted and weighed up evidence from all available sources and has arrived at an original post-Soviet Perspective. Every page contains at least one surprise. Moreover, the book is beautifully presented and outstandingly well written. . . . This publication is a joy to read.”—Ann Kodicek, Art Newspaper

"Yale University Press is to be congratulated on the book’s handsome design and color illustrations, the quality of which provides decisive visual support for the case that Blakesley puts forward in writing. In its variety, technical finesse, creativity, and intellectual interest Russian art fully deserves a place of honor within the European canon."—Janet E. Kennedy, Slavic Review

"Very highly recommended to all interested in Russian history and culture."— Elizabeth Kridl Valkenier, Russian Review
 
 

Honorable Mention for the 2017 Heldt Prize, given by the Association for Women in Slavic Studies