Art of the 20th Century



A Revolution in the Arts


 



Art Styles in 20th century Art Map



 

 


World of Art (Mir iskusstva)
- 1898

Artists Groups - 1900-1903
Hagenbund
.
Austrian group of artists formed in 1900
Phalanx. Exhibiting society  in Munich in 1901
Photo-Secession. Group of photographers in New York in 1902
La Ruche. Artists’ collective and studio  founded in Paris in 1902
Deutsche Gartenstadtgesellschaft - 1902
Wiener Werkstatte. Viennese group founded  in 1903


Union of Russian Artists
- 1903


Blue Rose
- 1904

Alexandre Benois
Konstantin Somov
Leon Bakst
Eugene Lansere
Mstislav Dobuzhinsky
Mikhail Nesterov
Isaak Levitan
Valentin Serov
Konstantin Korovin

Igor Grabar
Boris Kustodiev
Zinaida Serebriakova

Ivan Bilibin
Viktor Vasnetsov
Nicholas Roerich
Serge Sudeikin
Abram Arkhipov
Viktor Borisov-Musatov
Philip Maliavin
Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva
Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin
Nikolay Sapunov
Pavel Kuznetsov

Arkady Rylov

Artists Groups - 1904-1905
Bloomsbury Group. London group, 1904
Friday Club. British group of painters, active 1905

 



 

Certain trends that had developed under Post-Impressionism and Symbolism

found expression in experimental art groups from the beginning of the 20th

century. Often shortlived, these trends produced new definitions of artists and

their work, as well as the role of art in society. The main centres for

these new ideas included Paris, Berlin, and Dresden.


 


The first two decades of the 20th century were marked by a rapid series of artistic innovations, which often appeared to contrast with each other, but which were all connected by a desire to break with the past. This common aim led to the naming of certain groups of artists as "avant-garde", a term with military connotations that conjured up the image of an advance force expressing an artistic perception that only later would become part of the wider culture.
 

It all begins in 1905.

In Paris, Fauvism bursts noisily into the Salon d'Automne, and the demise of Bouguereau sounds the death knell of academic painting.
The same year witnesses the birth of Expressionism, with the formation of Die Brucke in Dresden.
From now on, there will be no break in activity.

Cubism in 1908, with Picasso and Braque; Futurism in 1909, setting the trend of the pugnacious manifesto—in just four years, the first revolution of modern art is set in motion.

That revolution is preceded, or accompanied, by the death of its great percursors: Gauguin dies in 1903, Cezanne in 1906.
As the World's Fair of 1900 pauses for a moment on the threshold between the past and the future, the new century declares itself a fighter resolved to win.



 

 

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World of Art [Rus. Mir Iskusstva].

Group of Russian artists and writers active 1898–1906, revived as an exhibiting society, 1910–24. SERGE DIAGHILEV provided the motive force for the formation of the group in St Petersburg in 1898, and for the publication of its journal, Mir Iskusstva, from 1898 to December 1904. The Nevsky Pickwickians, grouped around Alexandre Benois, preceded the World of Art and formed its initial core. In the first issue of the journal Diaghilev, who with Benois had a wide knowledge of recent western European art, declared his commitment to a renaissance of Russian art, avoiding pale reflections of foreign trends yet also resisting a narrow nationalism. The World of Art provided a focus for Symbolist and Aesthetic tendencies in Russia, but its diversity of talents meant that it had only a limited degree of stylistic coherence.


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Russian  Silver Age

World of Art (Mir iskusstva)


(From Wikipedia)
 

Mir iskusstva (Russian: «Мир иску́сства», World of Art) was a Russian magazine and the artistic movement it inspired and embodied, which was a major influence on the Russians who helped revolutionize European art during the first decade of the 20th century. From 1909, many of the miriskusniki (i.e., members of the movement) also contributed to the Ballets Russes company operating in Paris. Paradoxically, few Western Europeans actually saw issues of the magazine itself.

 

History

The artistic group was founded in 1898 by a group of students that included Alexandre Benois, Konstantin Somov, Dmitry Filosofov, Leon Bakst, Eugene Lansere. The starting moments for the new artistic group was organization of the Exhibition of Russian and Finnish Artists in the Stieglitz Museum of Applied Arts in Saint-Petersburg.

The magazine was cofounded in 1899 in St. Petersburg by Alexandre Benois, Leon Bakst, and Sergei Diaghilev (the Chief Editor). They aimed at assailing low artistic standards of the obsolescent Peredvizhniki school and promoting artistic individualism and other principles of Art Nouveau. The theoretical declarations of the art movements were stated in the Dyagilev's articles "Difficult Questions", "Our Imaginary Degradation", "Permanent Struggle", "In search of the Beauty", "The fundamentals of the artistic appreciation" published in the N1/2 and N3/4 of the new journal.

Apart from three founding fathers, active members of the World of Art included Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Eugene Lansere, and Konstantin Somov. Exhibitions organized by the World of Art attracted many illustrious painters from Russia and abroad, notably Mikhail Vrubel, Mikhail Nesterov, and Isaak Levitan.

In its "classical period" (1898-1904) the art group organized six exhibitions: 1899 (International), 1900, 1901 (At the Imperial Academy of Arts, Saint Petersburg), 1902 (Moscow and Saint Petersburg), 1903, 1906 (Saint Petersburg). The sixth exhibition was seen as a Dyagilev's attempt to prevent the separation from the Moscow mebers of the group who organized a separate "Exhibition of 36 artists" (1901) and later "The Union of Russian Artists" group (from 1903).

In 1904-1910, Mir Iskusstva as a separate artistic group did not exist. Its place was inherited by the Union of Russian Artists which continued officially until 1910 and unofficially until 1924. The Union included painters (Valentin Serov, Konstantin Korovin, Boris Kustodiev, Philip Maliavin, Zinaida Serebriakova), illustrators (Viktor Vasnetsov, Ivan Bilibin, Konstantin Somov, Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva), restorators (Igor Grabar), and scenic designers (Nicholas Roerich, Serge Sudeikin).

In 1910 Benois published a critical article in the magazine "Rech'" about the Union of Russian Artists. Mir Iskusstva was recreated. Some said that the inclusion of the Russian avant-garde painters demonstrated that the group became an exhibition organization rather than an art movement. In 1917 the chairmen of the group became Ivan Bilibin. The same year most members of Jack of Diamonds enter the group.

The group organazied numerous exhibitions: 1911, 1912, 1913, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1921, 1922 Saint-Petersburg, Moscow). The last exhibition of Mir Iskusstva was organized in Paris in 1927. Some members of the group entered the Zhar-Tsvet (Moscow, organized in 1924) and Four Arts (Moscow-Leningrad organized in 1925) artistic movements.

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Golden Fleece [Rus. Zolotoye Runo].

Russian artistic and literary magazine published monthly in Moscow during 1906–9. It was financed and edited by the millionaire Nikolay Ryabushinsky, and it sponsored the first exhibitions in Russia of modern and of contemporary French art. In its first two years, this beautifully produced, well-illustrated and lively magazine was principally dedicated to Russian Symbolism. The poets Aleksandr Blok, Konstantin Balmont (1867–1943) and Andrey Bely were regular contributors and co-editors, as were many painters of the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) generation such as Alexandre Benois, Mikhail Vrubel, Igor Grabar, Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Konstantin Korovin, Nicholas Roerich, Konstantin Somov and Valentin Serov. The Blue Rose group were also represented.


 

 

 

 



 

Alexandre Benois

Konstantin Somov

Leon Bakst

Mstislav Dobuzhinsky

 

 

 

 

Mikhail Nesterov

Isaak Levitan

Valentin Serov

Konstantin Korovin

 

 

 

 

Igor Grabar

Boris Kustodiev

Zinaida Serebriakova

Ivan Bilibin

 

 

 

 

Viktor Vasnetsov

Nicholas Roerich

Abram Arkhipov

Viktor Borisov-Musatov

 

 

 

 

Philip Maliavin

Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva

Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin

Eugene Lansere

 

 

 

 

Serge Sudeikin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 

THE STAGE DESIGNERS OF THE BALLETS RUSSES

Russian art had previously been considered barbarous and primitive by a sophisticated western European public, but its national folklore aroused great interest when works were shown at the Paris Exposition of 1900. Seizing every opportunity to promote Russian art, Serge Diaghilev (1872-1929) organized the exhibition Two Centuries of Painting and Sculpture in 1906, and brought the music of Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, and Borodin to Paris in 1907. Diaghilev staged Boris Godunov in 1908, with sets and costumes by Golovine, Yuon, and Alexandre Benois, and he launched the Ballets Russes in the following year. Together with choreographer Fokine and stage designer Leon Bakst (1866-1924), he revolutionized the concept of dance (which for him was the finest art, being a synthesis of all the others), and introduced a new approach to ballet production. Bakst's settings used intense, vibrant colours, and exotic, elaborate costumes, while his stage designs for L'apres-midi d'un faune and Daphnis et Chloe were legendary. The Ballets Russes moved to Monte Carlo in 1912, having become an independent company. Gradually, it moved away from the Russian national tradition, leasing room for various avant-garde artists to contribute ideas. Diaghilev chose his stage designers for their talent and ability to enhance music and movement.

 

 

 

Sergei Diaghilev

(Encyclopaedia Britannica) 

born March 31 [March 19, Old Style], 1872, Novgorod province, Russia
died Aug. 19, 1929, Venice, Italy


Russian promoter of the arts who revitalized ballet byintegrating the ideals of other art forms—music, painting, and drama—with those of the dance. From 1906 he lived in Paris, where, in 1909, he founded the Ballets Russes. Thereafter he toured Europe and the Americas with his ballet company, and he produced three ballet masterpieces by Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911), and The Rite of Spring (1913).

Diaghilev was the son of a major general and a noblewoman, who died in childbirth. As a youth his artistic sensibilities were encouraged by his stepmother, Helen Valerianovna Panayeva. He took piano lessons while at school and also showed a gift for composition.

In 1890, while studying law at the University of St. Petersburg, Diaghilev became associated with a group of friends interested in the social sciences, music, and painting—the first of a series of intellectual gatherings over which he presided throughout his life. Among his companions during this period were the painters Alexander Benois and Léon Bakst, both of whom were later to contribute brilliantly to his productions. In 1893 he made his first journey abroad, visiting Germany, France, and Italy, where he met the distinguished French novelist Émile Zola and the opera composers Charles Gounod and Giuseppe Verdi.

In 1896 Diaghilev graduated in law, but he was determined to follow a musical career. The composer Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, however, discouraged him from developing his talents as a composer, wisely no doubt, since a vocal work of Diaghilev that had been performed in public had left a poor impression. In Moscow he met the patron of the famed bass Fyodor Chaliapin and proposed revolutionary scenic ideas for productions of operas in which Chaliapin appeared. Although he was uncertain of his own artistic gifts, Diaghilev was convinced of his vocation: that of a patron of the arts like the Roman Gaius Maecenas. His theatrical ventures in the sphere of opera and ballet and his literary projects, demanding huge investments, were hampered by the fact that he embarked on this career with no private income. Moreover, in 19th-century Russia, his homosexuality was a serious handicap in the development of his career. He had personal charm and audacity, however, and he used them to advantage.

In 1899 he realized the first of these international ventures when he founded, as editor in chief, the review Mir Iskusstva (“World of Art”), which continued to appear until 1904. This was a counterpart of the London Yellow Book, reflecting the ideas of the graphic artist Aubrey Beardsley and the writer Oscar Wilde. In 1905 Diaghilev organized a historic portrait exhibition of Russian art treasures at the Tauride Palace in St. Petersburg.

The great turning point in his life came when he left Russia for Paris in 1906. It was there that he helped to found what was later referred to as the Franco-Russian artistic alliance. He organized an exhibition of Russian art and then, in 1907, a series of historic concerts devoted to the work of the Russian nationalist composers. In 1908 Modest Mussorgsky's opera Boris Godunov was produced in Russian by Diaghilev at the Paris Opéra with Fyodor Chaliapin in the title role.

The time had arrived for him to launch the venture that was to fulfill his ideal of a combination of the arts. Appointed in 1899 as assistant to Prince Sergey Volkonsky, director of theImperial Theatre, Diaghilev had met the dancer Michel Fokine, who was powerfully influenced by the American dancer Isadora Duncan. Diaghilev, also influenced by the dance innovations of Duncan, as well as by the ideas of composer Richard Wagner and the theories of the poet Charles Baudelaire, opened his season of Ballets Russes at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in 1909. The dancers Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, and Michel Fokine were in his company.

Before long it became clear that conventional choreography was to have no place in Diaghilev's novel spectacles. Mime or action dances were the aim of the choreographers who, largely under the influence of Fokine and Léonide Massine, were creating an entirely new tradition. The composers chosen to transform the old art forms were themselves inspired by the fantasies of painters and choreographers. This was Diaghilev's lofty creation: an ideal of artistic synthesis, based on an innate sense of taste. Diaghilev's art reached its height in the three early ballets of the young Russian composer Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911), and The Rite of Spring (1913). In Petrushka, perhaps the greatest of the Diaghilev ballets, Stravinsky, at Diaghilev's insistence, transformed a conventionally conceived piano concerto (on which he had been working) into a mimed ballet, bringing into real life the fantasy dramas of puppets at a showman's fair. The incident is indicative of the extraordinary psychological influence Diaghilev was able to exert over his collaborators. In The Rite of Spring Stravinsky produced one of the most explosive orchestral scores of the 20th century, and the production created an uproar in the Paris theatre at its first performance. The scandalous dissonances and rhythmic brutality of the music provoked among the fashionable audience such protestations that the dancers were unable to hear the orchestra in the nearby pit. They carried on, nevertheless, encouraged by the choreographer Nijinsky, who stood on a chair in the wings shouting out and miming the rhythm.

Diaghilev left his native Russia and never returned. In Paris he collaborated with the French poet Jean Cocteau, among others. He toured with his ballet throughout Europe, in the United States, and in South America. Seasons of the Diaghilev ballet were given uninterruptedly from 1909 to 1929. During his later seasons he introduced the works of forward-looking composers and painters from France, Italy, Great Britain, and the United States. Among the composers represented in his repertory were Richard Strauss, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and Sergey Prokofiev.

Despite his influence, however, Diaghilev was a lonely and dissatisfied man, impecunious and personally unhappy. He was an idealist, never realizing perfection and yet sowing the seed of an exploratory spirit. Diaghilev had long suffered from diabetes, and by the end of his brilliant 1929 season at Covent Garden, London, his health had gravely deteriorated. He nevertheless left for a holiday in Venice, where he sank into a coma from which he did not recover. He was buried in the island cemetery of San Michele.

Edward Lockspeiser
 





 




 

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Hagenbund [Künstlerbund Hagen; Hagengesellschaft].

Austrian group of artists formed in 1900 in Vienna and active until 1930. Its most prominent members included Heinrich Lefler and Joseph Urban. The group took its name from Herr Haagen, the landlord of an inn at which artists often met for informal discussion. Originally called the Hagengesellschaft, most of its members left the Künstlerhaus at the same time as the Secessionists in 1897. Three years later they left the Secession to form the Hagenbund. At first the group intended to remain within the Künstlerhaus, and they held their first two exhibitions on its premises. However, between 1902 and 1912, and again from 1920 until 1930, they exhibited independently in a market-hall (the Zedlitzhalle) converted by Urban. The group favoured a distinct Art Nouveau style based on folk art and British antecedents, such as the work of Aubrey Beardsley. Their manner was less extreme than that of the Secessionists, and this contributed to their official success; Lefler and Urban were the major contributors to a pageant held in 1908 in celebration of Francis Joseph’s 60 years on the throne. The influence of the Hagenbund was felt largely through their illustrations, which were popular with a younger and less upper-class audience than the Secessionists had. Most notable was the series Gerlachs Jugendbücherei, illustrated with lithographs by Lefler, Urban and Karl Fahringer (1874–1952). Among Austrian artists who participated in Hagenbund exhibitions were Robin Christian Andersen, Anton Hanak, Oskar Laske (1874–1951) and, at times, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele. Although the group was not dissolved until 1930, its importance had faded by the outbreak of World War I.
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Heinrich Lefler
(Austrian, 1863-1919)

Heinrich Lefler
Saint George Praying after
Slaying the Dragon
 
Joseph Urban
(Austria,1872 – US,1933)


Heinrich Lefler and Joseph Urban
"Marchen-Kalendar fur das
Jahr 1905"
 


 

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Phalanx

Exhibiting society founded by Vasily Kandinsky and others in Munich in 1901 and active until 1904 as an important manifestation of the Jugendstil aesthetic. Founded soon after Kandinsky’s departure from Franz von Stuck’s studio, it was the first group for which he served as the main driving force. The society was advertised in July 1901 in the Munich periodical Kunst für Alle as having ‘set for itself the task of furthering common interests in close association. Above all it intends to help overcome the difficulties that often stand in the way of young artists wishing to exhibit their work.’ The choice of name itself suggested the idea of a close association and also related to the concept of the phalanx propounded by the French philosopher Charles Fourier (1772–1837) as the basic unit of his Utopian society . This social aspect also reflected the ideas of William Morris and other writers associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement and was an important principle in its structure. The society attempted to redress the sexual inequalities found in the Munich Akademie by allowing men and women equal access to exhibitions and to the school established in the winter of 1901–2 on Kandinsky’s initiative.

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Photo-Secession

Group of mainly American Pictorialist photographers founded by ALFRED STIEGLITZ in New York in 1902, with the aim of advancing photography as a fine art. Stieglitz, who chose the organization’s name partly to reflect the Modernism of European artistic Secession movements, remained its guiding spirit. Other leading members included Alvin Langdon Coburn, Gertrude Kasebier, Edward Steichen and Clarence H. White. The Secession also exhibited and published work by Europeans, for example Robert Demachy, Frederick H. Evans, Heinrich Kuhn and Baron Adolf de Meyer, who shared the Americans’ attitude that photography was a valid medium of artistic expression .

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Alvin Langdon Coburn

(1882 - 1966)


St Paul's Cathedral from Ludgate Circus, 1905
 

Gertrude Kasebier

(1852 - 1934)


Silhouette, 1905
 




 

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La
Ruche

Artists’ collective and studio complex founded in Paris in 1902. It was established by Alfred Boucher (1850–1934), a fireman and sculptor, to help young artists by providing them with shared models and with an exhibition space open to all residents. A rotunda from the Pavillon des Vins at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 was sited at 2, Passage de Dantzig, on land that Boucher had acquired in 1895 in the remote district of Vaugirard near Montparnasse. The 12-sided building originally offered 24 wedge-shaped studios, but a further 140 studios were subsequently built on the site. The first La Ruche salon opened on 12 February 1905 and took place in many pavilions built in the garden around the rotunda. The first painters resident there included Ardengo Soffici and Jean Raoul Chaurand-Naurac (1878–1948), but Boucher generously went along with the more avant-garde tendencies of the next arrivals, such as Léger, Robert Delaunay, Chagall, Soutine, Henri Laurens, Lipchitz, Zadkine, Archipenko and Michel Kikoïne (1892–1968). In spite of the wretched conditions in which they lived, neglecting the building and the garden, it was these artists of the Ecole de Paris who made La Ruche famous, along with writers such as Apollinaire, Cendrars and Max Jacob.

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Morning glory

Alfred Boucher
(1850 – 1934), French sculptor


Volubilis




Baigneuse
 





 

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Deutsche
Gartenstadtgesellschaft

German association of architects, urban planners and writers. Founded in 1902 and active until the 1930s, it was modelled on the English Garden Cities Association. In contrast to the English precursor, however, which was grounded on Ebenezer Howard’s practical theories of economic decentralization, the Deutsche Gartenstadtgesellschaft had literary roots. Its direct predecessors were the communes established by literati seeking to re-establish contact with the land, which flourished in the countryside around Berlin at the turn of the century. Among its founder-members were the writers Heinrich Hart (1855–1906) and Julius Hart (1859–1930), Bruno Wille (1860–1928) and Wilhelm Bölsche (1861–1939), and the literary tendencies of the group were clearly stated in the founding manifesto: ‘The Deutsche Gartenstadtgesellschaft is a propaganda society. It sees the winning over of the public to the garden city cause as its principal aim’ (quoted from Founding Statutes of Deutsche Gartenstadtgesellschaft, article 1, in Hartmann, p. 161). Practical skills were brought to the group by the cousins Bernhard (b 1867) and Hans (b 1876) Kampffmeyer, who had both trained as landscape architects and were active in literary and socialist circles in both Berlin and Paris.

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Wiener Werkstatte [Ger.: ‘Viennese workshop’].

Viennese cooperative group of painters, sculptors, architects and decorative artists founded by Josef Hoffmann and Kolo Moser in 1903 and active until 1932.
The group was modelled upon C. R. Ashbee’s Guild of Handicraft. Under the artistic direction of Hoffmann and Moser and with the financial patronage of the industrialist Fritz Wärndorfer (b 1868), they sought to rescue the applied arts and artistic craftwork from aesthetic devaluation brought on by mass production. Their aim was to re-establish the aesthetic aspect of the everyday object. As a long-term goal they strove to promote the cultivation of general public taste by bringing the potential purchaser in close contact with the designer and craftsworker. The offices, studios and workshops at Neustiftgasse 32 were designed by Moser with that purpose in mind.

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Josef Hoffmann
(Austrian Architect and Designer,
1870-1956)


Sitzmaschine Chair with Adjustable Back

Koloman Moser
(Austrian Painter and Designer,
1868-1918)


Poster: "Frommes Kalender"
 





 

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Union of Russian Artists [Soyuz Russkikh Khudozhnikov].


Russian exhibiting society, active from 1903 to 1923. It was set up when the WORLD OF ART group, based in St Petersburg, amalgamated with the Moscow artists who had participated in the Exhibitions of the Work of 36 Artists held in Moscow in December 1901 and 1902. United by their hostility to old forms and the desire for exhibitions that were not controlled by juries, the two groups nevertheless embraced widely divergent aesthetic stances. While former World of Art artists, such as Alexandre Benois and Leon Bakst, attacked the Wanderers, some Moscow artists, including Abram Arkhipov and
Konstantin Korovin, continued to exhibit with them. The Union’s exhibitions were held in Moscow. Inevitably, they were not stylistically unified: academically lyrical landscapes by Nikolay Klodt (1865–1918) and Arkady Rylov were shown alongside ‘impressionist’ paintings by Igor Grabar, ‘symbolist’ canvases by Viktor Borisov-Musatov, more experimental works by Valentin Serov and Mikhail Vrubel, as well as elegantly decorative pictures by Ivan Bilibin and Konstantin Somov. After the seventh exhibition in 1910 the Union split precisely because of such aesthetic differences, exacerbated by Benois’s review of the show, which praised the St Petersburg artists but castigated the majority of works as ‘fussy, tasteless and lifeless’. The Moscow artists remained within the Union, but the St Petersburg artists seceded and began to exhibit again under the name World of Art. By 1917 the Union represented outdated artistic concerns: it held its 18th and final exhibition in 1923, after which many former members, including Rylov, Arkhipov and Isaak Brodsky, joined AKhRR, the ASSOCIATION OF ARTISTS OF REVOLUTIONARY RUSSIA.
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Arkady Rylov

(b Istobenskoye, Vyatka province, 17 Jan 1870; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], 22 June 1933).

Russian painter. After attending the Stieglitz Central School of Technical Drawing in St Petersburg in 1888–91, he studied at the Academy of Arts (until 1897). His principal teacher there was Arkhip Kuindzhi, whose luminarist style greatly influenced Rylov’s approach to painting and predetermined his concentration on landscape. Rylov’s early works, such as Green Sound (1904; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.), maintain the delicate colour harmonies of Kuindzhi and also connect with the concurrent work of other students of Kuindzhi such as Nicholas Roerich. Rylov exhibited with the World of Art group, although he did not share their enthusiasm for Art Nouveau and, in closer sympathy with the less affected style of the Moscow landscape school, he joined the Union of Russian Artists in 1903. Rylov favoured the Russian forest, the Black Sea, birds and animals as subject-matter, as in Seagulls (1910; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.), and rarely investigated the portrait or the still-life.

 



In the blue Expanse
1918
 



Sunset
1917
 





 

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Blue Rose
[Rus. Golubaya Roza].

Group of second-generation Russian Symbolist artists active in Moscow between 1904 and 1908. The term derives from the title of an exhibition that they organized at premises in Myasnitsky Street, Moscow, in 1907. The group originated in Saratov, when in 1904 Pavel Kuznetsov and Pyotr Utkin (1877–1934) organized the exhibition Crimson Rose (Rus. Alaya Roza), which included the work of the two major Symbolist painters Mikhail Vrubel and their teacher Viktor Borisov-Musatov. Later that year, at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, they attracted artists of a similar persuasion such as Anatoly Arapov (1876–1949), Nikolay Krymov, Nikolay Milioti, Vasily Milioti, Nikolay Sapunov, Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin and Sergey Sudeykin. An important member of the group was the wealthy banker, patron and artist Nikolay Ryabushinsky, who publicized Blue Rose in his magazine GOLDEN FLEECE (Rus.: Zolotoye Runo). By 1907 most of the group had become co-editors, but a group statement or manifesto was never published. Ryabushinsky also contributed to the stability of the group by purchasing works from Kuznetsov, Sapunov and Sudeykin.

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Pavel Kuznetsov

b Saratov, 17 Nov 1878; d Moscow, 21 Feb 1968).

 Russian painter. After initial training in Saratov, he studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture from 1897 to 1904 under Konstantin Korovin and Valentin Serov. Rejecting the style of his teachers, Kuznetsov soon became the leader of a group of Moscow artists who looked to Viktor Borisov-Musatov and Mikhail Vrubel’ for inspiration. He helped organize exhibitions in Saratov called Alaya roza (‘Crimson rose’; 1904) and in Moscow Golubaya roza (‘Blue rose’; 1907), which gave a name to the BLUE ROSE group. In both exhibitions the favourite Symbolist themes of dreams and visions predominated. The critics denounced the works as ‘decadent’—long a favourite word of abuse for Russia’s Symbolist poets. Kuznetsov’s tempera painting Blue Fountain (1905; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.) embodies the aesthetic attitudes of the group. Around a fountain, symbolizing life, a group of shadowy figures in a predominantly blue space reach towards one another in attitudes of yearning.



Still Life with a Tray
 



In the Steppe
1908
 


Mirage in the Steppe
1912
 


 


 


Nikolai Sapunov

(b Moscow, 17 Dec 1880; d Gulf of Finland, nr Terrioki [St Petersburg region], 14 June 1912).

Russian painter and stage designer. From 1894 to 1904 he studied at the School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Moscow under Konstantin Korovin and Vladimir Serov, and under Isaak Levitan, who had a formative influence on his early landscape studies. On a visit to Rome, Florence and Pisa in 1902 Sapunov was impressed by the painting of Adolphe Monticelli. In 1904 Sapunov participated in the exhibition of the Crimson Rose (Rus. Alaya roza) group of Symbolists in Saratov.
 



The Maskers
1908

 



Dorimena
1910
 



The Mystic Gathering
Decor design for "Balaganchik"
1909
 



Ball
1910


 





 

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Bloomsbury Group

Name applied to a group of friends, mainly writers and artists, who lived in or near the central London district of Bloomsbury from 1904 to the late 1930s. They were united by family ties and marriage rather than by any doctrine or philosophy, though several male members of the group had been affected by G. E. Moore’s Principia Ethica (Cambridge, 1903) when they had attended the University of Cambridge. Moore emphasized the value of personal relationships and the contemplation of beautiful objects, promoting reason above social morality as an instrument of good within society. This anti-utilitarian position coloured the group’s early history. It influenced the thinking of, for example, the biographer and critic Lytton Strachey (1880–1932) and the economist John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946) and confirmed the position of conscientious objection maintained by some members of the group in World War I. Before 1910, literature and philosophy dominated Bloomsbury; thereafter it also came to be associated with painting, the decorative arts and the promotion of Post-Impressionism in England. This was mainly effected by the introduction into Bloomsbury of Roger Fry in 1910 and his close friendship with Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, with Clive Bell and with the writers Leonard Woolf (1880–1969) and Virginia Woolf (1882–1941). Fry, helped by the literary editor Desmond MacCarthy (1877–1952), Clive Bell and the Russian artist Boris Anrep (1883–1969), was chiefly responsible for the two large Post-Impressionist exhibitions held in London at the Grafton Galleries in 1910 and 1912. Bloomsbury’s swift identification with radical tendencies in the arts was realized by Vanessa Bell’s Friday Club (founded 1905) and the Grafton Group exhibiting society (1913–14); by Fry and Clive Bell’s association with the newly founded Contemporary Art Society (1910); and by the publication of Bell’s Art (London, 1914). This pre-eminence as apologists for new movements in art was soon challenged by Wyndham Lewis, T. E. Hulme and others, and by c. 1920 Bloomsbury painting and art criticism can be characterized as increasingly conservative.
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Friday Club

British group of painters, active 1905–22. Vanessa Bell conceived of and created the Friday Club in the summer of 1905. She was inspired by her experience of Parisian café life and the artists introduced to her in Paris by Clive Bell, and she hoped to create in London a similar milieu in which artists and friends could meet to exchange ideas. The Club met for lectures and held regular exhibitions in rented rooms, one taking place in Clifford’s Inn Hall in 1907, another at the Baillie Gallery in 1908. Its members were oddly assorted: Vanessa Bell drew upon students from the Royal Academy Schools and the Slade School of Fine Art, as well as her own family and family friends. Lecturers included Clive Bell, Basil Creighton, Walter Lamb and Roger Fry. Virginia Woolf remarked that in its early stages the Club was split: ‘one half of the committee shriek Whistler and French Impressionists, and the other are stalwart British’. In 1913 Essil Elmslie replaced Vanessa Bell as secretary to the Club, and meetings and discussions outside the annual exhibitions ceased. However, between 1910 and 1914 its exhibitions included young artists of talent, among them J. D. Innes, Derwent Lees (1885–1931), John Currie (c. 1890–1914) and Henry Lamb, and drew much comment from the press. Despite this, the history of the Club remains shadowy because no minutes of its meetings exist and not all its exhibition catalogues can be traced.
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Derwent Lees
(1885–1931)


Lyndra in Wales

 

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