Near Far Russia. An Art View
What is typical, how do Russians see themselves and how are they seen?
A walk through Russian art history provides some clues. Painters like Ilya Repin dealt with key dates in Russian history. In history paintings we encounter Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great, in portraits we meet Tolstoy, Mussorgsky and Pushkin. Landscapes lead us to the endless expanse of the steppes, everyday depictions visualise the people's capacity for suffering in its purest form. Finally, the divided soul of the intelligentsia: who are we? Europeans or Asians?
With its Tartar heritage and Orthodoxy, Russia has chosen its very own path. We learn to understand it better by looking at pictures.