Tuesday, February 05, 2008

russian painters

Each morning I get up around 4 a.m. and do my internet duty. I usually browse a wonderful site I discovered about Russian Realist painters. It is an extraordinary site with literally hundreds of images of paintings by artists. There is also a significant text of the history of Russian art and books on the subject. While the west was ramping up abstract art, artists in Russia that wanted to make a living and sometimes just survive or not be sent to Siberia (for real), had to tow the state line, which was Realism. http://www.leningradartist.com/search/t.htm#40
This is a painting by Timkov Nickolai. There are atleast 100 of his paintings on this site as well as many by atleast 100 artists. An exceptional art site.

What I find most rewarding is not only the treatment but the subjects which are very much what one would find in Eastern Washington. In particular Winter scenes, something that I have thought of as a deficiency but now appreciate for the wonderful greys that can be indulged in. Having much in common with these Russian painters that traveled the vast expanses of the Dacha and country side around St. Petersburg or Leningrad or Petrograd, depending on the regime of the time, I share the small towns and countryside covered by mounds of snow in winter and by steel blue skies that press down on both the man and the mountains. Many paintings of single horses pulling sleds of fire wood or harvesting summer crops. Unique harness used on the horses affirms my desire to travel to such places and learn how local teamsters work their horses and paint of their lifestyle. I hear that outside of St.Petersburg life has not changed much. Perhaps they still use horses?