The 18th century
Wooden architecture had its greatest expansion in the north of the Russia, preserving the old traditions until the 18th century, when its most extraordinary example was built, the Church of the Transfiguration in Kiži on Lake Onega, with a jagged profile from countless domes. With the reforms of Peter the Great and greater openness to the West, the period of secularization of Russian culture began, encouraging the orientation to break with Byzantine and Slavic traditions. The new capital, St. Petersburg, became the symbol of these orientations. While here, the baroque taste of the second half of the 18th century was associated with the sobriety of the architecture of the beginning of the century, Moscow still retained some traits of the local tradition, with its taste for rich decoration. Forms and elements of Gothic architecture, linked to the romantic trends found in European architecture of the late 18th century, characterize the extraordinary complex of Catherine II’s palace in Karicyno, near Moscow, created by VI Baženov and MF Kazakov. However the neoclassical tendencies remained predominant from the end of the 18th century.
● The sculpture of the 18th century. is represented by large monuments created for the squares of St. Petersburg (equestrian statue of Peter the Great by BC Rastrelli, monument to Peter the Great by É. Falconet, monument to A. Suvorov by M. Kozlovskij), and by groups and busts of marble, among which the works of F. Šubin are noteworthy.
● In 18th century painting. the development of the portrait assumed particular importance (with the Russians I. Višnjakov, I. Argunov, A. Antropov, F. Rokotov, D. Levickij, V. Borovikovskij and the foreign painters J. Tannauer, L. Caravaque, G. Grooth, A. Roslin, J. Lampi, L. Tocqué, S. Torelli, P. Rotari, who brought the influences of the Baroque and Rococo to Russia). Historical and religious painting (A. Losenko, G. Ugrjumov), genre painting (M. Šibanov) and romantic landscape painting (F. Šcedrin, F. Alekseev) also developed. Decorative painting flourished and was affected by the Italian painting brought to Russia by G. Valeriani, S. Barozzi and P. Gonzaga.
The 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century
Russian architecture of the first half of the 19th century. continued the traditions of classicism, giving life, during the reign of Alexander I, to the so – called Empire style, characterized by the strong Palladian influence and the austere monumentality and geometric simplicity (Admiralty of A. Zacharov, Borsa di T. de Tomon, Cathedral of the Virgin of Kazan´ by A. Voronichin, palace of the Grand Duke Michael and theater with surrounding buildings, by C. Rossi). Sobriety and classical purity also distinguish the buildings of V. Stasov (building of the Deposits in Moscow), J. Beauvais (Bolshoi Theater in Moscow), D. Gilardi. After the middle of the century, a pompous eclecticism became predominant (St. Isaac, by A. Montferrand, Stackenschneider palaces, in St. Petersburg), with the creation of the ‘Russian-Byzantine’ style (Cathedral of the Savior in Moscow by K. Ton ; Church of the Resurrection in St. Petersburg, by A. Parland; complex of warehouses, later GUM, on the Red Square in Moscow, by A. Pomerancev; the works of I. Petrov, etc.).
● The sculpture of the first half of the 19th century. followed the traditions of classicism, with the well-known heroic monuments (monument to Minin and Pozharsky in Moscow, by I. Martos), architectural decoration, sculptures in parks, funeral monuments (I. Martos, M. Kozlovskij, S. Ščedrin, S. Pimenov, V. Demut-Malinovskij, I. Vitali). In the sculpture of the second half of the 19th century. the works of M. Antokolskij stand out, epigone of classicism (statues of Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great), of A. Opekušin (monument to AS Pushkin in Moscow), of the sculptor-impressionist P. Trubeckoj. Alongside historical and religious painting, genre, landscape and portrait painting developed. The academic tradition was enriched with romantic accents; notable the figures of K. Brjullov, A. Ivanov, O. Kiprenskij, V. Tropinin. In the 1860s and 1870s tendencies towards critical realism appeared with the group of gods Kiprensky, V. Tropinin. In the 1860s and 1870s tendencies towards critical realism appeared with the group of gods Kiprensky, V. Tropinin. In the 1860s and 1870s tendencies towards critical realism appeared with the group of gods Peredvižniki or Ambulanti (➔ # 10132;).
● Between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. in architecture the passage from eclecticism to art nouveau took place: among the major exponents, F. Šechtel, F. Lidval, L. Kekušev, V. Valcott, whose works anticipated elements of constructivist architecture. In the 1910s a reaction to floral forms developed, a return to the forms of classicism (I. Fomin, V. Ščuko, I. Žoltovskij). In sculpture, impressionistic (A. Golubkina, N. Andreev) and symbolist (A. Matveev, S. Konenkov) tendencies were manifested. In painting, the traditions of the Peddlers give first place to impressionist, symbolist and innovative movements common to all European art. The painters of the art world (Mir iskusstva, 1898; A. Benois, K. Somov, N. Roerich, V. Borisov-Mussatov, E. Lansere, M. Dobužinskij etc.) affirm the concept of art pour art, expressing refined nostalgia for the past. The painters of the Blue Rose ( Golubaja roza, 1906-07; M. Sarjan, P. Kuznecov etc.) and of the Golden Fleece ( Zolotoe runo) express post-symbolist and post-impressionistic tendencies, while the artists of the Knave of paintings ( Bubnovyj valet, 1910; the Burljuk brothers, I. Maškov, P. Končalovskij, Russia Falk, etc.) create a Fauvist- type paintingand more radical tendencies of Russian primitivism are grouped in Donkey’s tail ( Oslinyi chvost, 1912, N. Gončarova, M. Larionov, K. Malevič, V. Tatlin).
● In this climate of intense intellectual, spiritual and artistic ferment, the first trends in avant-garde art appear in the exhibitions in Moscow (Bersaglio, Mišen ´, 1913) and St. Petersburg (0, 10 and Tramway V, 1915): futurism and rayonism (Gončarova, Larionov, D. Burljuk, A. Ekster), suprematism (K. Malevič, O. Rozanova, L. Popova) and non-figurative art (Tatlin, V. Kandinskij). A special place is occupied by M. Chagall.