Russia and the Artsby 159
"The most important exhibition of Russian portraits ever to take place at a British museum," is open at the National Portrait Gallery, London as part of "an unprecedented cultural exchange with Moscow." Whilst the suggestion of most portraiture shows, or perhaps just British portraiture shows from the 19th and early 20th century, will conjure up 'brave, upright and respectable' faces and relatively restrained personalities, Russian portraiture from the same period apparently tells a very different story. It's hard to know which portrait or artist to focus on, each one so eloquently conveys a person, mood and texture. There doesn't seem to be one fully content or blandly moral expression, they all seem to be very flawed characters, making the paintings, which are already vivid and beautiful all the more fascinating. Including paintings by Nikolai Ge, Ivan Kramskoy, Vasily Perov, Ilia Repin, Valentin Serov and Mikhail Vrubel, this show provides a strong context for Russia and the arts in the period between 1867 and 1914. Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky 17 March - 26 June 2016.
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