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Russian impressionism

20 July - 08 November 2000
The Benois Wing

The Impressionism in Russia exhibition was part of the cycle of shows dedicated to the major trends in Russian painting. This series is intended to throw new light on the history of the Russian school of painting. The exhibition displayed some three hundred masterpieces of painting and sculpture from the collection of the Russian Museum, created by the leading masters of the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The oeuvres of most of these artists have never before been addressed from the point of view of Impressionism. Their canvases were previously only regarded as reflecting traces of "painting by impressions", "Impressionist possibilities" or "latent plein-airism". Features of Impressionism can be clearly seen in the canvases of Vasily Polenov, Konstantin Korovin, Nikolai Kulbin and Wassily Kandinsky; the sculptures of Anna Golubkina and Paolo Trubetskoi; the expressive canvases of Philipp Malyavin; the decorative Fauvism of Mikhail Yakovlev; the Primitivism of Natalia Goncharova; and the works of the Russian Rayonists, Cezanneists, Cubists and Suprematists. The exhibition in the Russian Museum displayed indisputable works of Impressionism alongside examples of Pre-Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting.