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PEASANTRY IN RUSSIAN ART

12 October 2005 - 20 February 2006
Benois Wing

The World of the Peasantry in Russian Art exhibition is a shortened variant of the enormous exposition of the same name held in the Museum of History in Moscow. The exhibition includes 4 icons, 52 paintings, 2 sculptures and 62 objects of folk art. The exhibition presents the evolution of the peasantry in the works of artists. The artists depicted life of peasants of their epoch — life, rites and festivals, preserving a unique spirit of time. The masters showed how common people lived, handed down their traditions and beliefs from generation to generation. In the first room visitors can see icons with the images of saints, who patronized peasant labour, and works by Alexei Venetsianov, Ivan Kramskoi, Grigory Myasoyedov, Ilya Repin and Zinaida Serebryakova. The masters of Russian Avant-garde also contributed to the development of the theme of peasantry in their oeuvre (Natalia Goncharova, Kazimir Malevich, Pavel Filonov and Kuzma Petrov-Vovkin). Their works are exhibited in the second room. The works by soviet artists Vyacheslav Zagonek, Victor Ivanov, Leonid Kabachek, Arkady Plastov and Konstantin Juon are shown in the third room. The exhibition is supplemented with a significant collection of Tatyana Lopatina. This collection was acquired by Sistema Finance Investments for the State Russian Museum. The exhibition presents 13 costumes of peasants from Biryuchensk district, Voronezh Province. The costumes were meant for various cases and used in rites: costume of a soldier's wife, costume of a widow and godmother. Tatyana Lopatina most fully collected the costumes including widgets. This collection consists of the objects that the Russian Museum does not own. The exhibition shows works of folk art contributing to better understanding of life and art of peasants. A catalogue for the exhibition has been published. The exhibition is organized with the support of ROSNO, financial corporation Uralsib, OJSC Novatek, Sistema Finance Investments, British American Tobacco, Vneshtorgbank.