Showing posts from 2010

Wladimir Baranoff Rossine

January 1, 1888 (s Big Lepatiha Tauride Province) - January 1944 (Auschwitz, Germany). painter, graphic artist, sculptor, inventor  Vladimir Baranov came from a bourgeois class. In 1903-1908 he attended the Odessa Art College. In 1908 he arrived in St. Petersburg, where he enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts, but was not present in the classroom and one year for it was certified. Since 1907 began to participate in the first avant-garde exhibitions ( "Stephanos" in Moscow, 1907, in conjunction with DD Burliuk, AV Lentulov and A. , A. Exter in the exhibition "Link" in Kiev, 1908; "Wreath-Stephanos" in St. Petersburg, 1909, "The Impressionists" in St. Petersburg, Vilna, Berlin, 1909-1910, exhibition at the Art Bureau of NE Dobychina in Petrograd, 1919). In 1910 he went to Paris, where he settled in the colony of artists "The Hive" next to M. Chagall, A. Zadkine, A. Archipenko, J. Sutin, A . Modigliani and others. Under the pse…

Yermak's conquest of Siberia


Decembrist Revolt

On December 26, 1825, the Decembrist Revolt against autocracy and serfdom broke out in Senate Square in St. Petersburg. The uprising was in marked contrast to the era of palace coup plots and had a strong resonance in Russia's society which had much influence on public and political life in the ensuing reign of Tsar Nicholas I.

The first secret political society in Russia, which eventually formed the nucleus of what would become the Decembrist movement, was the Union of Salvation, established in St. Petersburg in 1816. The organization was headed by Aleksandr Muravev, Nikita Muravev, Sergey Trubetskoy, Ivan Yakushkin and Pavel Pestel -- all officers and members of the high nobility. The search for ways of eliminating autocracy and serfdom led to the formation of a much larger group, numbering around 200 members, the Union of Welfare in 1818.

For some time its activities were chiefly concerned with propaganda and the enrollment of new members. However, diverse views within the gro…

Tobolsk: Siberia’s first capital

Although Tyumen is now the capital of the vast territory that bears its name, this region was for much of its history ruled from Tobolsk, whose citadel overlooked the high right bank of the Irtysh River. Of the many rivers that run through Siberia, none has more historical and emotional resonance than the Irtysh, a tributary of the mighty Ob River and a critical artery for Russian movement into Siberia.

It was near the Irtysh that a hardy band of Cossacks, led by the legendary Yermak and supported by the Stroganovs from their fortress in Solvychegodsk, defeated the Tatar troops of Khan Kuchum in 1582. Although the precise dates are questioned by historians, it seems that in the fall of 1581, Yermak captured Chingi-Tura (later Tyumen), but abandoned his conquest in order to proceed straight to Kashlyk, capital of Khan Kuchum, where there occurred the epochal battle memorialized in a painting by Ivan Surikov. Yermak was himself killed in a surprise raid in 1584 and his conquests remain…

Naval Base in Gadzhiyevo

More photos here.

Gadzhiyevo (Russian: Гаджиево) is a closed town in Murmansk Oblast, Russia. The town was also known as Yagelnaya Guba (Я́гельная Губа́) until 1967, Skalisty (Скали́стый) from 1981 to 1994, although it was often referred to as Murmansk-130 (Му́рманск-130). The name Skalisty was made official in 1994, but in 1999 the town was renamed back to Gadzhiyevo—the name it bore from 1967 to 1981. The settlement was named in honor of Magomet Gadzhiyev, a distinguished World War II submarine Commanding Officer. Population: 12,180 (2002 Census).[1] Wikipedia

Dostoevsky's Historic Speech In Honor of Pushkin

In 1880, shortly before he died, Dostoevsky gave his famous Pushkin speech at the unveiling of the Pushkin monument in Moscow. Dostoevsky delivered his speech on the last of the three days of celebration. Turgeniev had spoken on the previous evening, and in spite of his eminence had been coolly received. His assessment of Pushkin had been too detached for the taste of his emotional audience. Dostoevsky, in contrast, gripped everybody from the start with his fervour.


PUSHKIN is an extraordinary phenomenon, and, perhaps, the unique phenomenon of the Russian spirit, said Gogol. I will add, ‘and a prophetic phenomenon.’ Yes, in his appearing there is contained for all us Russians, something incontestably prophetic. Pushkin arrives exactly at the beginning of our true selfconsciousness, which had only just begun to exist a whole century after Peter’s reforms, and Pushkin’s coming mightily aids u…

Tolstoy: A Russian Life by Rosamund Bartlett – review

The state of Tolstoy's health was closely monitored by the press during the final phase of his life. Years before his death in 1910, people worried about what it would mean. 'I dread Tolstoy's death', Chekhov wrote in a letter in 1900 – partly, he explained, because he loved the man, partly because he admired his beliefs (without sharing them) and partly because Tolstoy's immense authority seemed to justify 'all the hopes and aspirations invested in literature'. While Tolstoy lived, Chekhov said, 'crude, embittered vainglory' was kept in the outer darkness; 'without him the literary world would be a flock without a shepherd, or a hopeless mess.' The symbolist poet Aleksandr Blok, writing in 1908, went further: 'everything is still straightforward and not fearfully relativistic so long as Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy is alive … The morning is still dewy, fresh, unfrightening, the vampires are drowsing, and thank God, Tolstoy walks … And if th…

On this day: 21 August 1968, Russian Soldiers in Prague

On August 21, 1968, the Soviet Union along with four other states of the Socialist camp – Bulgaria, Hungary, the German Democratic Republic, and Poland – brought troops into Czechoslovakia, triumphantly ending the streak of the Czechoslovak struggle for independence, which went down in history as the Prague spring.
Once in the office, the newly elected in January of 1968, the First Secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party Aleksandr Dubcek formed a progressive government, which laid a course for perestroika and glasnost, introducing freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Without changing the core values of socialism, he made an attempt to build “socialism with a human face.” Tolerant at first, gradually, the Soviet government started having concerns as to how far Dubcek would go with his reforms. They feared, that should Dubcek pursue such democratized interior policy, Czechoslovakia’s dependence on Moscow would weaken, simultaneously jeopardizing the loyalty of other member …

Sergey Yesenin: My Life

It appears, my life is fated to torment;
My way is dammed up by grief and distress.
My life has been severed from fun and enjoyment,
Vexation and wounds are afflicting my chest.

It seems I"m fated to suffer from pain.
All I have in this life are bad luck and misfortune.
I have suffered enough in this life, and again
Both my body and soul have been put to the torture.

The expanse, vast and hazy, promises joy,
Sighs and tears, however, are the real solutions.
A storm will break out, the thunder - oh boy! -
Will ruin the magical luscious illusions.

Now I know life"s deception, and nevertheless
I don"t want to complain of bad luck and misfortune.
So my soul doesn"t suffer from grief and distress,
No one ever can help to relieve me from torture.


Denis Maidanov - Eternal Love

Olga Slavnikova: 2017

It’s hard not to think of twentieth-century Russian history as you crack open 2017, Olga Slavnikova’s Russian Booker Prize winning novel. The year 2017 will mark, of course, the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, which culminated in the collapse of the Czarist autocracy and gave rise to the Soviet Union. It’s against this backdrop that readers enter this novel: a pot brimming with precious stones, a dash of spy novel intrigue, and a raw-to-the-bone social critique bubbling and boiling in a dense, evocative stew.
Excuse the metaphor. This is not a novel of food—far from it. But 2017 is a novel that asks you to savor it slowly, bite by bite. Translator Marian Schwartz, one of the most accomplished Russian translators working today—who has translated the works of Nina Berberova, Edvard Radzinsky, and Mikhail Bulgakov, among others—has recreated Slavnikova’s dense novel in a smooth, eminently enjoyable English text. Passages describing the craft of obscure trades like gemcuttin…

Centenary of the demon-master - Mikhail Vrubel

The Siberian-born artist and designer Mikhail Vrubel died 100 years ago this month. His work remains compelling and spectacular.
In 1890, fellow-painter Valentin Serov discovered Vrubel living in Kiev and rescued him from a penurious life of fresco-restoring. In the same year, Vrubel painted his famous 'Seated Demon', inspired by Mikhail Lermontov's epic poem 'The Demon'. His personal brand of experimental realism forms a crucial transition from the highly figurative art of the 19th century to the extremes of boundary-breaking modernism.
Serov introduced him to the art patron and railway tycoon Savva Mamontov. Vrubel lived for several years in Mamontov's influential creative colony at Abramtsevo, 60 kilometres north of Moscow. Even here he stood apart from the other artists, experimenting with metallic glazes and the brooding colours of Byzantine frescoes while they pursued more conventional trends in the new worlds of Symbolist painting and Russian revivalis…

Should Lenin be buried?

April 22 marks 140 years since the birth of Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Bolshevik party, one of the leaders of the October 1917 revolution and the founder of the Soviet state. Russian Communists traditionally start this day by laying flowers at Lenin’s Mausoleum at Red Square. At present, Moscow is the only European city where a mausoleum of a Communist leader remains. The other three such cities are all in Asia – Beijing, Hanoi and Pyongyang.
After Lenin’s death in 1924, his body was embalmed by a unique method worked out by Soviet scientists Vorobyov and Zbarskiy. In the same year, Lenin’s Mausoleum was built and opened for the public. The Mausoleum was also used as a tribune for Soviet leaders during parades in Red Square. When perestroika began in 1985, a number of politicians and public figures, including the then Soviet President Gorbachyov, suggested that Lenin should be buried according to the Orthodox Christian rite. Russian Communists, however, see it as an offence.…

Russian first lady Svetlana Medvedeva opened flower exhibition in Keukenhof

Svetlana Medvedeva with Netherlands Princess Maxima

Soviet propaganda posters: HET! NO!


When a Century of Soviet Art Meets Ceramics

Bolshevik leaders after the revolution urged the nation’s artists to produce high-quality and powerful propaganda. Many of the greatest avant-garde artists of the day captured the spirit of the young state by brandishing revolutionary slogans in poetry, theater, paintings and film.
Porcelain was no exception. Factories like Leningrad’s State Porcelain Factory, previously the Imperial Porcelain Factory, turned from producing dishware for aristocrats to producing it for the new Soviet regime. The 1920s saw phrases such as “He who doesn’t work doesn’t eat” and “The kingdom of workers and peasants will have no end” etched around the edges of dinner plates by masters of ceramic art.
These two plates are among the nearly 500 porcelain dishes and statues on display in a new permanent exhibition, “Masterpieces of Soviet Porcelain,” at the All-Russia Museum of Decorative-Applied and Folk Art. The exhibition displays rare masterworks crafted in the porcelain factories of Moscow and Leningrad f…

Boris Yefimov - More cartoons

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow...

And some more cartoons here.

Russia’s Berezka dance troupe: around the world in 62 years

Russia's famed folk dance ensemble,"Berezka", has just chalked up an impressive record.
Its dancers have surpassed the distance of the Equator in terms of the distance they have danced, according to "Berezka's" press secretary Tatiana Koltakova.
“Berezka,” which means birch tree in Russian, was founded back in 1948. Since then, the dance troupe has dazzled audiences around the world with its world-renowned appearances.
For over six decades, each of Berezka's performances has begun with a round dance, called the khorovod, which features the ensemble's trademark, inimitable step that was created by choreographer Nadezhda Nadezhdina.
Upon joining the ensemble, dancers are told to keep the famous “floating step” technique a secret, and not to share it even with their family.

Ансамбль "Березка"/Ensemble "Berezka"