Showing posts from April, 2010

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!