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1 - 1 of 1 results for: HISTORY 26SC: Art and Ideas in Russian Culture

HISTORY 26SC: Art and Ideas in Russian Culture

The course explores the most important trends in Russian creative arts from the early period through the nineteenth century, exploring the ideas that were behind the production and reception of various types of Russian art. It tracks the major cultural changes in Russian history, primarily the transformation from a world shaped by Orthodox religious art (icons, frescos) to a world shaped by West European canons. Peter I (ruled 1682-1725) forcibly imposed cultural Westernization on his elites (not the peasant or merchant classes). Noblemen were forced to dress in European clothes, adopt European etiquette and pastimes (dancing), design their homes in European architectural styles and fill them with art painted (by Europeans and Russians) to European tastes, including portraits. By the nineteenth century, artists were using art as a political statement, allegorically criticizing autocratic reality in their choice of topics, particularly historical paintings. Throughout we explore art in more »
The course explores the most important trends in Russian creative arts from the early period through the nineteenth century, exploring the ideas that were behind the production and reception of various types of Russian art. It tracks the major cultural changes in Russian history, primarily the transformation from a world shaped by Orthodox religious art (icons, frescos) to a world shaped by West European canons. Peter I (ruled 1682-1725) forcibly imposed cultural Westernization on his elites (not the peasant or merchant classes). Noblemen were forced to dress in European clothes, adopt European etiquette and pastimes (dancing), design their homes in European architectural styles and fill them with art painted (by Europeans and Russians) to European tastes, including portraits. By the nineteenth century, artists were using art as a political statement, allegorically criticizing autocratic reality in their choice of topics, particularly historical paintings. Throughout we explore art in the context of ideas -- why were various kinds of art produced? what were their intended purposes? who were their intended audiences? How can we appreciate creative works as art when they weren't intended to be art, such as icons? They were considered holy objects, actors in liturgical worship. Similarly, realist paintings of the nineteenth century were intended as critique more than art, as were penny broadsheets that circulated. Other works, such as portraits of noblemen and decorative elements on maps, were intended to assert social status or political authority. So the course is an opportunity to join appreciation of creative works with a more historical and cultural assessment of their production and reception. Students will be asked to write a paper on one particular work of art an icon, a portrait, an oil painting. This course should be interesting to students interested in the broad sweep of Russian history as well as in medieval religious art (especially Orthodox) and modern European art. Class sessions will discuss assigned readings and images posted to class art gallery from Professor Kollmann's extensive collection of images of Russian icons and art. Students will report on their research paper along the way, culminating in formal presentations. Field trips and events are planned to various works of Russian art in the area, including: Cantor Art Museum (small collection of icons, including a 17th c icon; De Basily Room, Hoover Institution (18th-c Russian portraits; Art Collection, Hoover Institution Library (rare editions of Russian art publications, late 19th c.); Green Library Special Collections (facsimile edition of 16th-c illustrated historical chronicle); Rumsey Map Center, Green Library (18th-c Russian maps and their decorative cartouches); Legion of Honor, San Francisco (Makovskii's great canvas in his Boyar's Wedding series); Christ the Savior Church (Orthodox Church of America), 12th and Anza, San Francisco. Discussion with parish priest Rev. Philip Halliwell. To see icons in situ in small neighborhood parish and discuss the role and theory of icons in Orthodox liturgy with Fr Halliwell; The Joy of All who Sorrow Cathedral, Geary St., San Francisco (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia). To see icons in situ in large, imposing cathedral; Katia's Restaurant, San Francisco (authentic Russian cuisine); Fort Ross, northern California (restored Russian fortress and chapel; art in situ;Viewing of movie Andrei Rublev, about an icon painter in 15th-c Russia.
Terms: Sum | Units: 2 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Kollmann, N. (PI)
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