Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky at London’s National Portrait Gallery

Anton Chekov by Iosif Braz 1898

Anton Chekov by Iosif Braz 1898

The most important exhibition of Russian portraits to take place at a British museum has opened at London’s National Portrait Gallery as part of an unprecedented cultural exchange with Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery which will simultaneously display a selection of portraits of famous Britons.

Twenty six portraits of key figures from a golden age of the arts in Russia 1867-1914 include 22 which have never been seen before in this country.

The exhibition focuses on portraits of outstanding writers, actors, musicians, and patrons who helped create the vibrant cultural scene. Of concern was the need to develop Russian traditions in art, music and literature rather than imitate Western European practice, and during that period, Russian writers acquired unparalleled respect.

Portraits include the novelists Dostoevsky, Turgenev and Tolstoy together with composers Petr Tchaikovsky, Anton Rubinstein, and Rimsky-Korsakov. Excerpts of their music can be heard in the background. Patrons nurtured the talented, and amassed Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings, opening dialogues between French modernism and Russian art.

A series of lectures is being held in conjunction with the exhibition, which runs until 26 June, 2016.

Ivan Morozov by Valentin Serov 1910

Ivan Morozov by Valentin Serov 1910

National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place, London WC2H OHE
Tickets without donation Full price £5/ Concessions £4 (Free for Members and Patrons)
Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday: 10.00 – 18.00 (Gallery closure commences at 17.50) Late Opening: Thursday, Friday: to 21.00
General information: 0207 306 0055
www.npg.org.uk/russia

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About natashablair1

Travel journalist who enjoys discovering new places in style, where possible, with her dog, a Coton de Tulear, called Poppy. Good food, not necessarily gourmet, is important as is the atmosphere as she also writes about restaurants. Culture is another love, and as she is based in London, she reviews theatre and art exhibitions.
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