The tradition of collecting art in Russia, began by Catherine the Great, evolved into state policy during the ninetieth century. On February 7, 1852 the New Hermitage Museum was opened to visitors, making it the first Russian public museum. Today's collection of ninetieth century paintings at the Hermitage is comprised of artwork owned by various collectors of the Russian elite who lived in St. Petersburg in the 1800s. After Lenin’s degree of nationalization in 1918 private collections such as those of Tsar Alexander III and Nicolas II, Grand Duchess Yelena Pavlovna and the Yusupov family were transferred to the Hermitage.
Dame Laura Knight was a figurative painter, who embraced English Impressionism. In her long career, Knight was one of the most successful and popular painters in Britain. Her success in the male-dominated British art establishment paved the way for greater status and recognition for women artists.
Just like Russian Impressionism, Russian Post-Impressionism did not mimic its European counterparts. By 1910 Russian Impressionism was also undergoing a series of changes, light, soft colors started to shift to richer reds and ochres.
Artist Serena Kovalosky is known for pushing the boundaries of traditional “gourdcraft” to create fine art sculptures that celebrate the organic form. In this short video Kovalosky talks about the inspiration she receives from flowing water and how she uses it to create her sculptures.
Despite the hardships that being a woman presented Emily Shanks as an artist, she continued to produce piece after piece that met the standards of the Peredvizhniki exhibitions for 19 iterations. And while much of her work seems to have been lost to the years and private collections, we know that her place is cemented within the history of Russian realism.