THE PEREDVIZHNIKI: Between a Commercial Partnership and an Art Movement
The Russian text of this book is a translation of the PhD thesis entitled Re-Presenting the Peredvizhniki: a Partnership of Artists in Late Nineteenth-Century Imperial Russia, which the author carried out at the Courtauld Institute of Art between 2008 and 2013. The late nineteenth-century group of Moscow and St Petersburg artists, who organised travelling exhibitions around the Russian provinces, came to be known as the Peredvizhniki (or in English, quite misleadingly, as the ‘Wanderers’). Before the end of the century the Peredvizhniki gained a reputation as an altruistically motivated and critically minded Realist art movement. This reputation eventually became cemented in Soviet-era art history and is still dominant today in both Russian and Western scholarly accounts. Focusing on the period between the group’s foundation in 1870 and the publication of their twenty-fifth anniversary album in 1897, this monograph proposes a counter-argument, which centres on the analysis of the following: the specific manner in which the Peredvizhniki initially constituted themselves as a partnership; how they chose to represent themselves and their exhibitions to the public; and, finally, the specific character of the partnership’s shows and how these were critically perceived. This book therefore constitutes the first attempt to recover the Peredvizhniki’s original identity and aims, and, in the process, to question the established art-historical narratives of the group and its development.
EUSP Press 2015; ISBN 978-5-94380-199-0; 336 p.; paperback