Department of Russian Art History

Detailed information

Department Head: Professor V.S.Turchin.

Fields of study include the History of Fine Arts (Painting, Sculpture, Graphics) and the History of Decorative Art and Architecture in Russia from the Tenth through the Twentieth Centuries. General courses are devoted to the History of Art in Ancient Rus (10th-17th Centuries), Russian Art in the Modern Era (the 18th and 19th Centuries), and Russian and Soviet Art in the Twentieth Century; each course requires approximately 200 academic hours. Training includes seminars with presentation of three research papers. There is also a number of special, or optional courses and seminars, the program of which is periodically updated.

Optional courses in recent years have been devoted to the problems of form in Russian architecture in the late Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, the avant-garde art of the early Twentieth Century, the fate of the arts under Stalin's regime, "underground" art in the USSR in the 1960s-1980s, the history of costume, problems of theatical costuming and scene design, traditional folk arts and crafts.

The main fields of research and specialization for students are as follows:

  • The Moscow School of Icon-Painting in the Fifteenth-Seventeenth Centuries (Schools of Andre Rublev, Dionisii, Simon Ushakov)

  • Architecture of the Moscow, Novgorod, and Central Russian Regions in the Fifteenth-Seventeenth Centuries

  • Architectural Typology of the Russian Orthodox Church and its Evolution; Pictorial and Decorative Ornamentation of Churches

  • Architecture and Art in the epoch of Peter the Great

  • Russian Portrait of the Eighteenth Century

  • Culture of the Russian Country Estate

  • Primitive Art, Russian Provincial Art of the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries, Russian Popular Prints

  • Classical, Romantic and Eclectic Trends in Russian Architecture of the Nineteenth Century; the Search for Style; Comparisons to Architectural Experience of Western Europe

  • Romantic Tradition in Russian Art of the Nineteenth Century

  • Academism, Realism and Romanticism of the second half of the Nineteenth Century

  • The Modernist Style, its Typology and Evolution in Russian Architecture and Art in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

  • Neo-Classicism in Russian Architecture of 1900-1910

  • Modernism and the Avant-Garde in Russia in the First Decades of the Twentieth Century, their Relation to Symbolism and to Modern Trends in Russian and European Philosophy, Theoretical Foundations and Formal Discoveries

  • Fate of the Avant-Garde in the USSR

  • Architecture of Soviet Constructivism "Functional" and "Rationalist" Trends

  • Art Groups in USSR in the 1920s

  • Art, Ideology and Policy in the USSR in the 1930s-1950s: Suppression of Personal Creativity; the Method and Practice of "Socialist Realism" and their Evolution; Alternative Trends in the Art of "Totalitarian Epoch"

  • Art of the "Thaw" in the 1950s-1960s

  • Alternative Artistic Development in the last years of the USSR; "Official" and "Non-Conformist" Trends, the Young Artists' Movement

  • History and Problems of Art Criticism in Russia and the USSR

  • Modernism and the Avant-garde in Russian Scene-Design

  • Russian Porcelain of the Eighteenth-Nineteenth Centuries

  • Artistic Schools of Non-Russian Peoples in Soviet Art

  • Artistic Life, Trends in the Development of Art and Architecture in Post-Soviet Russia (the 1990s), Institutions, Exhibitions and the Leading Names

  • Artistic Contacts between Russia and Western Countries (Germany, Italy, France, Great Britain, Scandinavia, USA)

  • Russian Artists in Emigration