Song of the Soul. Russian art in the collections of the Gallery of Fine Arts in Ostrava
The gallery’s collection of Russian paintings
dates back to the pre-war period, when a
unique work by Konstantin Alexeyevich
Korovin was received as a donation. Because
it originated in Paris, it was incorporated
into the gallery’s (at that time still quite
small) collection of European art.
only at the end of the 1960s that the gallery
began to systematically acquire works
of Russian art – creating a collection that
is second only to the National Gallery in
its scope and importance. It is a remarkable
fact that the Czech Republic (along with
France) is home to Europe’s largest number
of classic Russian realist paintings.
The gallery’s collection includes works
by some of the most prominent artists from
the golden age of Russian realist painting,
who were associated with the Association
of Travelling Art Exhibits, known as the
“Peredvizhniki” group (including Ilya Yefimovich
Repin, Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin,
Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin, Franz
Alexeyevich Roubaud and Semyon Gavrilovich
These artists’ works display
a deep sensitivity to social problems
and to the specific characteristics of the
Russian people. They created a new “canon
of the Russian soul” against a background
of the historical events that had
shaped the contemporary situation.
form later acquired a layer of mythologization
– and much later the paintings
were abused for propaganda purposes.
Two names from the younger,
emerging generation of artists should
The first is Konstantin
Alexeyevich Korovin, a leading representative
of the new generation (who
were mainly members of the Association
of Russian Artists) and an exceptional
exponent of impressionism; Korovin
left Russia in 1929 and settled in
The other prominent name is the
most talented of Repin’s students – Filipp
Andreevich Malyavin. His works
reveal the influence of his teacher, but
they also embody significant progress.
The radical nature of Malyavin’s paintings
at the turn of the century provoked
vehement emotions in St. Petersburg
– both positive and negative – while at
exhibitions in Paris and Venice his work
was a resounding success.
later, Malyavin also won acclaim
in Czechoslovakia following an exhibition
of his works in Prague (1933); as a
result, Czech galleries rank among the
foremost holders of Malyavin’s works.
Curator: Jiří Jůza
Opening 31. 7., 5 pm, The House of Art, Ostrava
The project is funded by
the Municipal District
Moravská Ostrava a Přívoz.