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Russian Art of the Second Half of the 19th Century: The Wanderers, Pavel Tretyakov, and His Gallery

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"Russian Art of the Second Half of the 19th Century: The Wanderers, Pavel Tretyakov, and His Gallery"

Lidia Iovleva
Published in 2005
7 pages, fully illustrated

In response to the strict regulations placed on young artists and intellectuals in mid-19th-century Russia, a group of rebellious youths formed the Society for Traveling Art Exhibitions, also known as Peredvizhniki (Wanderers). Lidia Iovleva's essay discusses the emergence of this artistic group and the support of the influential art collector Pavel Tretyakov, as well as the birth of the Tretyakov Gallery.


Tretyakov formulated his main goal in life early on: "to lay the foundation for a public repository for fine arts, accessible to all, which would be useful to many and pleasurable to everyone." Thereafter, Tretyakov pursued his goal with the consistency and purposefulness that were part of his nature. His contemporaries were amazed at his acute natural intellect and inborn taste. He had no formal education (he was home-schooled and his instruction was mostly business oriented), but he possessed a broad knowledge of history, literature, painting, and theater. In 1902 Benois wrote: "Tretyakov was, by his nature and knowledge, a scholar."

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