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CamRuSS Russian History & Arts lecture series. Talk 3: “Russian Portraiture: From Parsuna to Modernism.” by Dr Nicky Kozicharow.

Friday 15 May, 2020, 19:00 - 20:30


Dmitri Levitzky, Portrait of a student of the Empress School for Noble Maidens Ekaterina Ivanovna Nelidova dressed as Seprpina (“La serva padrona”), 1773

We are pleased to inform you that Dr Nicky Kozicharow kindly agreed to deliver this talk online.

In 1764, the Imperial Academy of Arts in St Petersburg ranked portraiture as the most celebrated type of painting in the hierarchy of genres. This unusual move was unprecedented in European academies, who prized historical or mythological scenes above all other modes of painting, and speaks to Russia’s rich history of and distinctive innovations in the realm of portraiture. This lecture explores the genre from the early parsuna tradition in medieval Russia to more modern approaches in the fin-de-siècle. It especially considers the patronage of rulers such as Catherine the Great and collectors such as Pavel Tretyakov, the significance of sitters, including Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Akhmatova, and the ways in which artists developed radical new ways of representing likeness.

WHEN: Friday, 15 May 19:00-20:30

Language: English

Tickets: FREE *

*there is no charge for this lecture, but we would welcome any donation you would like to make towards support of our efforts in bringing more speakers and lectures online during the lock down and social distancing time.

You can send your donation by a direct bank transfer (BACS) to the following account:
Cambridge Russian-Speaking Society
NATWEST Bank, Sort code: 60-11-30
Account: 18120466

Please email camruss@camruss.com if you have any questions.

HOW TO JOIN:Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 850 3296 0489. Password: 039417

Bibliography and further reading:

Rosalind P. Blakesley, The Russian Canvas: Painting in Imperial Russia, 1757-1881, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016.

Rosalind P. Blakesley, Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky, London: National Portrait Gallery, 2016.

John E. Bowlt, ‘Sergei Diaghilev’s “Exhibition of Historic Russian Portraits”,’ Experiment 17 (2011), 76-78.

Elizabeth Kridl Valkenier, Valentin Serov: Portraits of Russia’s Silver Age, Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 2001


Friday 15 May, 2020
19:00 - 20:30
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