Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Assembly of Itinerants

The Russian realist artists known as the Peredvizhniki (Wanderers or Itinerants) assembled for this 1875 photo.

1st row from left: Konstantin Makovsky, Alexander Beggrov, Ammosov, Ivatchov, Ivan Shishkin,
Nikolay Nevrev, Volkov, Kirill Lemokh, Kiselyov, Nikolay Yaroshenko, Illarion Pryanishnikov , Ilya Repin.

2nd row from left: Vladimir Makovsky, Alexander Litovtchenko, Konstantin Savitsky, Ivan Kramskoi,
Masondrov, Bryullov, Vasily Surikov, Vasily Polenov. Photo by Michail Panov.
The Peredvizhniki rebelled against the artificial assignments of the Imperial Academy and applied their skills of realism to portray landscape scenes and naturalistic portrayals of common people. 

Konstantin Savitsky, Repairing the Railroad, 1874
They were Itinerants in the sense that their paintings were shown in traveling exhibitions around Russia where they were admired by a wider viewership. 


Jim Douglas said...

What a rich photograph! In our current age of casual selfies, I think we have lost many of the wonders of posing and composing figures in a beautiful way. Too often in today's group photos (as in high school yearbook class photos) people stand shoulder-to-shoulder, all staring in the same direction, and standing in neat boring rows. There is no dynamism and no interesting internal pathways for the eye to move along.

I particularly miss classical figures positioned with their backs' to the viewer. We see this pose in this Russian photo and also in yesterday's post on Bouveret's Breton Women, but we rarely see it in contemporary examples. Perhaps the rear-facing pose is perceived as obscuring too much of the figure's identity, but it offers such a refreshing way to view the profile of the face and the mass of the human body. It also enhances the illusion of space and depth between figures.

Bevan said...

Those two beards in the middle could have been trimmed to make paint brushes for the group!

Rich said...

1875! What a great assembly!
Which ones have become immortals?

As to me it would be Ivan & Ilya.

James Gurney said...

Most of them are immortals. It's a tough call, but I would put Repin and Shishkin in the very first rank, closely followed by Kramskoi, Polenov, Savitsky, and Makovsky. Not in this photo, were some other greats, such as Vasnetsov, Levitan, Serov, and Perov.

ol'red said...

Why the name for the group? Great picture and staging. Thanks.
Frank Bettendorf

James Gurney said...

Ol'red, They rebelled against the artificial assignments of the Imperial Academy, and applied their skills of realism to portraying scenes of common people and scenes. They were Itinerants in the sense that their works traveled around Russia to be admired by ordinary folk.