Cover image for Russian painting : [from the XVIIIth until the XXth century
Russian painting : [from the XVIIIth until the XXth century
Leek, Peter.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Bournemouth, England : Parkstone, [1999]

Physical Description:
208 pages : illustrations ; 33 cm
General Note:
Subtitle and statement of responsibility taken from cover.
From the eighteenth century to the 1860s -- From the 1860s to the 1890s -- From the 1890s to the post-revolutionary period.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND681 .L43 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



This handsome volume offers a panorama of Russian painting from the 18th to the 20th century unequalled anywhere else. Russian culture developed through contact with European influences, but retained strong indigenous characteristics. From the Middle Ages to the 18th century, Russian painting was entirely devoted to religious subjects. This book begins with a discussion of the earliest examples of Russian art, namely icons, which were closely tied to Byzantine culture. It was not until the late 17th century that sacred art was abandoned and subject matter broadened to include pictures of everyday life, revealing tension between idealism and realism. Secular art flourished especially through portraits. Although the Academy of Fine Arts of St. Petersburg was founded in 1757, it would be decades before Russian artists became interested in still life and history painting.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Although touted as a major survey of Russian art, this is more of a coffee-table book than a research title. The 304 color illustrations are attractively reproduced and grouped into three main chapters: "From the 18th Century to the 1860s," "From the 1860s to the 1890s," and "From the 1890s to the Post-Revolutionary Period." Each chapter includes portraiture, historical painting, landscape, and still life among other painting types and trends. The brief chapter introductions and sparse text found amid the book's glorious images leave the reader wanting more information. Leek, who is never clearly identified, has simply tried to cover too much material. Because Leek attempts to include everyone from Karl Briullov (1799-1852) to Vasily Kandinsky (1866-1944), each of these influential artists is described in just a few sentences. A tighter focus would have been to this book's advantage. Marginally recommended for larger public and academic library art collections in need of Russian art images.--Jennifer Mayer, Univ. of Wyoming Libs., Laramie (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The inaccurate "Introduction" to Russian Painting states that "Its aim is ... to provide a representative selection of Russian paintings from the eighteenth century to the start of the post-Revolutionary period." However, it does nothing of the sort. Rather, it features only painters of the juste milieu, of the golden mean--painters who are neither very radical nor very conservative. Thus, the volume contains no major works of socialist realism or of the avant-garde. Aleksandr Gerasimov, president of Stalin's Academy of Art, is absent as is the multitalented Aleksandr Rodchenko, the dominant Soviet artist of the '20s. One could read this volume and never know that such major figures as Mikhail Larionov and Lyubov Popova ever lived. Then, too, one wonders about the design of the book. Aleksandr Ivanov's The Appearance of Christ to the People, the most important painting of the 19th century, gets only a third of a page, but three distinctly inferior and less important paintings are splashed across two pages. Though the text makes for pleasant reading, it offers no analyses of the paintings and does not relate them to other cultural developments. General readers; undergraduates. J. M. Curtis; University of Missouri--Columbia