2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
    
    May 19, 2019  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog

HIST 324 - Russian Visual Culture


Eisenstein, Malevich, Chagall. Every movie buff and every student of modern art is familiar with these Russian names and their contribution to the great twentieth-century upheaval in visual culture that transformed the way we look at images today. How did Russia–which had no tradition of painting comparable to Italy and France–come to be associated with radical innovation in painting, photography, film, book illustration, and lithography? This course examines the history of Russian visual culture against the background of Russian history. We will discuss the role that images play in Russian Orthodoxy; the impact of Western regimes of representation on the native tradition of image making; the secularization of painting in the nineteenth century and the search for authenticity in pictorial styles; the role of revolutionary politics and Bolshevik ideology in the creation of still and moving images; the connection between the avant-garde theory of world creation and totalitarian art; and, finally, the emergence of non-conformist art in late Soviet and post-Soviet Russia, and its relationship to post-modernism.